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How trustworthy is your information? Developing the RCN information literacy competences. Judy Atkinson, RCN LIS Manager, & Caroline Lynch, RCN Information Literacy Specialist. About the RCN.

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How trustworthy is your information? Developing the RCN information literacy competences

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How trustworthy is your information? Developing the RCN information literacy competences

Judy Atkinson, RCN LIS Manager, & Caroline Lynch, RCN Information Literacy Specialist

About the RCN

  • Royal College of Nursing mission: “represents nurses and nursing, promotes excellence in practice and shapes health policies”

  • RCN membership: over 400k across the 4 countries, with a library presence in each

  • Support to members, activists and staff

  • Remote delivery crucial factor

Development process: why?

  • RCN Core competence framework

  • Research - was there anything appropriate to meet the need?

  • Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework (ANZIL)

Consultation, consultation, consultation!

  • Consultation internally to check on the right track with RCN e-Health Board 8/08

  • Testing with realistic case studies to check out relevance of statements and knowledge requirements – 10/08

  • Proofing by external colleagues within nursing to address consistency & clarity of language

And consultation!

  • External consultancy to members of RCN forums and CILIP groups via online questionnaire - 14/9-2/10/09 “Really glad to see information literacy getting some formal acknowledgement from the RCN”.

  • Key RCN staff commenting on competences and the case studies – 12/09-1/10 re clarity of language and balance between statements and knowledge requirements

Review, review, accredit and publish!

  • Out to 4 external reviewers (11/2/10)

  • All recommendations considered by staff group and some changes agreed for inclusion

  • Submission to Accreditation board

  • Working with Communications Team for publication

  • Time frame: January 2007-January 2010

Outcome: Revised RCN Competences


  • Assessment and care planning to meet health and wellbeing needs (HWB2)

  • Promotion of health and wellbeing & prevention of adverse effects on health & wellbeing (HWB1)

  • Protection of health and wellbeing (HWB3)

  • Enablement to address health and wellbeing needs (HWB4)

  • Assessment and treatment planning (HWB6)

  • Provision of care to meet health and wellbeing needs (HWB5)

  • Interventions and treatments (HWB7)

  • Communication

  • Health, safety, security

  • Equity, diversity and rights


  • Development and innovation (G2)

  • Service improvement

  • Quality


  • People development (G6)

  • Learning and development (G1)


  • Information processing (IK1)

  • Information collection and analysis (IK2)

  • Knowledge and information resources (IK3)


  • Procurement and commissioning (G3)

  • Financial Management (G4)

  • Services and project management (G5)

  • People management

  • Capacity and capability(G7)

  • Public relations & marketing (G8)

Competences for Nursing

(RCN Competence framework clustering KSF dimensions to reflect nursing’s contribution)

Outcome: Supporting Principles of Nursing Practice

How trustworthy is your information?

The content development process

Case studies

Future plans

  • Develop more case studies

  • Reworking our ‘Learning, guides and training’ web pages

How will we use the competences in practice?

  • Information management responsibilities written into Representatives’ role descriptors (“JDs” for reps)

  • Developed IKM practice standard for reps related to role descriptors

  • IL needs survey for RCN members based on the competences informing:

How will we use the competences in practice?

  • Development programme for RCN Activists

  • Work with RCN regions to deliver local programmes/events – webinars

  • Virtual Enquiry Service

Providing support to:

  • Future Officer Programme

  • Support RCN Direct Advisers

  • Reinforced by use of KPIs around using evidence (2011-12)

  • IKM Staff development tool

  • Reinforcing within the IKM team structure

How might you use them in practice?

  • Do you have any questions for us?

  • What seemed familiar?

  • What was new to you?

  • Who could use these resources and how?

‘Having access to the latest research in itself does not constitute evidence-based practice. It is the appropriate use of this information for the individual patient and individual context that marks the transition from evidence being simply information to being best practice.’Gordon J and Watts C (2011)

Our contact details

  • Judy Atkinson


    Tel: 0207 647 3856

  • Caroline Lynch


    Tel: 0207 647 3611

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