Registered nurses in social care

Recognising the responsibilities and contribution of registered nurses 

Registered nurse

We’re delighted to announce that for the first time a statement of role, knowledge and skills for the 42,000 registered nurses working in social care has been launched. It’s called Registered nurses: Recognising the responsibilities and contribution of registered nurses within social care and it provides a description of the complex role nurses undertake and demonstrates the way that they not only use all of their nursing knowledge, but also contribute to important national health and social care agendas. 

It’s been developed by Skills for Care in consultation with registered nurses and the people they support, plus other professionals who work in and with the adult social care sector, and colleagues who work with the nursing regulatory framework*. 

Download Registered nurses: Recognising the responsibilities and contribution of registered nurses within social care

Download the infographic – this brings the role of a registered nurse in social care to life. It’s visually stimulating and really helps you to see and appreciate the complexity of the role. It’s a great resource to print out and put up in your place of work to improve the understanding of not only staff but the people in your care and their families.

Myth busting video – this video helps to dispel some of the myths around being a registered nurse in adult social care, for example, ‘being a registered nurse in adult social care is easy’, ‘you do this if you can’t get a proper job’ and ‘you can’t get re-validated’.

Multi-faceted role

The registered nurses role in social care is multi-faceted with high levels of autonomy, decision making and responsibility where nurses are key to organisations being able to offer high quality support to people with a range of often complex needs. Registered nurses are often involved in the operational management of the services they work in, bringing all their professional training and expertise into play.  

Relationship-based approach

The statement underlines the huge importance nurses place on getting to really know the people in their care and their families. This relationship-based approach means they can gain a deep understanding of an individual’s personal needs, wants and way of communicating so the nurses can offer genuinely person-centred care and support.  


The idea people have of what a registered nurse in social care does is often very different to the reality. It is a complex, relationship-based role, rooted in nursing knowledge. We hope that this statement will go a long way towards changing those perceptions. 

Supporting materials

  • More supporting materials will be added to this page as we develop them. 

*We’d like to acknowledge Milestones Trust, Norfolk and Suffolk Care and Support,  Turning Point, St Monica Trust, Queens Nursing Institute, Focus Independent Adult Social Work, Heaven Scent Care Services, FitzRoy Support, Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme, NHS Dorset CCG, National Care Forum, Health Education England, NHS England, Royal College of Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Council.