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RCN centenary is a time to celebrate nursing’s past and to fight for its future

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the RCN – 100 years of influencing policy, driving forward practice, and giving a voice to one of the country’s most important professions.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the RCN – 100 years of influencing policy, driving forward practice, and giving a voice to one of the country’s most important professions.

Founded during the first world war as a women’s group, the RCN was the first organisation to secure professional status for nursing. It fought hard to give women workers the rights they deserved, and the organisation soon became a pioneer of training and education. Today, the college gives a voice to more than 430,000 nursing staff and students.

To mark the centenary, there will be celebrations throughout the year, including an exciting new exhibition, The Voice of Nursing. Hosted by the RCN Library and Heritage Centre in London, the exhibition will also be online and will showcase the journey of our profession from past to present.

We have also joined forces with the Townswomen’s Guilds, who have created a special marching banner to celebrate our centenary and common lineage with the women’s suffrage movement. This will be revealed later this month, so keep your eyes peeled.

Of course, in 2016 we will also continue to help develop practice, support revalidation and provide learning opportunities for nursing staff. We will continue the legacy of our foremothers by campaigning against the eradication of nursing student bursaries, for fair pay and for nurses to receive proper recognition for their work.

We may have quite a year ahead, but we have always liked a challenge.

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