Royal College of Nursing

Royal College of Nursing logo

With a membership of over 325,000 registered nurses and nursing students, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the voice of nursing in the UK. It is the largest professional union of nurses in the world. The RCN promotes the interests of nurses and patients on a wide range of issues by working closely with the Government, parliament, unions, professional bodies and voluntary organisations.

The RCN provides a range of services to support member in their professional and personal lives who work in a variety of settings including the NHS, the independent sector and others. This includes a 24 hour information line and advice from RCN Direct on 0845 7726100. Alternatively you can visit our website

The RCN has been running a campaign called "Working Well" which is aimed at improving the physical and psychological working environment for nurses. Part of this is a campaign named "Be Sharp Be Safe". The main aim of the campaign is to reduce the incidence of sharps injuries through education, research and monitoring. The objectives are:

  • provide information for members on sharps injury and management
  • encourage reporting of all sharps injuries and near misses
  • establish a sharps injury surveillance programme
  • provide guidance on how to undertake an evaluation of safer devices
  • ensure members have access to advice, guidance, treatment and support following a sharps injury
  • promote awareness of the UK Health Departments(2000) guidance on PEP
  • ensure employers comply with legislation
  • work with other bodies and statutory bodies to achieve these objectives

A pack of information has been launched including a leaflet, information card on what action to take in the event of a sharp injury, model policy, employment brief, checklists and a poster. The pack is available form RCN Direct.

Download RCN Needlestick Report »