Protect the title nurse

RCN members voted to lobby legislators to protect the title Nurse in UK law (Congress 2022)
452 members voted in favour
60 against
29 abstentions
89% turnout
Currently the title is not protected, unlike Midwife, Paramedic and Physiotherapist. This means that anyone can call themselves a Nurse without needing qualifications, experience or if they have been struck off the register.
Sally Bassett (Chair) Nurses in Management and Leadership Forum which submitted the resolution, told delegates ‘The public trust us because we’re committed to keeping them safe and advocating for them when they’re at their most vulnerable’
Jessica Davidson (Chair) Nursing in Justice and Forensic Healthcare Forum said there were cases where unregistered and unqualified people had called themselves nurses and performed procedures that put patients at risk.
A couple of delegates raised concerns that retired nurses will not be able to identify or use the nurse title because they are no longer registered nurses. Professor Alison Leary who launched the campaign later tweeted that this wasn’t the case as ‘the motion is about people providing professional services and advice’
Source-RCN page update 04/10/22

Posted by Maureen Tunney [] on 11 January 2023

The campaign to protect the title Nurse continues as the petition came to its six month time limit in December with 33,488 signatures.
In November MPs voted 304 to 240 against an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill to protect the title Nurse in UK law. 
However, the nurse behind the campaign, Professor Alison Leary, said work to secure the required changes in legislation is pushing ahead through working with parliamentarians and the regulator. 

Petition created by Professor Alison Leary RN
The title nurse can be used by anyone in the UK.
They can use this term to offer professional advice and services even if they have no professional qualification, experience or have been struck off a professional register.
To protect the public, the title nurse should be restricted to those who are registered with professional regulators such as Registered Nurses and Dental Nurses.
This would be the same as titles such as paramedic and physiotherapist, which are limited to those on the professional registers

Anyone can sign the petition as long as they are a British citizen or UK resident.
To sign-
Search for UK Parliament Petitions
Select Open Petitions
Enter Nurse in search box
Closing date 14/12/21

Posted by Maureen Tunney [] on 16 July 2021

For some background information you may like to read this article
“What is a nurse? Baffling number of job roles leaves patients and colleagues confused” by Professor Alison Leary
Search for -
guardian what is a nurse alison leary

Also, the RCN press release of 09/06/21 re it’s call for the end of the growing practice of employing those without registered nurse qualifications into registered nursing posts.
Search for-
Nursing workforce crisis leads to risky recruitment practice rcn


Posted by Maureen Tunney [] on 19 July 2021

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September 2021 is the centenary of Nurse registration in the UK.

Ethel Gordon Fenwick campaigned for thirty years to achieve this goal.

Signing this petition takes less than five minutes.

Our responsibility now.

Posted by Maureen Tunney [] on 09 September 2021

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Andrea Sutcliffe Chief Executive NMC “One aspect we really want to pursue is that the title nurse is currently not protected” “I believe it is essential we have the right protected titles and associated enforcement powers to take effective action to protect the public”
Nursing Times 01/09/21

Ruth May CNO for England
“I am supportive of protecting the nurse title”
Nursing Times 15/10/21

Charlotte McArdle CNO for Northern Ireland
“Time and again nursing is recognised as the most trusted profession with nurse synonymous with patient safety. It’s therefore important for society and for nurses themselves that the title of ‘nurse’ is protected”
Nursing Times 15/10/21

Please consider giving your support by signing this petition.
Search for protect nurse title uk
To date 26/10/21 there are 30,167 signatures. Closing date 14/12/21

Posted by Maureen Tunney [] on 26 October 2021An overwhelming majority of voting members at the RCN June 2022 Congress have voted to lobby legislators to protect the title Nurse in UK law.
Presently, the title Registered Nurse is protected while the title Nurse is not. Concerns were raised regarding patient safety, misuse of the title, and the reputation and dilution of the profession. 



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