There are many active RCN members in the workplace. Some hold official roles, and many others get active through their branch, professional forum or through the RCN’s social media groups.

RCN representatives 

A trade union representative (rep) is a member who has been elected to represent union members in the organisation where they are employed. The RCN has three types of accredited rep; learning rep, safety rep and steward.

Learning reps

Support the ambitions of our members by promoting learning and career development. Where learning reps have the most influence in the workplace:

learning reps

Safety reps

Help to ensure our members operate within a healthy and safe working environment. Where safety reps have the most influence in the workplace:

safety reps


Protect the rights of our members, ensuring fair treatment on all employment related matters. Where stewards have the most influence in the workplace:


Source: the value of trade union workplace representatives in health care:

All these activists – learning representatives, safety representatives and stewards – are there to support you. If you’re not sure how to make contact with them, phone the RCN Customer Service Centre on 0345 772 6100 for advice.

Interested in becoming an RCN representative? Visit for more information.

RCN branches

As an RCN member, you are automatically a member of your local branch and we encourage you to attend branch meetings. RCN branches are made up of RCN members in a geographical area. The branch organises RCN activities in the area and provides opportunities for you to meet and network with other activists. They also offer the opportunity to participate in and shape the work of the RCN.

Make sure you update your details with the RCN to ensure you have access to the correct branch. Click here to find out about your local branch.