The RCN will rejoin the International Council of Nurses (ICN) on 1 April after it left the organisation in 2013.
This comes after 84.7% of the RCN membership voted in May 2021 to sign back up to the global network of more than 130 national nursing associations representing more than 28 million nurses.
The nursing body initially left the ICN in 2013 because of concerns about membership fees, but the We Are Global Nurses group has led the campaign to rejoin since 2017. The RCN then agreed in October 2020 consult members on the topic at the next annual general meeting.
The RCN said being part of the ICN strengthens its ‘commitment to working with nursing and health care organisations worldwide’, builds its influence globally, and ‘gives members opportunities to share the expertise of UK nursing and drive improvements on the issues that matter most’.
Denise Chaffer, RCN president, said this ‘hugely significant day’ has come because ‘members voted to strengthen our commitment to working closer with colleagues around the world’.
She continued: ‘Being part of the ICN means we will promote our UK nursing expertise around the world. It gives members the opportunity to drive improvements on the issues that matter most, and to share knowledge as well as learning from others.
‘We’ll work together on issues such as humanitarian support, ethical international recruitment, addressing the global shortage of nursing staff, and recovery from the global pandemic.
Pamela Cipriano, ICN president, said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to welcome the RCN back into ICN. The RCN has a long and illustrious history of representing nurses and advancing the profession, and their membership of ICN is extremely positive not only for the organisations but nurses globally…
‘On behalf of ICN’s member National Nursing Associations I look forward to working with the RCN on the challenges we all face, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the global nursing shortage, gender and equity issues, as well as the current geo-political upheaval and climate change.’