Established in 1899 and the world’s first and widest reaching international organisation for health professionals, the International Council of Nurses provides a world stage for nursing and health priorities, characterised and defined by:
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a long established and globally respected nongovernmental organisation that leads in identifying and addressing the key issues on the nursing profession and how nurses impact the health and wellbeing of patients, families and populations.
The organisation delivers global leadership, ensuring that National Nursing Associations, through their collective action at the global level, add value to their own countries and to the worldwide nursing community. ICN provides its members the platform and the means to achieve common goals through collaborative action, working together for the benefit of society, the advancement of the profession and the development of its members. ICN and its members work with a wide range of non-governmental organisations, governments, intergovernmental agencies, industry and key stakeholders so as to achieve maximum impact.
- A global platform for nursing values
Working together ICN promotes the recognition of the value of care through the development of relevant research based policy and provides guidance and technical support to its members.
In addition, ICN Membership provides benefits to its members in the following key areas:
Privileged access to critical and current information
Through environmental scanning, data collection and participation in high level fora, ICN continually identifies current and future trends that impact nursing, patient care and health systems. ICN uses
many channels to share this critically important information with members, enabling members to react quickly to pressing issues and to plan strategically for the future.
In response to member needs and as a result of this scanning process, ICN regularly commissions leading edge monographs and other publications. These documents distil the key issues for the profession, provide case study and best practice examples and identify timely and informed action to meet the challenges ahead. Information is provided in a range of formats:
- Trends and issues monographs, standards, competencies
- Regular member briefings and fact sheets
- Peer reviewed scientific journal
- Continuing education and professional training
- Monthly Mailing to Members
- Congresses and conferences
- Press releases
- A soon to be launched member only section on the ICN website
- ICN Bank of experts
In addition, ICN is the hub for a number of specialty area Networks.
Influence and Advocacy
Through ICN, member nursing associations have a seat at many of the highest policy tables.
Intergovernmental activity: ICN is in official relations with a wide range of inter-governmental bodies and UN agencies, actively participating in and contributing to the policy development process of these bodies. For example, ICN routinely intervenes at the World Health Organization policy and agenda setting mechanisms – the Executive Board and World health Assembly. ICN successfully advocates for the inclusion of nurses in national delegations to these meetings and provide briefings and information material to its members who are part of their country delegations or the ICN delegation to the assembly.
Consultancy services: ICN regularly, in response to member requests, comments on country legislation or policy directions and submits formal commentary and opinion on key topics to government ministries and other key national stakeholders. In addition ICN can provide expert consultancy to assist countries develop policy or legislation.
ICN international forums and topic working groups: Through ICN’s various strategic and targeted forums and working groups, members have access to a range of events and activities that develop expertise in Professional Practice, Regulation and Socio-economic welfare (ICN’s 3 main pillars). Such activities strengthen the capacity to provide clear and informed leadership on matters of concern to their members, constituencies and the public.
Position statements and policy papers: ICN provides regular position and policy guidance on key issues which members face in the areas of: Nursing Roles in Health Care Services; Social Issues; Health Care Systems; the Socio-Economic Welfare of Nurses; and the Nursing Profession.
Advocacy: ICN’s extensive network of contacts in key leadership positions across sectors, and its capacity to mine and provide factual, accurate and reliable information on a broad range of issues, make the organisation an active and effective advocate on key issues.
Recognition and Development
ICN’s prestigious awards provide global recognition for the successful individuals nominated by members.
ICNs strategic direction is set by the Council of National Representatives. All member organisations have a voice and a role to play in the regular CNR meetings. In addition, member associations nominate and elect the ICN President and Board of Directors every four years. Participation in CNR and offering service to the Board of Directors provides an opportunity to contribute and further develop nursing knowledge and skills at the very highest level.
There is an opportunity for members to place their staff for short term internships and sabbaticals so as to provide an opportunity to develop their skills and gain insights into the workings of our key partners.
As an ICN member association you can request endorsement for your associations’ publications or policies.
Development Cooperation Projects
ICN’s portfolio of innovative and effective international development projects provide members with a direct involvement - as implementers, beneficiaries or partners- in on the ground projects impacting global health issues.
ICN members receive as part of the membership benefits:
- free copies of all publications
- a preferential rate for bulk purchases
- discounted rates on attendance at ICN Congress and Conferences
- reduced charges for the award of ICN educational Credits (ICNECs) for national nursing association organised events.
ICN through its links with Industry, Inter-governmental agencies and the philanthropic sector is able to mobilise funding for certain projects that can then be prioritised towards member countries.For example, Leadership for Change, Wellness Centres, Clean Water Project, Mobile Library, Leadership in Negotiation, Positive Practice Environment Project and Girl Child Education fund.