Recommendation 201

Dividing the functions of the Royal College of Nursing


The Royal College of Nursing should consider whether it should formally divide its ‘Royal College’ functions and its employee representative/trade union functions and its employee representative /trade union functions between two bodies rather than behind internal ‘Chinese walls’.

The Royal College of Nursing has given careful consideration to whether it should split its trade union and professional functions and has decided that it should not. The Royal College of Nursing believes it is stronger as one organisation.

In its dual role, it believes that the elements are complementary to one another and make it a stronger organisation. It believes that trade union work is not simply consigned to fighting for better pay awards. Instead, it focuses on building a positive working environment for staff – and in health care that can have a direct impact on the quality of care delivered to patients.

The government believes the separation of the Royal College of Nursing’s professional and trade union roles, which are both important, would enhance the authority of its work, so that those outside the profession would know when they were speaking in the interests solely of patients and when they were speaking solely in the interests of their members.

No further update required. Please see response to the recommendation above