RCN centenary

Looking back with pride 1916-2016

Celebrating the RCN's centenary year

As the RCN enters its centenary year, Lynne Pearce looks back at landmark moments from 100 years of campaigning, supporting and celebrating nurses.

RCN centenary


The RCN celebrates its centenary this year. In the past century it has grown into a unique voice for nursing, as a trade union and a professional body for its 430,000 members. General secretary and chief executive Janet Davies is confident it will still be here in 2116, a powerful body for an irreplaceable profession.

‘To be able to move forward, you need to reflect on where you’ve been,’ says RCN chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies, as the organisation gears up to celebrate its centenary.

‘When our founding group of nurses met in a room 100 years ago, they could never have imagined how the RCN would grow, and how much nursing would change,’ says Ms Davies.

‘At that time women didn’t even have the vote. They were really pushing against the grain. For me, that’s inspirational and very humbling.’

All of the RCN’s members are being invited to participate in a variety of centenary events this year, including a photography competition to capture images of nurses in their many different workplaces. ‘We’re trying to build a legacy,’ explains Ms Davies.

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This article was first published in print in Nursing Standard: volume 30, issue 19

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