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RCN rejoins International Council of Nurses after nine-year break

College says move is an opportunity to collaborate globally on humanitarian support, ethical international recruitment, workforce shortage and pandemic recovery
RCN has rejoined the International Council of Nurses

College says move is an opportunity to collaborate globally on humanitarian support, ethical international recruitment, workforce shortage and pandemic recovery

The RCN has officially rejoined a nursing network that represents 28 million nurses worldwide.

The college walked away from the International Council of Nurses (ICN) nine years ago, saying it could not justify the hundreds of thousands of pounds in annual subscription.

RCN members voted to rejoin global nursing network

But as of 1 April, the RCN is back in the fold after 84.7% of voting members opted to rejoin in a ballot held in May 2021.

College says move is an opportunity to collaborate globally on humanitarian support, ethical international recruitment, workforce shortage and pandemic recovery

Picture of the International Council of Nurses logo alongside the RCN logo

The RCN has officially rejoined a nursing network that represents 28 million nurses worldwide.

The college walked away from the International Council of Nurses (ICN) nine years ago, saying it could not justify the hundreds of thousands of pounds in annual subscription.

RCN members voted to rejoin global nursing network

But as of 1 April, the RCN is back in the fold after 84.7% of voting members opted to rejoin in a ballot held in May 2021.

RCN president Denise Chaffer said the move means the RCN will be able to promote UK nursing expertise around the world, as well as learning from other nations.

‘We’ll work together on issues such as humanitarian support, ethical international recruitment, addressing the global shortage of nursing staff, and recovery from the pandemic,’ she added.

‘The conflict in Ukraine is a stark reminder of how we must continue to stand in solidarity with our international colleagues. Our membership will allow us to do so more closely wherever a crisis hits.’

The ICN is made up of 130 different nursing organisations and meets every two years with the purpose of bringing together nurses from around the world to advance nursing and influence health policy on a global scale.

‘A day of celebration’ for RCN campaigners

Since the vote last year, the RCN says members and staff have worked closely with the ICN on the application to join and ensure members’ expectations are met.

The We Are Global Nurses group, which campaigned for the college to rejoin, said it was a ‘day of celebration’.

‘We always believed RCN members would welcome the opportunity to vote on rejoining and adding the largest UK nursing voice to the international nursing community,’ a statement from campaign coordinators Paul Jebb and Jeni Watts read.

‘We are delighted the RCN will now be part of the ICN and the amazing work it does to strengthen our profession, improve world health and speak out on issues of social justice.’


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