What are the 6C’s of Nursing?

The so-called ‘6Cs of Nursing’ are the core values and expectations drawn up by NHS England.

5 November 2015

The 6C’s of Nursing are embedded into the everyday life of a healthcare professional.

The so-called ‘6Cs of Nursing’ are the core values and expectations drawn up by NHS England Chief Nursing Officer Jane Cummings, they initially launched in December 2012 but remain central to this day.


Embedded into everything nursing, midwifery, and care staff do, NHS England sets out the 6C’s as follows;

Care is our core business and the care we deliver helps the individual person and improves the health of the whole community.

Compassion is how care is given through relationships based on empathy, respect, and dignity. It can also be described as intelligent kindness and is central to how people perceive their care.

Competence means all those in caring roles mist have the ability to understand an individual’s health and social needs. It is also about having the expertise, clinical and technical knowledge to deliver effective care and treatments based on research and evidence.


Communication is central to successful caring relationships and to effective team working. Listening is as important as what we say. It is essential for ‘No decision without me’. Communication is the key to a good workplace with benefits for those in our care and staff alike.

Courage enables us to do the right thing for the people we care for, to speak up when we have concerns. It means we have the personal strength and vision to innovate and to embrace new ways of working.

Commitment to our patients and populations is a cornerstone of what we do. We need to build on our commitment to improve the care and experience of our patients. We need to take action to make this vision and strategy a reality for all and meet the health and social care challenges ahead.

Embraced and implemented by NHS Trusts around the country, national organisations such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council and Royal College of Nursing have consistently promoted the values.


They were developed through ‘Compassion in Practice’, a three-year strategy that was concluded in March 2016.

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