Celebrating 100 Years of the Royal College of Nursing

4th July 2016

This year, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is celebrating 100 years since it was founded in 1916. With great pleasure, we can also announce that this anniversary marks 20 years of partnership between Setsquare, Peter Willis Productions and the Royal College of Nursing in producing the annual Royal College of Nursing Congress, one which can be described as a big family affair.

RCN Congress 2016

The Royal College of Nursing Congress is held for all members of the nursing community to meet and learn, whilst developing and sharing best work in practices. Furthermore, the event also opens up a platform for members to influence nursing and health policy through debate.

Once more, this year, we were chosen to work with RCN and Peter Willis Productions in building bespoke staging for the live event in Glasgow. Our long-standing relationship, over the years, has provided us with an exciting opportunity to produce a variety of stages in locations across the United Kingdom.

20 years later, our adrenaline is still here as it was two decades ago during our first project with the RCN, allowing us to create and deliver the best possible stages for their annual congress.

Below you will be able to see a few of the stages built over the years:

RCN Congress 2016 - Glasgow
RCN Congress 2016 – Glasgow
RCN Congress 2015 - Bournemouth
RCN Congress 2015 – Bournemouth
RCN Congress 2014 - Liverpool
RCN Congress 2014 – Liverpool
RCN Congress 2011 - Liverpool
RCN Congress 2011 – Liverpool
RCN Congress 2007 - Harrogate
RCN Congress 2007 – Harrogate
RCN Congress 1999
RCN Congress 1999 – Harrogate
RCN Congress 1997
RCN Congress 1997 – Harrogate

And guess what?

We are already planning next year’s congress – watch this space!

The History

The RCN was founded by a small group of nurses with a determination to speak up for the interests of the nursing profession. Starting off with just 34 members, they have grown to more than 425,000, and continue to support the nursing profession and being part of a community which promotes and helps improve the health and well-being of the public.

In celebration of the College’s centenary, Molly Case, a spoken word artist and RCN member, wrote this poem by weaving key dates from the College’s history into the story of a nurse witnessing open-heart surgery for the first time.

A passage from the Nursing the Nation poem by Molly Case

One lady passing had no relatives to stay,

we sang her to sleep, let angels take her away.

Were you there that day when we held her hand?

Told her nothing would harm her,

that there was a higher plan.

Saw her face remember a faith she once held,

watched her breath in the room as she

finally exhaled.

Available via: The Voice of Nursing
Available via: The Voice of Nursing

Important Dates in History

    • 1916-17: The College of Nursing Ltd is founded with 34 members. The Scottish Board is established in Edinburgh and the Irish Board in Dublin.
    • 1939: George VI grants the title ‘Royal’ to the College, which now has 30,000 members. The RCN plays a vital role in ensuring the supply of nurses through the World War Two Emergency Committee.
    • 1944: Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth accepts the position of President of the Student Nurses’ Association.
    • 1960: RCN membership is opened to all registered nurses, including men.
    • 1969: The RCN Welfare Advisor Service is established. The Raise the Roof campaign to increase nurses’ pay is launched.
    • 2007: Dr Peter Carter OBE becomes Chief Executive & General Secretary.
    • 2012: The RCN is awarded the Royal Society for Public Health’s Health & Wellbeing Award for its UK-wide workplace health and wellbeing programme.
    • 2014: The ‘What If…?’ campaign is launched to fight for members’ pay and conditions.
    • 2015: Janet Davies becomes Chief Executive and General Secretary.

Team Setsquare wish everyone at RCN a happy centenary!