The RCN will campaign to increase resources in community healthcare for the upcoming general election, it says.
The RCN's Election Manifesto 2015, published earlier this week, lays out the key areas the RCN will lobby the political parties on for the general election in May.
The manifesto highlights that patients and nurses agree that care must be delivered closer to home. There is evidence that community services, such as district nursing, can reduce costs in the long-term and provide more appropriate patient care. The manifesto stated: 'successive governments have promised to shift care from the acute sector to the community but we have only seen investment in community services decline. The incoming government must make it a priority to reverse this trend'.
A district nurse quoted in the manifesto said: 'I think it is no good promising care for people nearer to home in their communities without moving the money to help pay for it. District nurses have traditionally been the "sponges" which just soak up each new role and initiative but we are at saturation point. Just because we don't have walls to our caseload, like a hospital, doesn't mean that we can keep taking more and more complex cases without serious investment of time and money in developing the service.'
Other points included in the manifesto include giving nurses better access to training, stopping the downgrading of nursing skills and experience and giving nursing staff fair pay.
The RCN also calls on the politicians to recognise the value of nursing as many RCN members have highlighted concern about the future of nursing.
Peter Carter, the chief executive of the RCN, said: 'Nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants care passionately about their work and the future of healthcare services in this country which is why the political parties would do well to listen to them.
'The RCN calls on MPs to formulate policies for the future of nursing based on these priorities, which have patient care at their heart. Nurses and the people they care for deserve nothing less.'