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A special year for nursing's leading recruitment event

This year's RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair takes place in the 100th anniversary year of the Royal College of Nursing. The Sanctuary Health team will be in London and Birmingham to share in the celebrations.

Launched in 2009, the RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair has grown to become one of the major healthcare recruitment events, guiding thousands of people into nursing jobs across the UK. However, this year the event will have greater significance than ever as the profession's high profile and hardworking union, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), marks 100 years since its foundation.

The original idea for a College of Nursing was proposed in 1915 by Dame Sarah Swift, Matron-in-Chief of the British Red Cross, with the support of Sir Arthur Stanley MP. The College was formally opened in 1916 and, after just one year, membership had grown from 34 to 2,553. By 1918, local centres had been established in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester, Liverpool and London, providing a range of educational and social activities.

Today the RCN is the world's largest union and professional body for nursing staff, with over 435,000 registered members comprising nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and nursing students. The Jobs Fair is run by RCNi, a subsidiary of the College which provides members with easy access to all its peer-reviewed content, as well as news, opinion, jobs, events and awards.

The RCN is planning 100 special centenary events throughout 2016, culminating in an international conference in November. The Commonwealth Nurses' Federation will be joining the festivities in March as the build up begins to Nurses' Day in May and the RCN Congress in June. The College will be giving away 100 free one-year memberships and the RCN Foundation will be awarding bursaries to help nurses share innovative ideas and to fund a new education resource for schools.

"The centenary year is a chance to reflect 100 years of nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants moving our great profession forward," said RCN President Cecilia Anim at the recent launch event in London. The College was also presented at the event with a marching banner by the Townswomen's Guilds to celebrate the shared history of the two organisations in campaigning for women's rights.

Focusing on nursing jobs

The first RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair was held in London at the Business Design Centre in Islington. It was an instant success, with many nurses being interviewed and receiving job offers on the day.

"We identified that nurses wanted an excellent recruitment fair," explained RCNi Sales Director JJ van Delsen. "So we set about providing them with exactly that - all the information they need about finding a great job and receiving the best career advice." 

Over the past six years, almost 20,000 nurses have visited the Fair, which now takes place in five locations: Glasgow, Birmingham, London, Manchester and Belfast. As well as bringing together top nursing and healthcare employers, including NHS trusts, the Army, private health providers and charities, each event also features a programme of free seminars. This year much of the focus will be on the hot topic of revalidation

The Sanctuary Health team will be at the London event on 11 and 12 February (Stand 28) and the Birmingham event on 3 and 4 March (Stand 42). We look forward to seeing you there.

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