Royal College of Nursing Council

Scope and Content

This collection contains original papers of the Royal College of Nursing's ruling member body: Council. This includes: minutes, reports, correspondence, speeches, attendance records, nominations, biographical information on historical Council members and election results. Please note that more recent areas of this catalogue are confidential and closed.

Administrative / Biographical History

Council is the ruling body of the Royal College of Nursing, consisting of 29 members: two elected by each of the 12 geographical sections, two elected by student members (ANS), the RCN President and Deputy President (elected by members directly for two-year terms) and the Chair of RCN Congress, who is elected after Congress by voting entities for a two-year term. The RCN's General Secretary is an appointed member of staff chosen by Council.

Council Executive Team (established 2004) consists of the President, Deputy President, Chair of Council, Vice Chair of Council, Nurse Honorary Treasurer and the Chairs of each of the sub-committees.


Minutes are arranged chronologically by year and grouped by meeting date within each year.

Access Information

This collection is available for research. However, recent meeting papers are closed for confidentiality - authorised staff access only. Open meeting papers of Council may be viewed after ten years closure from 31st December of the relevant year. Closed meeting papers can be viewed after thirty years from 31st December of the relevant year. Readers are advised to contact the RCN Archives in advance of their first visit.

Other Finding Aids

Most recent online Royal College of Nursing Archives Catalogue is available at Minutes indexed annually up to 2000.

Conditions Governing Use

Royal College of Nursing

Appraisal Information

Governance, legal, financial and staffing issues are discussed making the content of minutes business sensitive within the last 20 years and less frequently, a data protection issue.

Custodial History

Main bulk came from London library historical collection to Edinburgh with the Archives' collections in 1992. Now minutes, 'updates', files and reports are transferred directly by Council and Committee Admin. Previously 'General Secretariat', or 'General Secretary's Office'.

From 1st Oct 2007: Governance Support Directorate. Director of Governance Support, Jane Clarke. Responsible for Governance support and Corporate governance. [FB Oct 2007]

Council records stopped coming from 2009 onwards. Some records downloaded from RCN website. No closed minutes. Library bound copy of minutes sent to archives in 2013. [FB Mar 2014]

Access to Governance Support Unit 'G' or group drive folder where Council minutes are digitally stored, requested April 2014. Granted, copies of minutes printed off for permanent storage. [FB Apr 2014]

Council Minutes moved to Digital Repository from 2017 onwards [FB Nov 2018]


New minutes are added each year: meetings of Council are quarterly, although dates vary for example to co-incide with RCN Congress. Council workshops, seminars and meetings in addition to this schedule are also included, as are minutes of sub-committees and working groups of Council. Annual Reports and Accounts are also added to this catalogue annually.

Geographical Names