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What's new - Archives

International Committee of the Red Cross Florence Nightingale Medal

Every two years, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)designates a certain number of nurses to receive the Florence Nightingale Medal. The object of this Medal is to honour nurses and voluntary aides who have distinguished themselves in time of peace or war by:

  •       exceptional courage and devotion to the victims of armed conflict or natural disaster,
  •       exemplary services or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.

It is our pleasure to provide the names of 2011 recipients of the 43rd Award of the Florence Nightingale Medal.

On behalf of the international nursing community, we congratulate the nurses distinguished by this award.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 June 2011 14:57

JNA Nursing Task Force for Disaster Response

Dear nursing colleagues,

We are very grateful for the warm messages and thoughtful donations from nursing colleagues around theworld.

As 4 months have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami, JNA has closed the donationcampaign as of 14 July.
Once again, JNA genuinely appreciates the support and solidarity shown during the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Information regarding the JNA response to the 2011 Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake is updated in thefollowing website:

JNA will utilize your financial support to sustain those responses. Best wishes from your nursingcolleagues at the Japanese Nurses Association

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 15:11

Abuja Call to Action: Fight the dangers of counterfeit medicines

In a first for the African continent, 30 national health professions organisations (dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and physical therapy) and four patient organisations have discussed and endorsed the WHPA Abuja Call to Action on Counterfeit Medical Products when they met at the first-ever multi-professional workshop on counterfeit medical products in Africa, held 22-23 November, in Abuja, Nigeria.

Under the banner of the "Be Aware, Take Action" campaign against counterfeit medical products, this World Health Professions Association (WHPA) workshop aimed to tackle the serious challenge of counterfeit medical products worldwide. Co-hosted with WHPA by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and the FIP African Pharmaceutical Forum, the workshop brought together 92 participants from Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. In attendance were also patient advocates from the Liberian United Youth for Community Safety and Development, Association of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Women and Children Alive, Community Health and Information Network.

The workshop targeted joint strategies amongst the five health professions, to identify, report and purge counterfeit medical products from the supply chain, and to empower patients to make the best decisions when it comes to acquiring, carefully checking and using medical products.

Keynote speaker, Mr Hashim Yusufu, Director of the Nigeria Federal Taskforce for combating counterfeit medicines (NAFDAC) and Chairman of the Africa regional task force on the prevention and control of counterfeit medical products, was adamant that the fight against counterfeit medicines can only be won with close collaboration among health professionals, civil society, regulators, police, customs and manufacturers. In Nigeria, NAFDAC is pushing for more deterrent legislations to be enforced against counterfeiters. The workshop recognised that counterfeit medical products are, above all, a public health problem and a threat to patient safety with grave consequences in terms of increased disease burden, mortality and costs for healthcare systems. This important event also sent a strong message urging all governments to implement and enforce relevant legislations and regulations that will prevent, control and reduce the incidence of counterfeit medicines.

Prof. Kofo Savage, speaking on behalf of the World Health Professions Alliance, stated, "As concerned physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists and patient representatives, we are speaking out – because we are very worried about the dangers that counterfeit and falsified medical products pose to patient safety. Now is the time to act."

There was agreement on the need to raise awareness about this issue amongst health care professionals and the public in general, through campaigns and training initiatives. Likewise, participants agreed on the need for strong and clear laws and institutions that prevent, pursue and punish such crimes – laws that are written in collaboration with health care professionals' organisations and are based on their technical input.

In closing, the Honourable Minister, Prof Dora Akunyili, emphasized that, "As leaders representing nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, dentists and physicians, we must commit to accelerate our response to this problem by establishing inter professional collaboration so that health professionals and patient support groups can begin to tap from each other's core competencies in fighting this public health threat, among other key actions. This will be a long fight and I am with you all the way."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 09:43

Une infirmière est "Suissesse de l'année 2010"


Source de la photo: obs/Verein Bündner Partnerschaft Hôpital Albert Schweitzer, Haiti

Marianne Kaufmann, une infirmière bernoise, a été désigné «Suissesse de l'année 2010» le 8 janvier 2011 à Zurich.  L'infirmière bernoise de 27 ans travaillait à l'hôpital Albert-Schweitzer de Deschapelles à 80 km au nord de Port-au-Prince.  Le titre «Suisse de l’année 2010» à aussi été donné à Rolf Maibach, un médecin suisse qui travaille au même établissement où ils soignent gratuitement plusieurs dizaines de milliers de patients par an.  Ils étaient récompensés pour leurs engagements courageux et infatigables au service du peuple haïtien.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 January 2011 14:02

A greeting message for the new year from ICN President Rosemary Bryant


Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2013 15:49

ICN 2011 Conference 4-8 May, Valetta Malta - Scientific Programme

The ICN Conference programme brings together 25 plenary and main sessions, ICN Network meetings and close to 700 symposia, concurrent sessions and poster sessions, selected from the 2 063 abstracts submitted by nurses from 74 countries worldwide. The deadline for Early-bird Registration is 31 January 2011. To register for the conference and for further information and regular updates on the programme, please visit .

Keynote speaker Dr Mary Wakefield (, will address the conference theme Nurses Driving Access, Quality and Health, in the opening plenary on 5 May.
Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, was named administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) by President Barack Obama in 2009. HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA works to fill in the health care gaps for people who live outside the economic and medical mainstream. The agency uses its annual budget to expand access to quality health care in partnership with health care providers and health professions training programs.

Abstract sessions will run parallel with 25 main sessions addressing priority issues such as Changing scopes of practice, Health financing, Human resources, Positive Practice Environments, Mental health, Patient Safety, the Epidemic of Non-communicable Diseases, Nursing Ethics, Disasters, Migration, Tuberculosis, Telenursing and more. A thought-provoking debate will be held on the pros and cons of mandatory vaccination of health professionals. Along with the keynote session on the Conference theme, other plenary sessions will focus on the Role of Women in Building Healthy Nations and Social Movements Worldwide. All ICN Networks will have sessions during the Malta Conference to discuss current trends and priority issues.

The Florence Nightingale International Foundation luncheon will be held on Friday 6 May and tickets will be available online in February 2011.

The Professional Visits programme will take place 8 May and more detailed information will be available at as the Conference approaches.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 August 2015 08:57

World AIDS Day: 1 December 2010

AIDS_poster_eng_smallWorld AIDS Day on 1 December draws together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The Day is one of the most visible opportunities for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries and around the world.

There are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, according to 2008 figures released by WHO. An estimated 2.7 million were newly infected with the virus and 2 million died of AIDS the same year. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV. In 2008, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 67% of HIV infections worldwide, 68% of new HIV infections among adults and 91% of new HIV infections among children. The region also accounted for 72% of the world’s AIDS-related deaths in 2008.

For more information go to:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 16:52

Vacancy notice at WHO

The position of Coordinator, Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery has been re-advertised and the revised job description can be found on the WHO website and attached. We encourage you to consider this important position and/or encourage suitably qualified candidates to apply for this post.

For more information visit:

Last Updated on Friday, 03 December 2010 12:52

New tuberculosis e-course from ICN will help build global capacity

ICN is delighted to announce a new interactive e-learning course on the care, prevention and management of tuberculosis and drug-resistant TB.  The new course, produced in collaboration with City University London, will be showcased at the World Lung Health Conference in Berlin, 11-15 November 2010.  Read more...

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 December 2010 10:34

ICN and Burdett Trust for Nursing Announce Partnership for the Global Nursing Leadership Institute


The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is pleased to announce an exciting partnership with the Burdett Trust for Nursing* to support the implementation of the Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI) from 2011 to 2013 which will ensure that nurses from low income countries can take part in this important programme through bursaries.  Read more …

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 11:27

Keeping the Promise: United to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit, held in New York 20-22 September 2010, adopted a global action plan to achieve the anti-poverty goals by the 2015 target date and announced new funding commitments for women's and children's health and other initiatives against poverty, hunger and disease.  Read the outcome document for the Summit, adopted by the General Assembly by consensus on 22 September. Read more...
Last Updated on Monday, 08 November 2010 10:58

World Diabetes Day November 14th

World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on November 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations.  The campaign slogan for 2010 is: Let's take control of diabetes. Now. Read more…

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 09:45

World Food Day

On 16 October 2010, World Food Day enters its 30th year. This auspicious occasion also marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The theme of this year’s observance is United against hunger, chosen to recognize the efforts made in the fight against world hunger at national, regional and international levels.

Uniting against hunger becomes real when state and civil society organizations and the private sector work in partnership at all levels to defeat hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition. In this manner collaboration among international organizations plays a key strategic role in directing global efforts to reach Millennium Development Goal 1 – Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – which calls for halving the hungry people in the world by 2015.

The World Summit on Food Security, or the “hunger summit”, held in November 2009, adopted a declaration renewing the commitment made at the 1996 World Food Summit to eradicate hunger sustainably from the face of the earth. The Declaration also called for an increase in domestic and international funding for agriculture, new investments in the rural sector, improved governance of global food issues in partnership with relevant stakeholders from the public and private sector, and more action to face the threat climate change poses to food security.

In 2009, the critical threshold of one billion hungry people in the world was reached in part due to soaring food prices and the financial crisis, a “tragic achievement in these modern days", according to FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. On the eve of the hunger summit, Dr Diouf launched an online petition to reflect the moral outrage of the situation. The “1 billion hungry project” reaches out to people through online social media to invite them to sign the anti-hunger petition at

On this World Food Day 2010, when there have never been so many hungry people in the world, let us reflect on the future. With willpower, courage and persistence – and many players working together and helping each other – more food can be produced, more sustainably, and get into the mouths of those who need it most.

Food and Agriculture Organization

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 October 2010 12:12

ICN Workforce Forum, Tokyo, Japan

WFF_JapanDavid Benton, ICN CEO, and Elizabeth Adams, ICN Nursing and Health Policy Consultant with representatives of 8 NNAs at the ICN Workforce Forum, in Tokyo, Japan September 16-17, 2010





The ICN Workforce Forum, hosted by the Japanese Nurses Association, was held in Tokyo, Japan on September 16-17, 2010.

Representatives from Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States of America attended. Each country presented a comprehensive national report, and ICN provided participants with the results of the 2010 Nurse Wage Questionnaire and the Nursing Workforce Profile Survey. In addition, ICN also presented on the Positive Practice Environments Campaign, socio-economic welfare activities and international health human resource information. Issues discussed included the impact of the global financial crisis, strengthening positive practice environments, pandemics, workload management including working hours, changes in government and the continuum of nursing.

The next Workforce Forum will be held in Sweden co-hosted by Vårdförbundet (The Swedish Association of Health Professionals) in September 2011.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 November 2010 16:43

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Every year on October 17th, the international community observes the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, recalling that:

Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.

Fr. Joseph Wresinski.

This day is a key opportunity to think of the struggle against extreme poverty that takes place every day and of the rôle that everyone has to play in this fight. People living in extreme poverty have an equal right to endeavor alongside all citizens to create a better world where rights are respected for all.

August 12th 2010, marked the launch of the International Year of Youth. The theme of decent work and full employment ("From Poverty to Decent Work: bridging the gap") has been put forward by the United Nations as particularly relevant in light of the ongoing economic crisis. This is why the International Committee for October 17th suggests that 17th October 2010 is a key opportunity to emphasize the dialogue needed between the younger generation and others on the issue of youth.

Following the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20th November 2009, the International Day for Eradication of Poverty in 2010 is a new opportunity to emphasize the urgent need to respect the human rights of youth.

To reach this goal, efforts undertaken to emerge from the economic crisis should encompass and reinforce a close dialogue between generations including those living in extreme poverty.

European Commission

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 October 2010 12:07

Eli Lilly awarded the World Business and Development Award for the MDR-TB/Tuberculosis Partnership achievements

Jacques Tapiero, President of Emerging Markets, Eli Lilly receives the World Business and Development Award from  Dr Rajiv Shah of USAID
ICN, a charter member and leading partner in the Partnership is delighted to see Eli Lilly honoured for its contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) by the International Chamber of Commerce and the United Nations Development Program. Lilly has demonstrated what can be achieved through successful partnerships in the battle against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and the clear linkage between  business practices and the achievement of the MDGs. Read Press release…
Last Updated on Monday, 18 October 2010 15:09

Japanese Nursing Association makes generous donation to ICN Fund to Support Nurses and Nursing in Haiti

Dr Setsuko Hisatsune, JNA President, with David Benton, ICN Chief Executive Officer

Members of the Japanese Nursing Association (JNA) contributed $US 160,000 to the fund established by ICN to assist with the long-term rebuilding of nursing in Haiti. Dr Setsuko Hisatsune, JNA President, presented the funds to David Benton, ICN Chief Executive Officer, during his visit to Tokyo in September 2010.  Funds also were donated by NNAs in Bermuda, Ghana, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Macau, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania and Thailand and by many individuals. NNAs in Switzerland and Canada have been coordinating technical support for the reconstruction of the destroyed nursing school in Port au Prince and the strengthening of the Haitian Nurses Association (ANILH) respectively.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 October 2010 15:02

WHPA briefing on combating counterfeit medicines

beawareWe are pleased to feature the first edition of WHPA Briefing on combating counterfeit medical products for WHPA partners and their member associations. It covers current developments concerning medicine safety and counterfeit medical products, including information about the ongoing work of the WHPA counterfeit medical products campaign and noteworthy national and international developments and findings.



Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 11:55

PPE partners publish new Fact Sheet

"Positive Practice Environments: Meeting the information needs of health professionals" is the new tool in the PPE Campaign toolkit. The central message of the Fact Sheet is that information access is critical for health professionals to provide safe, appropriate and effective care.  Read More...

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 12:13

Former Chilean president to head new high-profile UN women’s agency

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today named former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head United Nations Women (UN Women), a newly created entity to oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at promoting women’s rights and full participation in global affairs.

The new body – which will receive a large boost in funding and become operational in January – merges four UN agencies and offices: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).

“UN Women will promote the interests of women and girls across the globe,” Mr. Ban told reporters in announcing the appointment. “Ms. Bachelet brings to this critical position a history of dynamic global leadership, highly honed political skills and uncommon ability to create consensus and focus among UN agencies and many partners in both the public and private sector.”

“I’m confident that under her strong leadership we can improve the lives of millions of women and girls throughout the world.”

Ms. Bachelet, Chile’s first female president who prioritized women’s issues throughout her tenure and since leaving office has been working with UNIFEM to advocate for the needs of Haitian women following January’s devastating earthquake, was chosen over two other candidates.

The new entity is set to have an annual budget of at least $500 million, double the current combined resources of the four agencies it comprises.

“As you know the creation of UN Women is the culmination of almost four years’ effort and today’s announcement has been made possible thanks to the hard work of the Member States and the many partners who share our commitment to this agenda, and this has been a top and very personal priority of mine,” Mr. Ban said.

He stressed that at next week’s UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) women and children will be “at the very core of our final push” to realize the ambitious targets for slashing extreme poverty and hunger, maternal and infant mortality, rampant diseases, and lack of access to education and health services, all by the deadline of 2015.

“We have a little more than three and a half months,” Mr. Ban said. “I will discuss this Sunday, when I appoint her formally, how we can make the process very speedy, so that we can appoint and recruit staff and we have to have our agendas. Basically we have all these structures in place. Now it is a matter of how we can speedily implement these structures and policy and visions.”

“I ask all the Member States and civil community leaders, and governments, and business communities, to render their full support and cooperation.”

Today’s announcement follows a unanimous General Assembly vote on 2 July to create a dynamic new entity merging the four offices focusing on gender equality. One of its main goals will be to support the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and other inter-governmental bodies in devising policies.

It will also aim to help Member States implement standards, provide technical and financial support to countries which request it, and forge partnerships with civil society. Within the UN, it will hold the world body accountable for its own commitments on gender equality.

The head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) praised Ms. Bachelet’s appointment.

“The creation of UN Women, unanimously approved by the United Nations General Assembly, was already an important development. It becomes even more significant now that a person with the talent and experience of Michelle Bachelet has been named to direct it,” Director-General Irina Bokova said.

“UNESCO is deeply committed to advancing the rights of girls and women in education, science, culture, communications and information. Gender equality is one of our global strategic priorities. Our organization will do its utmost to support Ms. Bachelet’s work at the head of UN Women and to collaborate with UN Women in all our domains of activity.”

Outgoing General Assembly President Ali Treki, in his final speech wrapping up the 192-member body’s 64th session, called the establishment of UN Women “an historic achievement that will hopefully consolidate and strengthen the efforts for gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 12:20

Study visit: The Japanese Red Cross Hiroshima College of Nursing


ICN was delighted to welcome 14 students fromthe Japanese Red Cross Hiroshima College of Nursing on 19 August. (read more)

The students were in Geneva for a study tour, organised by college President Dr Sachie Shindo, as part of the Preparatory Course for International Relief. They were particularly keen to learn more about disaster nursing and participation in relief efforts as well as the activities of ICN. The delegation from the College also included:

  • Tomoe Watanabe, Associate Professor of Administrative Nursing & Global Health Nursing  and General Manager of Local Support in Human Caring Center
  • Dr Rika Fujiya, Administrative Nursing & Global Health Nursing
  • Ms Masami Inoue, Lecturer, Japanese Red Cross Hiroshima College of Nursing.

The dynamic, knowledgeable and enthusiastic students made the visit a great success.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 12:02

Salaries, Demand and Career Opportunities Contribute to Global Nursing Faculty Migration


Expertsfrom12 countries convened in Geneva, Switzerland to explore current patterns, types and causal and contributing factors of global nurse faculty migration, a phenomenon where nursing faculty leave their country of origin to work elsewhere. This international summit, convened by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and supported by The Elsevier Foundation, was the first time an interdisciplinary group of leaders proactively addressed the critical need for qualified nursing faculty globally.

This visionary group concluded insufficient information and research-based evidence about nurse faculty migration existed and that much work needs to be done to prepare, recruit and retain faculty, ensure ethical migration and overcome the barriers faculty face when choosing to work in a country other than the one in which they initially qualified.

“The participation of these global leaders reflects the importance of the issue. The migration of nurse faculty is a topic that has been under-addressed up until now,” said STTI President Karen H. Morin, RN, DNS, ANEF. “And, it’s a global issue that is more acute in some areas of the world.”

When faculty cross borders they are faced with variances in health care delivery models; they endure cultural, linguistic and legal differences; and they face differences in education delivery models.

David Benton, ICN chief executive officer, commented, “This meeting, in addition to gathering and considering the available evidence, also looked at several future scenarios and their potential consequences for ensuring sustainability in current faculty preparation, recruitment and retention.  Identifying future solutions ahead of time in relation to faculty is critical to securing next generation quality practitioners.”

During the summit, contributors identified reasons faculty pursue opportunities in a country other than their own, which include push/pull factors, individual reasons and academic system trends. Some of these are similar to those impacting on front-line staff, but others are different.

Contributing factors identified include:

  • Higher pay opportunities
  • Access to research funding
  • Career opportunities
  • Provisions for post-basic education
  • Disproportionate increase in workload without increase in resources
  • Lack of interest in nursing faculty careers
  • High educational costs associated with faculty training
  • Opportunity to work with expert peers and participate in research collaborations
  • Changes in minimum educational preparation

“The ability to educate more nurses is critical to improving health care quality across the globe,” said David Ruth, executive director of The Elsevier Foundation. “Only by taking these steps to understand how migration contributes to the nurse faculty shortage can we truly begin to effect change. We are proud to be at the forefront of this initiative.”

The group of experts included international nurse leaders and health care experts with areas of expertise including: academe, policy bodies, professional associations, government agencies, trade organizations, migration and economics.

In 2009, a survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that almost two-thirds of responding nursing schools pointed to a faculty shortage as the reason for not accepting more applicants.

Organizations such as the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, the National League for Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing have sought to quantify the problem, but little research exists in order to assess what can be done about these trends.

Information provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests that there is an increase in international migration of skilled workers in health, education and new technology. And, the regulatory body for medicine in Pakistan has identified that faculty moving between universities mid-semester disrupts the learning process.

Summit findings will be compiled into a final report that will detail the factors surrounding this issue and suggest realistic, tangible and measurable next steps to address global faculty shortages.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 12:05

Entité des Nations Unies consacrée aux femmes

Mission difficile pour l'agence ONU Femmes (available only in French)

Last Updated on Monday, 26 July 2010 13:41

The UN agency for women is finally a reality!

The establishment of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women — to be known as UN Women — is a result of years of negotiations between UN Member States and advocacy by the global women’s movement, including the nursing profession.

UN Creates New Structure for Empowerment of Women — UN Women

Statement by the UN Secretary-General on the Creation of UN Women — UN Women

AIDS-Free World Speaks Out on the New UN Women's Agency

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 12:00

Taking on chronic disease.

NCDsProj_Launch_FinalNational nurses associations from across the world joined ICN, C3 Collaborating for Health, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Pfizer Inc and Tobacco Free Nurses, in committing to action in addressing chronic disease globally.

Chronic Disease Launch Washington


New, fast and convenient e-Shop is now live!

Just click here to browse and purchase ICN publications and selected items or to make a donation to key projects such as the Girl Child Education Fund.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 12:48

Haitian nurses

The International Committee of the Red Cross honours nurse health-care heroes after earthquake

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 12:21

25 November 2010: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

violence_posterViolence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It can include physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse, and it cuts across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, in farm fields, refugee camps, during conflicts and crises.

In recognition of the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, the United Nations has designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,

This year, the Center for Women's Global Leadership is running a campaign from November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to December 10th, International Human Rights Day to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a human rights violation. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates, including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. More information can be found on:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 January 2011 09:11

Rebuilding nursing in Haiti

RB_Haititempschool_2010_article ICN President Rosemary Bryant travelled to Haiti to meet with members of ICN’s NNA, the Association Nationale des Infirmières Licenciées d'Haïti (ANILH) and Haitian nurse leaders. Shown during a visit to a UNICEF temporary school are Rosemary Bryant (fourth from left) and Lucile Charles, ANILH President (fifth from left) with other members of the NNA.
Following the violent earthquake which struck Haiti in January 2010 and destroyed the nursing school in Port-au Prince, killing 200 students and faculty, ICN established a fund to support nurses and nursing in Haiti, comprised of contributions from member national nurses associations (NNAs) and individual nurses. The outpouring of support was fantastic.

On behalf of the ANILH members, Mme Lucile Charles, President of ANILH, expressed appreciation to all the contributing NNAs and individuals for funds donated and for the solidarity and caring the donations expressed.

"I thank ICN and all the individuals, nurse colleagues and NNAs that donated funds which have helped us enormously and allowed us to get to where we are today", she said. "As president of the NNA, I am in close contact with nurses throughout the country who keep me informed about the situation, and it remains very difficult. The gifts from nurses throughout the world, coordinated by ICN, have allowed us to continue to work to help the people of our country".

The fund is dedicated to supporting nurses and nursing in Haiti, according to the needs identified by the Association Nationale des Infirmières Licenciées d'Haïti (ANILH). Shortly after the earthquake, approximately US $50 000 was sent from the ICN Fund to assist in providing basic needs for nurses, such as tents, blankets, and hygiene supplies. The distribution of these supplies was coordinated by ANILH.

The ICN Fund also contributed US $5 000 to fund a special nationwide meeting of nurses in Haiti to assess the best approach to rebuilding the ANILH and nursing services in the country. Further funds will be used to support the plan to rebuild the Haitian NNA's physical structure and to support its programmes.

Response to the cholera outbreak

Following the outbreak of a cholera epidemic in October, the ICN fund provided US $20 000 to support volunteer nurses in the fight against the disease. This enabled 45 nursing students to undergo training in cholera care at ANILH in December. This month, they will join a further 50 nurses to commence work at the Geskio Centre in the Artibonite region of Haiti, supported by the ICN fund.

In addition ICN is collaborating with the Swiss Red Cross, the Association Suisse des Infirmières/Infirmiers (the Swiss member NNA), and the French-speaking Schools of Nursing in Switzerland, on a project to rebuild the national nursing school.

ICN President's visit to Haiti

In October 2010, ICN President Rosemary Bryant visited Haiti to meet with the ANILH and Haitian nurse leaders, to bring the moral support of the global nursing community, and to assist with pressing policy matters. Addressing the nurses of Haiti, Ms Bryant said "Through difficult times you have kept on climbing and continued to be the back bone of your health care system. You are indeed an inspiration to all of us and I applaud you!"

Bibliothèque Mobile

Eight French-language nursing mobile libraries (Bibliothèque Mobile) will be delivered to Haiti in January. They will be deployed in identified hospitals, clinics and nursing schools. The libraries have been donated by the Swiss Nurses Association (ASI), the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), the University Hospital Centre Vaud (CHUV) and Elsevier USA.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 January 2011 12:01

WHO Nursing and Midwifery Strategic Directions 2011-15

The newly updated strategic directions for strengthening nursing and midwifery services (SDNM) for the period 2011-2015 complements and builds on the 2002-2008 SDNM. It seeks to provide policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders at every level with a flexible framework for broad-based, collaborative action to enhance the capacity of nurses and midwives to contribute to:

  • universal coverage
  • people-centred health care
  • policies affecting their practice and working conditions, and the
  • scaling up of national health systems to meet global goals and targets.

The SDNM for 2011-2015 draws on several key World Health Assembly resolutions, and are underpinned by the associated global policy recommendations and codes of practice. (1,2) After two years of extensive research and consultation, a SDNM task force was developed, and a consensus on a range of specific activities revolving around 13 objectives in five interrelated key results areas (KRAs), was achieved:

  • health system and service strengthening
  • policy and practice n education, training and career development n workforce management and
  • partnership.

Stakeholders, although free to prioritize certain parts of the framework to meet their own particular needs, are encouraged to adhere to the cornerstone of collaborative action, namely the common goal enshrined in the core SDNM 2011-2015 vision statement:

Improved health outcomes for individuals, families and communities through the provision of competent, culturally sensitive, evidence-based nursing and midwifery services.

To access the WHO Nursing and Midwifery Strategic Directions 2011-15 click here

Last Updated on Monday, 31 January 2011 09:53

Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI)

The 2011 GNLI will offer a unique global leadership development opportunity for senior and executive level nurses worldwide. The GNLI goals are that participants taking part in the GNLI will be better equipped to build strategic alliances, identify and develop their individual leadership capacity, acquire a deeper understanding of global health care challenges, effect positive policy change, take on higher leadership roles and develop lasting international leadership networks.

The 2011 GNLI will take place from 10-16 September and have a particular focus on effecting positive nursing and health policy and this theme will inform the content from international speakers and GNLI small group activities.

For more information click

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 February 2011 16:12

Malta Conference Update!


Just back from a week-long site visit to Valetta Malta, ICN’s Director of Administration Myriam Gomez reports that all preparations are on track and Maltese nurses and government officials are very eager to welcome nurses from across the world.

Photo:Myriam Gomez with Paul Pace, President of the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses at the beautiful Valetta harbour.  
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 August 2015 08:57

International Achievement Award


Dr Liisa Hallila, a Finnish nurse- entrepreneur working across borders, is the recipient of the 2011 International Achievement Award, bestowed by ICN’s Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF).  The FNIF Board selected Dr Hallila for her outstanding contribution to nursing education and management in many regions of the world.  Read more

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 March 2011 16:06

International Women’s Day, 8 March 2011

Today marks the 100th anniversary of international Women’s Day.  It is the first International Women’s Day for UN Women, the UN agency for women which was finally established by the UN General Assembly in 2010, more than 60 years after the founding of the UN itself.

This year, International Women’s Day highlights the participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology. It also focuses our attention on the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work.

Message from Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet

International Women’s Day 2011: Time to Make the Promise of Equality a Reality

A hundred years ago today, women across the world took an historic step on the long road to equality. The first ever International Women’s Day was called to draw attention to the unacceptable and often dangerous working conditions that so many women faced worldwide. Although the occasion was celebrated in only a handful of countries, it brought over one million women out onto the streets, demanding not just better conditions at work but also the right to vote, to hold office and to be equal partners with men.

Read more:

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2011 09:31

News from the Japanese Nurses Association

ICN has also been in contact with past President Hiroko Minami and current ICN Board Member, Masako Kanai-Pak and is relieved to report they are both safe.  Dr Minami reports that nurses are working to help people in many ways through governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including JNA and the Japan Society of Disaster Nursing.

JNA also reports that Japan is receiving a lot of help from many countries and on behalf of the Japanese they send their great appreciation to everyone in the world.

ICN is monitoring the quickly evolving situation as much as possible, though conscious of not putting undue pressure on JNA for communication as they need to manage such a dramatic situation.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 March 2011 11:09

FNIF Luncheon tickets on sale


ICN is pleased to announce that the Florence Nightingale International Foundation will once again be hosting a fundraising luncheon Friday 6 May 2011, as part of the  ICN Conference and CNR, Nurses Driving Access, Quality and Health, on in Valetta, Malta.

Ticket reservations for this popular event can be made online at:  The cost of one ticket is 85 Swiss francs (65 Euros) and for a table of 11 the cost is 900 Swiss francs (690 Euros).  Each participant will receive a very special gift.

The keynote speaker this year will be the 2011 recipient of the International Achievement Award, Dr Liisa Hallila, an international expert in nursing education, management and nursing ethics.

The luncheon will be held at the Casino Maltese on Friday 6 May from 13h30 to 15h00.  Business attire is required for this event.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 March 2011 16:43

A new Multilingual Browser for the International Classification for Nursing Practice

A new Multilingual Browser for the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP®) is available at ICNP® C-Space. We are excited to announce that in addition to other languages in the browser, we have just included Spanish and French. Please go to and click on the drop-down menu in the upper right hand corner to select language you want to use to browse the ICNP®.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 March 2011 08:26

IND 2011: Closing The Gap: Increasing Access and Equity

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. The International Council of Nurses commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses' Day (IND) Kit. The IND kit 2011, contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.

The IND theme for 2011 is Closing The Gap: Increasing Access and Equity. The content of this year's kit, including the poster image are posted here as downloadable documents for use by individual nurses, associations, health ministries and health institutions. This material has already been disseminated to national nurses' associations worldwide. Though mainly planned around May 12 each year, IND activities continue for much of the year by nurses and others. We encourage nurses everywhere to make extended use of the Closing The Gap: Increasing Access and Equity kit throughout the year, through individual action and group activities.


UK nurses urge fair trial for health workers in Bahrain

Speaking in advance of military trials in Bahrain for more than 40 nurses, doctors and other health workers, Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said:

“We are very concerned that healthcare workers appear to be being targeted for nothing more than treating patients in need, putting them in an intolerable position. We welcome the intervention of the UK government via its embassy in Bahrain and the International Council of Nurses.  We urge regimes to adhere to their national and international commitments to protect patients, nurses and doctors. They should also recognise that doctors and nurses are there to help the sick and injured wherever, and whoever, they are. We are alarmed at allegations of torture or other ill-treatment

of these healthcare workers. They should never be put in a position where they are punished for trying to do this job, and we would urge the authorities in Bahrain to ensure that the trial faced by these workers is fair and transparent.”

Notes to editors

The UK government via its embassy in Bahrain has submitted a formal request to the Bahraini authorities seeking access to the tribunals, where the nurses and doctors are being tried (due to appear 13 June) and that it is monitoring the situation closely.

The International Council of Nurses have also issued a joint statement with the World Medical Association, calling for fair trials for the health workers in Bahrain -

Amnesty International have raised concerns about the treatment of those detained and issued an appeal for action

For further information, interviews or illustrations please contact the RCN Media Office on 0207 647 3633, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the voice of nursing across the UK and is the largest professional union of nursing staff in the world. The RCN promotes the interest of nurses and patients on a wide range of issues and helps shape healthcare policy by working closely with the UK Government and other national and international institutions, trade unions, professional bodies and voluntary organisations.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 July 2011 10:48

The INMO adds its voice to the condemnation of the arrest of Health Care professionals in Bahrain

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation

Cumann Altraí agus Ban Cabhrach na hÉireann

Working Together

The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7

Tel: 046 9549315  Fax: 046-9542118

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Monday, May 16, 2011


The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), have joined their colleagues, in the International Council of Nurses (ICN), in expressing alarm and concern for 24 nurses and 23 physicians who have been arrested in Bahrain. The health professionals, some of whom are Irish trained, were arrested when government authorities entered several hospitals in February and arrested those who had provided medical treatment to injured pro-democracy protestors. They have been charged with ‘anti-state activity’ as a result of providing care to these wounded civilians.

The INMO has been informed that several Irish trained doctors are facing trial this week. They have been accused of killing their patients and the rulers of the country are seeking their execution. The ICN has called for an immediate independent investigation into the charges laid against those arrested so that other healthcare workers can practice their profession in accordance with the ethical, health care and human rights commitments that underpin their professions.

INMO President, Sheila Dickson spoke today on the matter:

‘The INMO fully supports ICN’s call for an independent external investigation into the arrest of the healthcare workers in Bahrain. It is appalling that nurses and physicians can be charged with a criminal offense while fulfilling their professional duty. Human rights entitlements, medical neutrality and the ethical responsibility of healthcare professionals must take precedence over political issues in times of conflict.’


Issued by Aiveen Cleary, INMO media relations dept: 087 1210179

Last Updated on Friday, 22 July 2011 10:50

Study visit (2011): The Japanese Red Cross Hiroshima College of Nursing


ICN was delighted to welcome 10 students from the Japanese Red Cross Hiroshima College of Nursing on 24 August.

The students were in Geneva for a study tour, organised by college President Dr Sachie Shindo, as part of the Preparatory Course for International Relief. They were particularly keen to learn more about disaster nursing and participation in relief efforts as well as the activities of ICN. The delegation from the College also included:

  • Ms Tomoe Watanabe, Associate Professor
    Ms Miwa Murata, Lecturer
    Mr Takeshi Niinuma, Assistant Professor
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 14:40

Tripoli nurse

s-LIBYA-GADDAFI-REBELS-large300Karen Graham, a matron at the 11th of June Hospital in a residential area of Tripoli, told the BBC World Service about working in a hospital which is right in the thick of the fighting:

"It's absolutely horrific. Unfortunately we're in the residential area of Gargour and it is being defended with force from the rebels. There is a bridge about 20m from where I am in the hospital, and one side of the bridge is pro-Gaddafi and one side of the bridge is anti. They're chucking rocks and everything at each other, and it's just awful.
Last night there were massive rocket-propelled grenades and heavy arms fire, small arms fire, and that went on for about three to four hours. The patients are absolutely petrified. And the staff are petrified.
We had rebels inside our compound last night and they said they were trying to protect us but they were actually trying to gain a better vantage point at some snipers across the road. We're not daft. We could see exactly what they were doing.
They are respecting the fact that it's a hospital although obviously we can't really function as one of those at the moment, because we're in the middle of this battle. We're treating everybody and anybody - we don't discriminate at all”

Stray bullets

The streets are deserted, absolutely deserted and nobody can move outside. Even to go to my laboratory last night - I was dicing with death. It's not the fact that they are aiming at us - it's all the stray bullets that you've got to worry about.
Unfortunately we did get injuries last night - from people who were leaving the mosque and stray bullets hit them.
We're treating anybody and everybody - we don't discriminate at all. And they know that - there are no issues.
Overnight, Tripoli was pitch black. All the electricity got cut, we only just got power back. But to find a capital city completely in blackness, not one light, for miles and miles, it's an eerie thing. It is very unnerving.
We do have generators, and in terms of supplies we are doing OK compared to a lot of the government hospitals, which ran out of the basics months ago.

Duty of care

Last week they even ran out of oxygen. The local hospital, the central hospital, has got no scrub nurses.
They're all Libyan, they're all scared to come to work, so they can't actually carry out any operations.
The doctors are all setting up their own little clinics - out of the city - because it's not safe to work inside the city.
Would I leave if I could? No, I've got a job to do. I feel a duty of care to these people.
I'm the matron at this clinic and I've got a lot of nurses that look up to me. Although I've only been here nine months, I'm accepted in the clinic and I'm well thought of. I can't desert them when they really, really need me.
And now they really, really need me. I just want to be here and want to be a stabilising force and help them through this horrific time."

BBC © 2011

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2011 10:46

Bahrain Nurse

Rula al-Saffar’s release has been confirmed by Amnesty International. ICN is delighted to know that Rula has been released and that she is now able to get medical care. We hope that the legal process will be completed quickly and fairly to allow her to return to her normal life.

However, ICN does remain concerned that Ms Al-Saffar will be tried in a military court on Sunday 28 August 2011, even though she is a civilian.

For more information from Amnesty International please click here

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:13

The Lancet

'The Lancet has a commitment to improving global health, and this area gathers all our global health content in one location at Global health content is free to all users, so if you have an interest in this area, spend some time browsing our content.

World Reports and Perspectives articles are ideal for anyone who wants a personal view on a subject, and The Lancet Global Health Series, and Regional Reports and Commissions provide in-depth views for anyone seeking disease-specific or regional information.'

Last Updated on Monday, 29 August 2011 15:24

Adele Herwitz


Adele Herwitz |    (Obituary in the Boston Globe newspaper)

HERWITZ, Adele 92, of Dedham, formerly of Brookline, died Sept. 4 after experiencing a major stroke........A woman ahead of her times, she developed a high-powered career championing the causes of nurses around the world. Born April 21, 1919, in Swampscott, MA, one of four sisters. Served as captain in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps during World War II. Earned bachelor's, then master's degree in nursing administration from Columbia University. Began long career as nursing-association executive in 1952. Loved being "in the thick of things." Represented American Nurses' Association at Martin Luther King Jr's famous Walk on Washington. Invited to tea with the Queen of England. Lived life to its fullest. Enjoyed taking classes, eating at local delicatessens, and delighting in the company of friends and relatives. Will be remembered for her lively wit and legendary matzoh balls. Predeceased by her elder sisters Martha (Herwitz) Brem and Ruth (Herwitz) Adelson. She leaves behind her youngest sister, Barbara (Herwitz) Axelrod; four nephews (Peter Brem, Jerome Brem, Andrew Brem, and Steven Axelrod) and one niece, Joan Axelrod-Contrada; and their families. Also leaves many close friends and professional associates, including "fourth sister" Thelma Shorr and protegee Virginia Maroun.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 September 2011 13:59

World Heart Day 2011


Representing WHPA at the Summit, the World Medical Association advocated for a complete approach to addressing the global rise in non-communicable diseases that links individual risk factors with social and economic determinants of health, conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and the influences of society.  In particular, the WHPA urged Member States to:

  • Adopt a holistic approach based on common risk factors.
  • Extend the scope from a limited number of diseases to the broad field of NCDs
  • Ensure equitable access to health care as a human right so as to address the dramatic disparities within and between countries.
  • Promote a common approach that addresses and pays due attention to the link between non-communicable diseases and the social determinants of health, with a particular focus on the broader factors that influence behaviour and associated health risks.
  • Emphasize primary health care as the way to strengthen health care systems through a comprehensive approach that integrates prevention, specialised treatment and rehabilitation supported by the enhancement of collaborative practice between healthcare professionals (integrated care).

You can access more information on the Summit on:

And you can access more information on World Heart Day on the website of the World Heart Federation:

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 September 2011 10:15

The Sanofi Care Challenge

ICN is working in partnership with Sanofi, the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF), the Secrétariat International des Infirmières et Infirmiers de l’Espace Francophone (SIDIIEF) and the Association Française pour le Développement de l’Education Thérapeutique (AFDET) on a project called Connecting Nurses, which aims to provide a new kind of support and a stronger voice to nurses. The project includes an on-line contest called Care Challenge, available on, where nurses can submit their ideas, share information and education with others in the field and nominate colleagues for an award in nursing excellence. This recognition programme is open to licensed nurses anywhere in the world. There will be a total of 20 awards for the best ideas, which will offer an incredible opportunity to develop the initiatives further and give them global recognition.  Sanofi will be launching Care Challenge in Paris on 4 October 2011.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 08:38

International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

ICN’s work in disaster nursing. 

On the occasion of International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction on October 13, ICN pays its respects to all those nurses working in disaster relief around the world. ICN supports nurses working in this area through our Disaster Response Network and through our many position statements and publications including:

Disaster response fact sheet

Displaced persons fact sheet

Terrorism and bioterrorism fact sheet

ICN Framework of Disaster Nursing Competencies


Last Updated on Monday, 10 October 2011 11:29

Forum on Credentialing and Regulation 2011

ICN in collaboration with the Taiwan Nurses Association will be hosting the Forum on Credentialing and Regulation in Taipei, Taiwan from October 31 to November 2, 2011. 

The purpose of the annual Forum is to provide participants with an opportunity for interaction, information sharing and dialogue on international issues pertaining to credentialing and regulation. Invited participants are the National Nurses Associations with an interest in credentialing and regulatory organizations at the national level.

Currently there are 45 individuals from 17 countries registered to participate in the 2011 Forum. Topics to be discussed include Scopes of Practice and the Continuum of Care, Continuing Competence, Social Networking and its Implications for Credentialing and Regulation and the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on Health Care Delivery, Capacity to Meet Standards and Scopes of Practice.

A report from the forum, once finalised will be posted on ICN website.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 October 2011 16:06

Patient Safety

New evidence of unsafe care from Latin America

ICN is pleased to share with you the results of the recent Latin American Study of Adverse Events (IBEAS).  The first large scale study of this kind in Latin America, the IBEAS is the result of a collaborative effort between the governments of Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru, as well as the Spanish Agency for Quality of the Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality, the Pan-American Health Organization and WHO Patient Safety.

Highlights of the report show that:

  • on any given day, 10% of the patients admitted to the participating hospitals were suffering from or were undergoing treatment for a hospital related adverse event;
  • this risk doubled when taking into account the entire patient's stay at the hospital, with 20% of inpatients experiencing at least one harmful incident during their hospitalization; 
  • more than half of those harmful incidents could have been avoided.

This evidence is a reflection of the reality of many other hospitals in transitional countries across the globe and it highlights the importance of addressing patient safety globally. 

The full report is available at:



New guide released by World Health Organisation to support the education of nurses and other health professionals about patient safety.

ICN was pleased to be part of the Expert Working Group that contributed to the development of the World Health Organisation's newly released Multi-professional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide. This guide was developed to assist universities and schools in the professions of medicine, nursing, midwifery dentistry and pharmacy in teaching and integrating the important concepts of patient safety in their curricula. The Guide is comprised of two parts, Part A is focused on building capacity of educators to teach the concepts of patient safety and Part B consists of eleven topic-based teaching modules. ICN President Rosemary Bryant in her forward to this Guide highlighted how nurses around the world have an important role to play in improving patient safety. She indicated that this guide raises awareness of the need to integrate patient safety into the curriculum of all health professionals and provides a common knowledge base while also allowing for flexibility for each discipline to make its unique contribution.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 October 2011 16:17

Bahraini health professionals sentences overturned

ICN is delighted to announce that, in response to international pressure, Bahrain’s attorney general has overturned the sentences of the 20 health professionals and ordered retrials.  We are pleased to hear that the proper processes will be followed and that the health professionals will be allowed to present their defence.  However, we remain vigilant on the final outcome.
Roula al-Saffar, a leader of the Bahraini Nursing Society, who had been sentenced to 15 years in prison, was quoted as saying, “I am shocked, but at the same time I am very happy. It is a new start for us.  I hope that they will hear us out this time...We would like to thank all the nurses who joined our call for justice”.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 October 2011 12:05

World Diabetes Day 2011

To mark World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2011, ICN is highlighting its work to fight non-communicable disease. WHO estimates that more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 without intervention. Almost 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

The potential for nurses to contribute to improvement in the health of populations across the world through attention to chronic disease prevention and care has never been greater.  There is an urgent need for nurses everywhere to take the initiative and engage with all parts of the community and all sectors to address the growing threat chronic diseases pose to global health and well being.

To that aim, ICN has produced several documents on non-communicable disease prevention which are available here:

ICN Fact Sheet on Obesity:

International Nurses Day Kit 2010: Nurses leading chronic care:

WHPA NCD Campaign: Together making a difference against NCDs:

WHPA Health Improvement Card:

WHPA statement on NCDs and social determinants of health:

Last Updated on Monday, 31 October 2011 16:15

Global Nursing Leadership Institute

Information available only for Members

Last Updated on Monday, 02 April 2012 13:16

Update on floods in Thailand

ICN recently heard from the president of the Thailand Nurses Association, Jintana Yunibhand, on the situation in Thailand following the recent floods. She reports that many nurses are still missing, and many others have lost their homes and belongings in the flood. Chulalongkorn University and the NNA building have been turned into a relief camp. Jintana is volunteering her expertise to provide health screening and care for psychiatric mental health and chronic illness clients in the relief camp every day. It is reported that the flooding will remain in Bangkok for two more weeks.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:48

WHPA Counterfeit workshop 21-22 November 2011

As part of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA)’s counterfeit medical products campaign ‘Be Aware, Take Action’, WHPA is holding a two-day workshop on combating counterfeit medicines in Prague, Czech Republic, on 21-22 November 2011.

This meeting aims to bring together representatives of health professions organisations and relevant national and regional authorities to:

  • Share information on the situation of counterfeit medicines in the region, and share best practices and measures taken in different countries by the various health professions;
  • Debate how to encourage actions aimed at reducing the entry of counterfeit medicines in this region;
  • Consider sustained and collaborative action plans involving the various healthcare professions in each country participating in the workshop, to combat counterfeit medicines continuously for the next 12 months;
  • Reach a collective commitment to give priority to the issue of counterfeit medicines through a regional "WHPA Call to Action", as a commitment and collaboration of the health care professions in this serious problem.

More information on the counterfeit campaign can be found on:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 13:28

New report on the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health has recently released a new report on the global push to improve the health of women and children. ICN is one of the 200 partners involved in this joint effort.
The report, based on structured interviews and reviews of related documentation, seeks to further our collective understanding of the current Global Strategy commitments, facilitating more effective advocacy to advance the Every Woman, Every Child effort.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 December 2011 13:59

A greeting message for the new year from ICN CEO David Benton

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Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 12:09

Health professional trial resumes

The trial of the 20 health professionals resumed in Bahrain on 9 January 2012. Their lawyers have asked the court to lift the travel bans imposed on them in order to allow them to return to work.  In addition, their lawyers have requested the court to write a document ensuring that confessions obtained under torture are not used in the case. The next trial session will be held on 19 March 2012.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 January 2012 09:07

News from the World Health Organization

The WHO's Executive Board has nominated Dr Margaret Chan for a second term as Director-General of the Organization. This nomination will be submitted for approval to the 65th World Health Assembly, scheduled to meet in Geneva from 21–26 May 2012. If confirmed by the World Health Assembly, Dr Chan's new term will begin on 1 July 2012 and continue until 30 June 2017.

ICN welcomes the appointment of Dr Ala Alwan as the new WHO Regional Director for WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Region, starting 1 February 2012. Dr Alwan is a native of Iraq. From 2008 until the end of 2011, he was Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health at WHO Headquarters, where he led WHO's work that resulted in the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2011 of the Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 10:33

International Women’s Day: Connecting girls; inspiring futures

As nurses, we can all contribute to inspiring the future of girls on International Women’s Day 8 March 2012, and throughout the year. One way ICN is doing just that is through the Girl Child Education Fund (GCEF) which supports the primary and secondary schooling of girls under the age of 18 in developing countries whose nurse parent or parents have died. ICN also promotes women’s health and actively opposes female genital mutilation. 

The Girl Child Education Fund (GCEF), a signature initiative of FNIF, supports the primary and secondary schooling of girls under the age of 18 in developing countries whose nurse parent or parents have died. Your donation to the Girl Child Education Fund will go towards school fees, uniforms, shoes and books. We are currently supporting 188 girls: 30 in Kenya, 33 in Zambia, 37 in Swaziland and 88 in Uganda. All these are the orphaned daughters of nurses who would otherwise not have been able to attend school. Below you will find links to more information on this project and how to support the project and keep these girls in school.

Read more on the GCEF:

The health of women and girls is of crucial importance to the International Council of Nurses. Two of the Millennium Development Goals directly target women: Goal 3 Promote gender equality and empower women and Goal 5 Improve maternal health. Targeting women is also been recognised as an effective way to achieve many of the other goals. Women disproportionately suffer from hunger, disease, environmental degradation and impoverishment

Position statements

Fact Sheets


Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:33

The appeal hearing of 20 health professionals resumed in Bahrain on 8 March 2012

The appeal hearing of 20 health professionals resumed in Bahrain on 8 March 2012 before the civilian High Criminal Court of Appeal, following three previous hearings on 9 January, 28 February and 4 March. During the 8 March hearing five prosecution witnesses were called to testify. The defence lawyers reiterated their request made in previous sessions to include the reports of torture and the forensic examinations included in the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report in the case file. Although this request had been accepted in a previous session, the reports have not yet been included.  The next hearing is scheduled on 15 March, when defence witnesses should testify.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 11:35

World TB Day 24 March 2012

On the occasion of World TB Day 24 March 2012 ICN focuses its attention on tuberculosis.

ICN has been building global nursing capacity in the prevention, care and treatment of TB in all its forms as part of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership since 2005. Experienced nurses, working mainly in the TB and HIV fields, are trained to cascade information to nursing colleagues and other health workers with the purpose of making improvements to patient care delivery.  Using this approach ICN has prepared over 1300 nurses in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe since 2005. These nurses have in turn rolled out the training to over 56000 nurses and allied health workers.  ICN’s TB Guidelines are available on-line in six languages ( ICN has also developed an exciting new resource on the care, prevention and management of tuberculosis which provides practical tools to nurses and those working with patients, families and communities affected by TB, including drug-resistant TB. The course is widely applicable for all settings, while also dealing with the challenges of providing care when resources are scarce and the workload is high: Interactive e-learning course on the "Care, prevention and management of tuberculosis"

ICN TB fact sheets

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:23

World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development

This year's World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development argues that gender equality is a core development objective in its own right. It is also smart economics. Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative.

The Report stresses that despite the overall progress, primary and secondary school enrollments for girls remain much lower than for boys for disadvantaged populations in many Sub-Saharan countries and some parts of South Asia.  ICN’s Girl Child Education Fund seeks to address this issue by supporting the primary and secondary education of girls under the age of 18 in four sub-Saharan African countries.  For more information go to

The Report focus on four priorities for domestic policy action:

  • Addressing excess deaths of girls and women and eliminating gender disadvantage in education where these remain entrenched.
  • Closing differences in access to economic opportunities and the ensuing earnings and productivity gaps between women and men.
  • Shrinking gender differences in voice within households and societies.
  • Limiting the reproduction of gender inequality across generations.

This year's World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development argues that gender equality is a core development objective in its own right. It is also smart economics. Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative.

The Report stresses that despite the overall progress, primary and secondary school enrollments for girls remain much lower than for boys for disadvantaged populations in many Sub-Saharan countries and some parts of South Asia.  ICN’s Girl Child Education Fund seeks to address this issue by supporting the primary and secondary education of girls under the age of 18 in four sub-Saharan African countries.  For more information go to

The Report focus on four priorities for domestic policy action:

  • Addressing excess deaths of girls and women and eliminating gender disadvantage in education where these remain entrenched.
  • Closing differences in access to economic opportunities and the ensuing earnings and productivity gaps between women and men.
  • Shrinking gender differences in voice within households and societies.
  • Limiting the reproduction of gender inequality across generations.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 April 2012 11:26

ICN calls for NNA support for resolution on WHO’s role in humanitarian emergencies

Information available only for Members

Last Updated on Monday, 02 April 2012 16:32

World Health Day 7 April 2012

ICN calls on governments to promote healthy ageing and prevent chronic conditions.

Ageing and health is the theme of this year's World Health Day.  Looking at the age pyramid of our societies we see the number of older people is increasing globally requiring complex care needs.  Part of this demographic change relates to the fact that we are having fewer children.  This means there will be fewer people to provide care for the increased number of elderly with more complex care need.

Although, this population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socio-economic development, it also has serious health implications.  The increase in life expectancy results in a greater number of older persons in need of a wider range of health services, including health promotion, illness prevention, rehabilitation, acute/chronic care and palliative care.

This translates to increased cost largely due to increase in disability and non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. However, ageing doesn't have to be a time of illness and disability. Through concerted efforts in disease prevention and promotion of healthy ageing, we can prevent or postpone many chronic conditions and disabilities. 

Moving towards a more positive outlook the risk factors for the many chronic diseases associated with ageing are generally few and can be prevented with few effective interventions. This should make promotion of healthy ageing and prevention of chronic conditions a high priority for nurses.  That is why ICN calls on governments to put policies, programmes and intersect oral strategies to promote healthy ageing and prevent chronic conditions. More than ever there is greater need for health promotion, disease prevention, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action for health, building healthy public policy, implementing early detection and screening, and appropriate care and support programmes for ageing societies. Nurses are key to delivering and coordinating these services.

However, ageing is also affecting the nursing workforce.  Over the next 10 to15 years many industrialised countries will experience a large exodus of nurses from their workforce as nurses retire just at a time when demand for nursing and health care is on the rise.  Finding ways to retain older nurses is a challenge of increasing importance to health systems throughout the world.

Nursing faculty are also ageing.  In many countries today the average age of nursing school staff members is 50.  When combined with a shrinking pool of young nursing teachers, this affects the ability of schools to educate sufficient numbers of nurses to meet current and future demand.

As nurses, we need to be prepared for the future by increasing our knowledge of what ageing means to health care systems around the globe.  ICN is pleased to provide you with some resources on ageing:

Fact sheets:

Position statements

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:02

World Immunization Week 21-28 April 2012

According to the World Health Organization, Immunization is one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions. It prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths every year. Immunisation is key to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 4 on reducing under-five mortality by two thirds by 2015.  Many of these deaths occur from diseases that can be prevented with vaccines. 

Immunisation is also a key strategy to ensure global health security and for responding to the threat of emerging infections. Immunisation is also a key strategy to ensure global health security and for responding to the threat of emerging infections.   In addition to reducing disease, suffering and death, immunisation also reduces the strain on health care systems and in many cases saves money that can be directed to other health services.

Health care workers who work with patients have an increased risk of exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases, and of passing those infections to other patients.  As a result, health-care systems around the world recommend the immunisation of health care workers against certain infectious diseases.  The rationale for this is three-fold.  Vaccination against key diseases will protect the health care workers, protect their families and protect their patients. 

ICN publication on Adult and Childhood Immunisation - An Update from ICN

Relevant ICN fact sheets on:

WHO immunisation fact sheets:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:00

WHO training course for public health professionals on protecting our health from climate change

The World Health Organization has developed this training course to improve the knowledge of health professionals on the associations and implication of climate change on human health and enhance stronger and more efficient participation of the health sector in addressng climate change challenges.  The training course is designed for public health professionals who are actively involved in the management and decision-making process related to health programmes. The course will also give a good foundation for non-medical professionals involved in addressing the health challenges posed by climate change.

The Training Course consists of 19 sessions in the format of PowerPoint slides and text notes. A “Participants’ Guide”, a “Facilitators’ Guide”, associated bibliography and key reference documents, copies of two IPCC glossaries, and a list of acronyms used in the course are provided.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 April 2012 08:52

April 28: World Day for Safety and Health at Work

With this year’s theme of “promotion of occupational safety and health in a green economy”, the International Day for Health and Safety at Work provides nurses a great opportunity to advocate and promote green initiatives at our places of work. (Read more…)

The health care industry produces more than 2.4 million tons of waste each year and is one of the largest consumers of energy in many communities (Sattler B & Hall K 2007).   As with other service industries hospitals occupy large, complex buildings surrounded by concrete and asphalt surfaces; they use high-volume food services, laundry, high-speed transportation, and paper, packaging and disposable supplies (Jameton A & Pierce J 2001).

Nurses have been concerned about the environment since the time of Florence Nightingale who wrote in her Notes on Nursing of the importance of clean air and clean water.   Since then, nurses have been involved in promoting healthy environments for health care, including safe waste disposal, efficient energy use and environmentally responsible policies.  As patient advocates and a key member of health teams worldwide, nurses are well positioned to advocate for environmentally friendly workplaces.

Relevant ICN publications and web links:

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 April 2012 10:11

Triad meeting 18-19 May 2012

The fourth Triad meeting of the International Council of Nurses, the World Health Organization and the International Confederation of Midwives will be held on 18-19 May 2012.  Participants will include ggovernment chief nursing and midwifery officers, representatives of national nursing and midwifery associations and regulatory bodies Topics covered will include nruses and midwives contribution to the prevention and control of NCDs; nursing and midwifery educational competencies, curriculum and scopes of practice to effectively address NCDs; and nursing and midwifery engagement in policy setting and health system strengthening.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 10:05

65th World Health Assembly 21–26 May 2012

Through ICN, member nursing associations have a seat at many of the highest policy tables; one of the most important of which is the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of WHO.  The WHA is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. ICN successfully advocates for the inclusion of nurses in national delegations to these meetings and provides briefings and information material to our members who are part of their country delegations or the ICN delegation to the Assembly. 

For this year’s WHA, ICN will be making interventions on: WHO reform (WHPA); prevention and treatment of NCDs (WHPA); global burden of mental disorders (ICN); substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/counterfeit medical products (WHPA); and WHO’s human resources annual report.  Of particular concern to ICN is nursing’s absence from WHO, which will undermine key programme targets and goals.  See article on front page and ICN fact sheet.

Other issues of importance to nursing

  • Monitoring of the achievement of MDGs
  • Social determinants
  • Health systems strengthening
  • Prevention and control of MDR-XDR/TB
  • Global health sector strategy on HIV/AIDS
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 12:30

May 15 2012: International Family Day

The theme for International Family Day 2012, "Ensuring work family balance", is a key concern for many nurses.  Nursing is a profession often chosen for its flexibility and adaptability.  However, the downside of this can also be low pay, night shifts, and overtime.  ICN believes that nurses must take control of their careers and futures in their quest for self-determination as professionals.  Towards that aim, ICN has developed several career guides for nurses which can be accessed here:

ICN /ICHRN publications

ICN Fact sheets:

ICN Position Statements

Last Updated on Monday, 14 May 2012 09:07

World Cancer Day 2012: ’Together it is possible’

On the occasion of World Cancer Day, 4 February 2012, ICN calls attention to our work in this area. 

  • Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008 (Globocan 2008, IARC 2010)
  • Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year.
  • The most frequent types of cancer differ between men and women.
  • About 30% of cancer deaths are due to the five leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.
    (WHO 2011 Fact Sheet)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:08

World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2012

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2012, ICN encourages its members to collaborate with other health professionals and government bodies for the total ban of tobacco use and smoking in public places and to lobby for changes in environmental health policy such as smoke-free public places.  We also encourage tobacco users to consult their health care practitioner for help in quitting.  Smoking is one of the prime causes of non-communicable disease, along with, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol. 

Tobacco facts from WHO:

  • Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death.
  • Tobacco use is the single most important risk factor for cancer
  • Nearly 6 million people are killed by tobacco each of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Unless we act, it will kill up to 8 million people by 2030, of which more than 80% will live in low- and middle-income countries.

ICN is committed to:

  • A total ban on tobacco use.
  • Preventing and eliminating tobacco use by nurses and nursing students.
  • Implementing a smoke-free policy within ICN, including encouraging national nurses associations (NNAs) to adopt a smoke free policy for their premises, meetings and other events. 
  • Working with other international governmental and non-governmental organisations, and health professions’ organisations to combat the tobacco epidemic.
  • Working with NNAs to support implementation of the WHO Frame Work Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Relevant ICN publications:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 11:21

Galvanizing global action towards a tobacco-free world

In March this year, Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization gave a strong speech on Galvanizing global action towards a tobacco-free world at the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Singapore.

Her keynote address hit straight to the point:

Tobacco use is the world’s number one preventable killer. We know this statistically, beyond a shadow of a doubt. In a world undergoing economic upheaval, with populations ageing, chronic diseases on the rise, and medical costs soaring, tackling a huge and entirely preventable cause of disease and death becomes all the more imperative.

We know that tobacco directly harms the user’s health in multiple ways. We know that tobacco products kill their consumers.

We know that tobacco smoking, like a drive-by shooting, kills innocent bystanders who are forced to breathe air contaminated with hundreds of toxic chemicals. We know what tobacco exposure during pregnancy does to the fetus, another innocent, blameless, and entirely helpless victim.

We know that tobacco use is not a choice. It is a powerful addiction. The true choice is between tobacco or health.

Criticizing the tobacco companies’ dirty tactics, Dr Chan urged society to step in where governments are beginning to fail.

Experience has shown that, when government political resolve falters or weakens under industry pressure, coalitions of civil society can take up the slack and carry the day. We need this kind of outcry, this kind of rage.

Shaping public opinion is vital. If tough tobacco legislation wins votes, politicians will back it, and fight back against industry.

Dr Chan concluded with her own personal marketing campaign to the tobacco industry.

“We’ve come a long way, bullies. We will not be fazed by your harassment. Your products kill nearly 6 million people each year. You run a killing and intimidating industry, but not in a crush-proof box. Tobacco industry: the number and fortitude of your public health enemies will damage your health.”

…We can, and must, stop this industry’s massive contribution to sickness and death, dead in its tracks.

The full speech can be accessed on:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 11:16

Connecting Nurses Care Challenge innovation award winners announced

Information available only for Members

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 16:54

World Environment Day 5 June 2012

The 2012 theme for World Environment Day on 5 June is Green Economy: Does it include you? The health care industry is a major user of energy and generator of waste.  ICN is very aware that health care contributes significantly to environmental problems and, in turn, that environmental problems, especially climate change, can affect human health directly.

Health care treatment generates millions of tons of health care waste each year.  This waste represents a serious risk to the environment if not properly managed and disposed.  ICN believes all nurses have a duty to reduce or eliminate the negative impact of health care waste on individuals, communities and the environment.  Nurses, as professionals, need to be aware of the consequences of the health care waste produced by the health sector.

ICN is also concerned that climate change can affect human health directly, such as through impacts of heat stress, death and injury due to floods and storms; and indirectly through changes in disease patterns and in the ranges and numbers of disease vectors, such as mosquitoes, water quality, air quality, and food availability and quality.

In particular, ICN is concerned that the more than three billion people, who presently live in poverty across the world, will be seriously affected by climatic changes, as they are more dependent on natural resources, more vulnerable to infectious diseases and more prone to suffer the impact of disasters such as flood, drought, fires, and storms. This will seriously impair attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

ICN Publications on Health and the Environment:

ICN position statements on:

Reports from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • Green Economy Report: This report seeks to motivate policy makers to create the enabling conditions for increased investments in a transition to a green economy.
  • 21 Issues for the 21st Century:  This report delivers an international consensus and a priority list of the top emerging environmental issues alongside options for action


Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:39

Where is nursing in WHO? Going, Going, Gone!

ICN is deeply concerned by the decreasing numbers of nurses at the country, regional and headquarter levels of WHO. The absence of nursing expertise is evident within WHO’s technical and professional positions, and in the composition of its technical advisory bodies and expert committees. 

Nurses going going gone

Over the years ICN has been lobbying WHO through letters, interventions at the Executive Board and World Health Assembly and meetings with WHO leadership to increase the number of nurses in WHO.

Data from the WHO human resources annual report of December 2011 reveals 0.7% of professional staff are nurses and 90.5% are medical specialists. Dieticians and nutritionists (at 2.6 %) and pharmacists (at 2.0%) have greater representation than nurses.

In May 2011 at the ICN Conference in Malta, ICN Board of Directors and the CNR passed an emergency resolution calling on WHO to fill the nursing post and recruit suitably qualified nurses in WHO.  This year, we are following up on this resolution:  we have updated our fact sheet ; ICN President Rosemary Bryant has written to the WHO Director General to urgently address this matter; and there will be a major push with delegations at WHA.  We urge you to discuss this with your ministries if you have the opportunity to do so.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:15

World Day Against Child Labour 12 June 2012

This year the World Day Against Child Labour will provide a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights.   On this day, ICN calls for support for its Girl Child Education Fund to enable the orphaned daughters of nurses to remain in school and not be forced into child labour. 

A recent study by the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) has found that one in seven orphaned and abandoned children in low and middle-income countries is a child labourer.  The study, Positive Outcomes for Orphans, was funded by the US National Institute for Child Health and Development and was led by Kathryn Whettan.  The resulting research article, Child work and labour among orphaned and abandoned children in five low and middle income countries found that, orphaned children “not attending school were 4 times more likely to engage in child labour than those in school, and children who were engaged in child labour were twice as likely to not attend school compared to children who worked fewer than 28 hours.”

Another significant and distressing finding was that female children were more than twice as likely to be engaged in child labour.  The report highlights the burden of unpaid domestic “chores” which often prevents girl children from attending school, interfering with their educational attainment and future wellbeing. 

ILO statistics show that the elimination of child labour in Sub-Saharan Africa is lagging behind other regions of the world. “Sub-Saharan Africa has the greatest incidence of children in economic activity – 28.4 per cent of all 5-14 year-olds, compared to 14.8 per cent for Asia and the Pacific and 9 per cent for Latin America.”

UNICEF regards education as a powerful means of preventing child labour. Their 2011 report “State of the World’s Children” indicates that only 63% of primary school age girls in sub-Saharan Africa are attending school (65% for boys).  The 2012 report points out that, “Domestic workers, most of them girls, are isolated and subject to the whims and arbitrary discipline of their employers, from whom they may suffer abuse. Sexual abuse is frequent but seldom prosecuted.”

More information from ICN:

Last Updated on Friday, 08 June 2012 14:19

Relief and concern: Nine Bahraini health professionals freed

ICN is relieved to announce that nine Bahraini health professionals, including Rula al-Saffar, President of the Bahrain Nursing Society, today saw their convictions overturned.  We remain concerned over the future of the nine health professionals who were convicted, but whose sentences were reduced. 

The health professionals were arrested in March and April of 2011 during anti-government protests. Having originally received prison sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years at a military court, the health workers sentences were overturned in October 2011 and a civilian trial was held in its place.  ICN has repeatedly called for their immediate and unconditional release.

"Doctors and nurses have a moral and ethical duty to treat everyone that comes into the hospital irrespective of their political affiliation, their religion, or their ethnicity, said David Benton, ICN Chief Executive Officer.  “We emphasize the critical importance of protecting health workers in order that they may exercise their duty to care for all in peace time or during times of conflict.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 June 2012 13:46

Navigating Nightingale

"Navigating Nightingale" is a new iPhone app guiding you on a walk along the banks of the river Thames in London in Florence Nightingale’s time. Along the route, important features and buildings are highlighted that retell the story of her pioneering work in sanitation, nursing and hospital reform. This innovative “complimentary reality” guide created by AIM25, Centre Screen Productions and King’s College London is available to download for iPhone, iPad, Mac, for PC, or apk for Android on the iTunes App Store, Amazon, or Android Market.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 June 2012 08:42

100 Dutch role models in nursing

The Florence Nightingale Institute in the Netherlands has created a portrait of Florence Nightingale made up of photographs of 100 Dutch role models in nursing, an innovative way of celebrating the contributions of nurses.  The Institute researches, collects, and transmits knowledge about the history of the care and nursing professions. 

Last Updated on Friday, 29 June 2012 08:44

11th International Congress on Nursing Informatics (NI2012), Montreal, Canada 23-27 June 2012

ICN was represented at the triennial NI2012 in Montreal by Nicholas Hardiker (Director, ICN eHealth Programme), Amy Coenen (Director, ICNP Programme, Claudia Bartz (Coordinator, ICN eHealth Programme), Tae Youn Kim (Knowledge Management Director, ICNP Programme), and Kay Jansen (Terminology Developer, ICNP Programme).

Based on the theme, Advancing Global Health through Informatics, an overview of the Congress included the following aims:


  • Generate and share information, knowledge and research in health care settings
  • Examine the impact of Health IT (HIT) and ICT experience on nursing practice, education, management, research, health policy, global health, and patient-centred care
  • Update knowledge and skills related to trends, developments, and innovations in HIT, ICT, health and health care
  • Seek insight into upcoming priorities and future directions for nurses and other members of the healthcare team in the expanding environment of HIT-enabled practice
  • Make long-lasting connections with like-minded professionals committed to advancing global health


A panel presentation about the ICN eHealth Programme and an ICNP workshop were provided by ICN during the Congress.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 June 2012 08:45

Patient safety, satisfaction, and quality of hospital care

In follow-up of the international conference “Ensuring tomorrow’s health: workforce planning and mobility”, held on 7-9 December 2011 in Brussels, the project RN4CAST published an article on “Patient safety, satisfaction, and quality of hospital care” highlighting findings from 13 countries which shows that in hospitals with better work environments and fewer patients in each nurse’s workload, patients and nurses both reported higher standards of care and patients are more satisfied, and that improvement of hospital work environments might be a relatively low cost strategy to improve safety and quality in hospital care and to increase patient satisfaction.  The full article has been published in the British Medical Journal and is available here.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 June 2012 08:46

WHO's Patient Safety Programme

WHO's Patient Safety Programme  recently released the results of the first multi-country study on hospital adverse events, conducted in the Eastern Mediterranean and African Regions of WHO.  The results show that

  • almost a third of patients impacted by harmful incidents died, 14% sustained permanent disability and 16% sustained moderate disability.
  • 4 out of 5 incidents were preventable.
  • 34% of observed incidents resulted from therapeutic errors, 19% from misdiagnosis and 18% were related to surgery.
  • the major causes of the harmful incidents observed were related to the training and supervision of clinical staff, the availability and implementation of protocols and policies, and communication and reporting.


The Adverse Events Study carried out in 26 hospitals from two African countries: Kenya and South Africa and six Eastern Mediterranean countries: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen used a collaborative model with the objective of measuring harmful events occurring in these hospitals.

It is the first large scale study which attempts to measure patient harm in hospitals in these regions and the results show that patient safety concerns are as important in these regions as had been previously recognized in more economically developed ones.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 June 2012 08:47

World Population Day, 12 July 2012

The world population has reached 7 billion.  An estimated 524 million people in 2010 were aged 65 or older – 8% of the world’s population.  By 2050, this number is expected to nearly triple to about 1.5 billion, representing 16 percent of the world’s population (WHO 2011).  What does this mean for health care and, particularly, for nurses?

Although, this population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socioeconomic development, it also has serious health implications.  The increase in life expectancy results in a greater number of older persons in need of a wider range of health services, including health promotion, illness prevention, rehabilitation, acute/chronic care and palliative care.

The world’s ageing population will require a shift of focus from acute disease to chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and osteoporosis.  In addition, with chronic illness often comes disability, meaning that long-term care services, such as nursing homes, home health, personal care, adult day care, and congregate housing, will become much more important sources of care.

The ageing of the population and the increase in chronic illnesses impact considerably on health care costs and put increasing demands on a health workforce already over-worked and facing shortages.  In addition, the health workforce is also ageing.  Over the next 10 to15 years many industrialised countries will experience a large exodus of nurses from their workforce as nurses retire just at a time when demand for nursing and health care is on the rise.  Finding ways to retain older nurses is a challenge of increasing importance to health systems throughout the world.

Ageing is also affecting nursing faculty.  In many countries today the average age of nursing school faculty is 50.  When combined with a shrinking pool of young nursing faculty, this affects the ability of schools to educate sufficient numbers of nurses to meet current and future demand.

ICN is addressing these problems in several ways.  First, we closely monitor nursing resource issues and we have established two centres to assist us.  One, the International Centre on Nurse Migration, addresses migration issues, data and policy in particular.  The second is the International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing (ICHRN).  An online resource, the Centre’s goal is to inform policy making by helping nurses and others remain up to date with national, regional, and global human resource issues and trends. As well, ICN is tracking other workforce data and has three forums where national nursing associations meet to discuss workforce issues.

We are also addressing the growing tide of Noncommunicable Diseases.

Further reading:

WHO report on Global health and ageing

UNFPA State of the World Population 2011

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 08:20

Valuing Health Workers

As part of its Valuing Health Workers research and advocacy project, VSO International has issued its latest country report from Uganda. Our Side of the Story is based on the experiences of 122 health workers working in the government sector and in private health service provision.

Health workers in Uganda spoke of their difficulties, including; poor working conditions, low pay and a lack of essential medicines in the facilities in which they work.  However, doctors, nurses and midwives also talked of the satisfactions in doing their job – how good it felt when a patient who was sick, got well again because of their care. We know that poor attitudes and unethical behaviour exist within the health workforce but we found that health workers wanted to do a good job and serve their communities well: “Making people happy makes me happy,” said one respondent.

When it comes to policy discussions and “human resources for health”, the voices of health workers are rarely heard. Health workers often come across as “passive recipients”, rather than active participants in debates about their recruitment and retention.  VSO’s Valuing Health Workers initiative listens to the views of health workers and gathers evidence to advocate for change.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 16:06

World Breastfeeding Week: 1-7 August

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, ICN continues to uphold the mother’s right to make an informed choice about infant feeding.  We consider that breast milk is the food of choice for infants and that, as a general principle, exclusive breastfeeding should be protected, promoted and supported for the duration of six months as a global public health recommendation.  This includes providing information, counselling and guidance to all HIV infected mothers about the risks and benefits of feeding options most suitable for their situation, in line in with those recommended in the UNICEF/UNAIDS/WHO guidelines (Read more…)

Breastfeeding has an extraordinary range of benefits (UNICEF):

  • it has profound impact on a child’s survival, health, nutrition and development;
  • breast milk provides all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals an infant needs for growth for the first six months, and no other liquids or food are needed;
  • breast milk carries antibodies from the mother that help combat disease. 
  • the act of breastfeeding itself stimulates proper growth of the mouth and jaw, and secretion of hormones for digestion and satiety;
  • breastfeeding creates a special bond between mother and baby and the interaction between the mother and child during breastfeeding has positive repercussions for life, in terms of stimulation, behaviour, speech, sense of wellbeing and security and how the child relates to other people;
  • breastfeeding also lowers the risk of chronic conditions later in life, such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, childhood asthma and childhood leukaemias;
  • breastfed infants do better on intelligence and behaviour tests into adulthood than formula-fed babies.

ICN Publications on Breastfeeding:

WHO’s 10 facts on breastfeeding

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:00

ICN Congress update

With just over a month to go before the closing of submission of abstracts to the ICN Congress we are pleased to say that abstracts submissions have been coming in greater numbers than anticipated. We encourage you to go to to ensure you submit your abstract before the closing deadline on 14 September 2012.  We take this opportunity to remind you that registration for the ICN Congress opens on the same date - 14 September 2012.  The Congress will feature many dynamic speakers including Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al-Hussein, who will deliver the keynote address on Equity and Access to Health Care, and Anne Marie Rafferty, who will present the Virginia Henderson lecture.  The Congress will once again feature a Student Nurses Assembly (18 May 2013) and the Florence Nightingale International Foundation Luncheon (21 May 2013).  For more information on the ICN Congress to be held in Melbourne, Australia 18-23 May 2013, please go to

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2012 10:58

Indigenous People’s Day: 9 August 2012

There are more than 300 million indigenous peoples in the world, on every continent and representing many cultures. However, indigenous peoples are over represented among the world’s vulnerable groups, suffering low incomes, living in poor conditions, and lacking adequate access to employment, education, safe water, food and health care services. Nurses have an important role in improving the health status of indigenous people throughout the world through the delivery of culturally appropriate health care and the development of quality health services.

As we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on 9 August, ICN calls on its members to promote cultural competence both in the way health care services are delivered, and in the behaviour of health care providers with respect to Indigenous Peoples.  Some of our members are already doing just that:

At its biennial convention in June, the Canadian Nurses Association expressed its support that nursing be included in all levels of First Nations Health Council/Authorities’ planning for the delivery of health-care services to First Nations/Aboriginal communities; and further, that First Nations/Aboriginal Nurses be included in the planning and delivery of those services.

The New Zealand Nurses Organization’s Te Rau Kōkiri campaign aims to achieve pay parity for Māori and Iwi health workers, who earn up to 25% less than their colleagues in hospital settings. Their goal is to ensure that the Māori and Iwi provider workforce is valued equitably and to encourage that workforce to remain in the vitally important Māori community health sector.  Pay parity will mean better health and well-being for all New Zealanders. You can find out more about their campaign on:ōkiri

The Australian College of Nursing (formerly the Royal College of Nursing Australia) offers scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the field of Indigenous health.  The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme aims to assist Indigenous students to obtain professional qualifications and take their skills and knowledge back to Indigenous communities in need of quality health care.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 15:02

International Youth Day: 12 August 2012: Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth

ICN is heeding the global call to action to develop and engage in partnerships with and for youth towards building a better world.  In 2007, ICN launched the ICN Student Nurse Network to recognise the important role students play as future members of the nursing profession.  (Read more about the Student Network).

CHILD2015 addresses the information and learning needs of those responsible for the care of children in developing countries, including mothers, fathers and family caregivers as well as health workers. Its remit includes children’s rights to health and healthcare, and the social determinants of health.  If you would like to join this email forum, please go to

Last Updated on Friday, 10 August 2012 11:20

Nursing History

Nursing History:  ICN is delighted by the increased interest in the history of the nursing profession.  At the ICN Congress in Melbourne, a main session will be held on this subject entitled On the Shoulders of Giants: Nursing History.  More information on this session and other events at Congress is available on the Congress website. In addition, we are pleased to highlight that the Board of Directors of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine have signed an agreement to manage the original site of Clara Barton's Missing Soldier's Office. Clara Barton, an American Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross, ran the Missing Soldiers' Office following the war, responding to over 63,000 letters, publishing lists of the names of the missing and eventually identifying the fate of over 22,000 men. The Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office is now undergoing restoration.  For more information email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or go to

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 13:22

African Nurse Training-of-Trainers Programme (ANTP) in Diabetes and Depression in Ethiopia and Kenya

As part of ICN’s overall commitment to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, ICN continues ANTP in Ethiopia and Kenya in July 2012 in partnership with the Ethiopian Nurses Association and the National Nurses Association of Kenya, and the Dialogue on Diabetes and Depression with the support of the Lundbeck Institute and Lilly Research Laboratories.

The ANTP aims to improve the awareness, recognition and management of co-morbid diabetes and depression. The training sessions, led by a prestigious international and African faculty, provided 60 nurse trainers from throughout Ethiopia and Kenya with essential skills in tackling the challenges faced by patients with both diabetes and depression.

Nurses are the frontline professionals who address the key challenges of co-morbid management of patients with diabetes and depression. Launched in October 2011 with ToT activities in Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland and Uganda, the Programme will be extended to other global regions in later phases.

K24 TV in Kenya recently reported on the ANTP and their broadcast can be seen on:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 10:28

National eHealth Strategy Toolkit

The World Health Organization and International Telecommunication Union have published a new National eHealth Strategy Toolkit.  

Developed as a guide to assist countries to develop a national eHealth vision, an action plan to achieve that vision, and a framework by which results can be monitored and evaluated, it  provides governments, their ministries and stakeholders with a solid foundation and method for the development and implementation of a national eHealth vision, action plan and monitoring framework. 

The Toolkit is available on

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 10:27

Ensuring a Positive Practice Environment

Ensuring a Positive Practice Environment: Occupational Safety and Health for Health Worker Productivity.
This joint ICN/CapacityPlus technical brief outlines ways to make health workers' safety a higher-level policy issue and shows how to create working environments that prioritize occupational health.

Health workers are adversely affected by numerous occupational safety and health (OSH) hazards they face on the job. Effective OSH measures contribute to national workforce health and productivity, but only 5%-10% of workers in developing countries have adequate OSH services.

The technical brief is available as an interactive online version on and as a PDF:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:30

29 September 2012: World Heart Day

This year the theme for World Heart Day is cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention among women and children.  To highlight the importance of a healthy heart, ICN invites you to visit our Grow Your Wellness website which provides a variety of educational, assessment, intervention and advocacy materials to support health professionals engaging in prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) - namely diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers and chronic respiratory diseases.

Cardiovascular disease is one of several non-communicable diseases which are the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 63% of deaths annually, 25% of these premature.  But NCDs are largely preventable, by means of effective interventions that tackle the main risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol. Addressing the NCD crisis requires a focus on wellness and disease prevention. Grow Your Wellness resources focus on effective interventions to share knowledge and support people in making behavioral changes that address these risk factors and lead to healthier lifestyles and improved health.

As a founding member of the World Health Professions Alliance, ICN is also promoting WHPA’s Health Improvement Scorecard which is designed to:

  • Educate individuals on how to improve their health through positive behaviour and lifestyle changes.
  • Empower individuals to work with their health professionals to establish personal health goals and to track their progress over time.

The Health Improvement Action plan enables individuals and their health professionals to establish mutually agreed goals so as to improve both lifestyle/ behavioural and metabolic/biometric risk factors over time.

Relevant ICN Publications

heart Lowering Cholesterol through Nurse Case Management
ICN on Obesity: Creating Public Awareness of a Social Environmental Disease
Women’s health
Informed patients
Women and Stroke
Childhood Nutrition
Maternal and Infant Nutrition
IND 2010 Delivering quality; serving communities: Nurses leading chronic care

To celebrate World Heart Day, why not buy a White Heart badge in support of the GCEF.  The white heart is the universal symbol for nursing. It is meant to characterize the caring, knowledge and humanity that infuse the work and spirit of nursing. The white heart is also a unifying symbol for nurses globally. The White Heart badge can be purchased online at the ICN eshop.  All proceeds from the sales of the White Heart badge will go to the ICN's Florence Nightingale International Foundation in support of the Girl Child Education Fund.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 15:40

1 October 2012 International Day of Older Persons

A focus on ageing populations is on the agenda of governmental and non-governmental policy makers everywhere.  A demographic revolution is underway throughout the world. The world's population of people 60 years of age and older has doubled since 1980 and is forecast to reach 2 billion by 2050 (WHO 2012). A growing population of older adults will place increased demand on a range of health services - health promotion, illness prevention, rehabilitation, acute and chronic care, and end-of-life care.   We will need more staff for home-based and nursing home care.  Meanwhile, just as the general population is ageing, so too are its health workers – nurses, physicians, pharmacists and others.

As nurses, we must concern ourselves with breaking down the barriers older persons may encounter with regard to access to health services; influencing how resources are allocated for programmes and services; pushing for relevant transportation options and for educational programmes that help older persons adopt healthier lifestyles – for example, through smoking cessation, sound nutrition and regular exercise.  We can also help safeguard the safety and security of older people; and advocate for older individuals’ human rights, including access to health, security and participation in society.

Relevant ICN publications:

Managing the Multi-Generational Workforce: Managerial and Policy Implications

ICN position statement on Nursing care of the older person

ICN fact sheets on:

Other resources:

Dementia: a public health priority (WHO 2012)

Age-friendly Primary Health Care (PHC) Centres Toolkit (WHO 2008)

Global age-friendly cities: a guide (WHO 2007)

GoldenWorkers: a project which aims to identify emerging technologies and socio-economic trends, new models of extending professional active life and novel application scenarios in the area of ICT for active ageing at work.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 July 2013 10:10

10 October 2012: World Mental Health Day

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, ICN calls for the integration of mental disorders into the dialogue on NCDs.  The theme of this year’s campaign is “Depression: a global crisis”. As part of this initiative, ICN has partnered with the Dialogue on Diabetes and Depression (DDD) – a global initiative involving several organisations - and the Association for Improvement of Mental Health Programmes (AIMHP) to implement the African Nurse Training Programme (ANTP) to improve awareness, recognition and management of co-morbid diabetes and depression. (Read more…).

With the goal of improving the awareness, recognition and management of comorbid depression and diabetes, ANTP will provide international healthcare experts to support nurses in the above-mentioned African countries to meet this challenge.
The progamme is composed of ten modules that ‘unpack’ the comorbid relationship between diabetes and depression and focus on assessment, clinical management, health education and the environment of health care.

Relevant ICN publications:

Mental Health Nursing – Trends and Issues

ICN Position statement on Mental health

ICN fact sheets on:

Last Updated on Monday, 08 October 2012 08:14

13 October 2012: International Day for Disaster Reduction

On International Day for Disaster Reduction, ICN celebrates the work of nurses in reducing the impact of disasters around the world.  Every year, people all over the world are affected by natural disasters from earthquakes to floods to hurricanes and wildfires.  As one of the most trusted professions in the world, nurses are uniquely positioned to provide information regarding disaster preparedness to the community. Additionally, their special knowledge, skills, and abilities make them key providers of disaster relief services, especially in relation to meeting the health needs of victims and workers. 

ICN encourages and works with international networks, such as WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, coordinating the expertise and skills needed to keep the international community constantly alert to the threat of disease outbreaks, and ready to respond. 

ICN is a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Global Health Cluster, a United Nations initiative led by the WHO to improve the coordination of disaster relief.  Within the cluster, ICN is a founding member of a sub-group focused on capacity building among national stakeholders.

ICN has developed a Position Statement on Nurses and Disaster Preparedness, setting forth a framework for the role of national nurses associations in disaster preparedness and response.  This includes the NNA role in coordination of response and recovery efforts.

ICN has a Disaster Response Network which provides useful information and resources for those interested in joining disaster relief efforts or improving relevant skills.  In addition, we have several fact sheets on this topic and, in partnership with the World Health Organization, we have published Disaster Nursing Competencies which aim to strengthen the essential capacities of nurses to deliver disaster and emergency services within an ever-changing world with on-going health threats and disasters.

Other resources

Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 10:37

15-19 October 2012: World Obesity Awareness Week

Obesity is spreading at an alarming rate, not just in industrialised countries but also in developing countries, where it co-exists with malnutrition.  The growing number of overweight and obese children at the national and international level is a real concern, increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes later in life.  Nurses have an ideal opportunity to enhance health-promoting activities in order to reduce the risks of being overweight or obese.

ICN encourages nurses to promote healthy family lifestyle patterns across the lifespan. For example, the encouragement of breast-feeding, physical activity, regular meals, and nutrition and weight counselling are important interventions that help reduce the risk of obesity at all stages of human development. ICN’s Grow Your Wellness website provides a variety of educational, assessment, intervention and advocacy materials to support health professionals engaging in prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) -

Nurses should help the public understand that obesity is predominantly a social-environmental disease. Nurses can create public awareness of the multiple and changing determinants of health that affect becoming overweight or obese. They can identify, offer and refer to obesity prevention programmes and policies, as well as play a role in programme and policy monitoring and evaluation.

Relevant ICN publications:

ICN position statement on Reducing environmental and lifestyle related health risks

Other resources:

Nursing in Practice Obesity Resource Centre

Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 09:22

17 October 2012: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

With the theme “Working together out of poverty”, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty promotes awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.  Poverty and poor health go hand-in-hand, with the poor sharing an unequal burden of ill health. What can we as nurses do? We know that investing in education, health care and sound social policy can improve health outcomes. We also know that health is an asset, thus promoting and protecting it must be a key concern. This means that we must be sure we are educated about the determinants of health, about empowerment, and about working with communities and vulnerable groups to address their unique needs.

Nurses are the most trusted of health professions. We can do much to work with and on behalf of poor people. We work with them to ensure that their voices are heard, that they are included in decisions concerning them, and that the inequalities of access, employment, services, gender, ethnicity and race are addressed. Working side-by-side with clients, service providers, community leaders, policy makers and politicians we can do our part to reduce the plague of poverty.

Relevant ICN publications:


Other resources:



Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 08:20

ICRC Florence Nightingale Award: In a Crisis they Care

In celebration of the contribution that nurses make to the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and to humanitarian action in general, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has established the ICRC Florence Nightingale Medal. Every two years the ICRC invites its National Red Cross Societies to nominate candidates who have distinguished themselves by ensuring that vulnerable people receive care, including in the difficult circumstances of conflict and disaster.

The object of this Medal is to honour nurses and nursing aides who have distinguished themselves in time of peace or war by:

  • exceptional courage and devotion to the wounded, sick or disabled or to civilian victims of a conflict or disaster, and
  • exemplary service or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.

ICN encourages all NNAs to consider recommending candidates for consideration to your National Red Cross Societies.

Please note that all candidates MUST be presented directly by National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies before 1st March 2013.

In an effort to raise the awareness of the nursing community to the existence of this medal, copies of the regulation and application form have been forwarded to ICN national nurses associations. Candidates will be eligible for the award only if the nominations are presented with a completed questionnaire signed by the Red Cross or Red Crescent Society.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 08:39

Nursing Workload and Patient Care

Years of research show that safer nurse staffing levels directly improve patient safety, health outcomes and quality of care, yet in Canada, as in many countries around the world, nurses continue to experience excessive workloads and patients and families suffer as a result.

Written by Dr Louise Berry, RN, PhD, University of Saskatchewan, Nursing Workload and Patient Care outlines recommendation from the Canadian Federation of Nurses Union (CFNU) in order to advise policy makers, decision makers, elected officials and health care executives on the current state of evidence with respect to safe staffing and improved patient outcomes.   The full version is available on the CFNU website.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 15:05

20 November 2012 International Children’s Day: "Every Child in School"

  • What is the Girl Child Education Fund? The Girl Child Education Fund (GCEF) supports the primary and secondary schooling of girls under the age of 18 in developing countries whose nurse parent or parents have died, paying for fees, uniforms, shoes and books. We work in partnership with member national nurses associations to ensure that the money goes directly to education costs. Learn more...
  • Why is the GCEF concentrating on girls?

Currently there are 62 million girls out of school worldwide. Many will not be able to go to school unless we can help.  The education of girls has a significant impact on every area of a woman’s life.  According to UNICEF, “educating girls for six years or more drastically and consistently improves their prenatal care, postnatal care and childbirth survival rates.  Read more...

Educating mothers also greatly cuts the death rate of children under five. Educated girls have higher self-esteem, are more likely to avoid HIV infection, violence and exploitation, and to spread good health and sanitation practices to their families and throughout their communities. And an educated mother is more likely to send her children to school.”[1]  An educated woman also has a better chance of earning an income herself, which has a positive effect on her family, and therefore on society as a whole.  

Educating girls means better health

  • Improved family planning
  • Lower infant mortality: every day over 2700 children under the age of five will die needlessly because their mothers were denied an education earlier in life
  • Fewer maternal deaths in childbirth
  • Lower HIV/AIDS infection rates: rates are doubled among young people who do not finish primary school

 Educating girls means better futures

  • Greater participation in the work force and increased family incomes: for each additional year a girl is in school, her wages as an adult rise by approximately 15 percent
  • Greater chance that their own children will be educated: children whose mothers have no education are more than twice as likely to be out of school as children whose mothers have some education

What do the girls have to say? 

ICN has received many letters from the girls who have graduated from GCEF programme. Here are a few excerpts:

“Besides providing education, [the GCEF] gives parental comfort to the orphan girls and gives them hope to face another day in their lives and also wipe away their tears.” – Uganda

“Completing school has helped me have a sense of direction in my life. It has helped me realize that I can be an important person to the society.” - Zambia

“Finally I feel guilty no more; I use the school facilities at peace. There is nothing as liberating as free conscience. This programme has opened up countless opportunities for me like participating in the Science Congress competitions, exhibiting my poetic powers at the festivals and above all has inspired me to be the academic giant I wished for.” – Kenya

“Personally, the GCEF has come to my recue.  When my mother died I thought my life had come to an end since she was the only one responsible for bringing me up, including my education.  But the existence of the GCEF has come to make my future brighter since I have now completed my high school education and am now pursuing my studies in financial accounting.” - Swaziland

ICN position statements on

ICN fact sheets on


Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 11:40

25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Research demonstrates that amongst health personnel, nursing staff are most at risk of workplace violence. Traditionally, many cultures have covertly accepted physical violence, sexual harassment or verbal abuse against women although a violation of their human rights. Also, nurses often passively accept abuse and violence as “part of the job” – an attitude sometimes shared by the public and the judiciary.

Under-reporting of workplace violence has hampered the development and implementation of effective strategies to reduce violence in the workplace. Nurses have been expected to cope with violence, although few programmes train nursing personnel to identify potentially dangerous situations and develop effective mechanisms to deal with aggression.

ICN has produced Guidelines on Coping with violence in the workplace and has a position statement on Abuse and violence against nursing personnel

Other resources:



Last Updated on Friday, 23 November 2012 14:24

1 December 2012: World AIDS Day

On the occasion of World AIDS Day, ICN calls for the development and integration of measures to ensure the protection of nurses in the workplace and to address the stress and burn-out experienced by nurses working in high burden areas. 

Nurses are at the core of health systems everywhere, but since HIV and AIS have reached pandemic proportions, many health systems are at breaking point. In sub-Saharan Africa, nurses and other health care workers are bearing the burden of this pandemic and are overstressed and undervalued The widespread emergence of other infectious disease such as tuberculosis (TB), and the significant prevalence of Hepatitis B and C has increased the potential for occupational exposure by nurses/midwives, necessitating appropriate supplies and protective personal equipment and consistent use of standard precautions.  In addition, the intensive nursing care demands of persons with HIV and the real or perceived risks and stressful work environment, can have a detrimental impact on the profession, including burnout, a high drop-out rate and fewer recruits.

ICN’s Wellness Centres for Health Care Workers aim to address the severe health care worker crisis through attention to the health, wellbeing and capacity of the whole health workforce.  Services include stress management, PEP, HIV counselling, testing and treatment to Hepatitis B vaccination, training opportunities and home-based care. These centres are now up and running in Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia. 

ICN Publications on HIV/AIDS:

ICN Guidelines on Reducing the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Nursing and Midwifery Personnel

ICN position statement on HIV infection and AIDS

ICN position statement on Reducing the impact of HIV infection and AIDS on nursing and midwifery personnel

ICN fact sheet on HIV/AIDS in the European Union

ICN fact sheet on Mobilising Nurses for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 09:45

18 December 2012 International Migrants Day

ICN believes that nurses in all countries have the right to migrate as a function of choice, regardless of their motivation. We also acknowledge the potential benefits of migration, including learning opportunities and the rewards of multicultural practice. However, it is clear that international migration may negatively affect health care quality in regions or countries seriously depleted of their nursing workforce. ICN believes that migration is a symptom of dysfunctional health systems and condemns the practise of recruiting nurses to countries where authorities have not engaged in human resources planning or addressed problems which cause nurses to leave the profession and discourage them from returning. (Read more…)

The International Centre on Nurse Migration (ICNM) was launched in 2005 by ICN and the CGFNS International as a much needed resource for centralized information about foreign educated nurses. The Centre serves as a global resource for the development, promotion and dissemination of research, policy and information on nurse migration, including screening and workflow integration.  The ICNM provides resources such as ebriefs, fact sheets and commissioned papers on the topic of international nurse migration.

In addition you can access resources on migration from the ICN website:

ICN Fact Sheets

ICN position statements

Last Updated on Monday, 17 December 2012 10:41

Announcing the ICN Wellness Tree Photo Contest!

 “A Focus on Nursing and Health Promotion"

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the ICN Wellness Tree photo competition entitled "A Focus on Nursing and Health Promotion". The contest aims to collect and share photographs representing culturally relevant images of healthy behaviour and how nurses are actively promoting healthy lifestyles to address the global crisis of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

How can you participate?

Participation is exclusive to nurses and nursing students from around the world. Submission deadline is midnight Central European Time (CET) on Saturday 6 April 2013. Full information on the terms and conditions and how to participate is available at

We are looking for photographs that include:

  • Nurse-led outreach campaigns for healthy living in your community/region
  • Nurses promoting healthy living via nursing interventions, tools and activities
  • Healthy nutrition in your community/country
  • Easily accessible physical activity in your community/country
  • Examples of people taking the right steps toward healthy living

What are the contest prizes?

Prizes for the top three submissions include:

  • A 50% reduction on the ICN 2013 Melbourne Congress registration fee
  • Exhibit of winning photographs at the Wellness Tree booth during ICN Quadrennial Congress

Prizes for the top 10 submissions include:

  • A Florence Nightingale bear and donation made in the winner’s name to the Girl Child Education Fund
  • Posting of the photograph on the Wellness Tree Website

We hope you will submit your entry and participate in our quest to encourage a healthy and long life for everyone! Find out more here

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 April 2013 09:15

Spanish study finds nurses and doctors equally competent in providing primary care for common health issues

A study by Mireia Fàbregas, MD, of the Institut Català de la Salut, in Barcelona, Spain, and her colleagues has been published in the online version of the Journal of Advanced Nursing on 21 March 2013. The findings suggest that nurses may be able to take on some of the care generally provided by physicians.

In a trial involving 1,461 adult patients who requested same day appointments to see either nurses trained to respond to problems with low complexity or to see general practitioners, the investigators found that nurses successfully solved 86.3% of the cases.

The study was conducted in 38 general practices in Catalonia, Spain, and 142 general practitioners and 155 nurses participated. The investigators measured how well patients' symptoms resolved and how satisfied patients were two weeks after the visit.

Patients who saw nurses were equally satisfied with their visit as those who saw doctors. When patients were asked about their preferences regarding which professional they would like to visit if a similar health problem arose again, more than 40% of patients in each group expressed indifference.

"This study could help to reduce resistance to change in both physicians and nurses, as well as in the general population, generating confidence in the care provided by nurses," said Dr. Fàbregas. She and her co-authors noted that having nurses solve acute diseases of low complexity could help improve overall health care efficiency.


Waknine Y (2013). Nurses and Doctors Equally Competent for Simple Ailments, Medscape Medical News, 21 March 2013.
Medical News Today. The Public Can Be Confident In The Care Nurses Provide, Comparable To That Of Doctors For Resolving Health Problems Of Low Complexity, 24 March 2013.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 08:41

When hospitals hire more nurses with four-year degrees, patient deaths following common surgeries decrease

New research by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research shows that patient deaths after common surgeries decrease when hospitals hire more nurses with Baccalaureate-level degrees.

As reported in the March issue of Health Affairs, the researchers found. That if all 134 Pennsylvania hospitals involved in the study had increased the percentage of their nurses with four-year degrees by 10 percentage points, the lives of about 500 patients who had undergone general, vascular, or orthopedic surgery might have been saved,

Less than half (45%) of the nurses in the USA have baccalaureate degrees, according to the most recent data available (2008).

While the study did not pinpoint why more patients survive surgeries, previous work in the Center found that better-prepared nurses offer higher levels of surveillance of patients, noticing subtle shifts in their patients' conditions that can lead to death from complications while there was still time to intervene.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing,. "Baccalaureate nursing programs encompass all of the course work taught in associate degree and diploma programs plus a more in-depth treatment of the physical and social sciences, nursing research, public and community health, nursing management, and the humanities. The additional course work enhances the student's professional development, prepares the new nurse for a broader scope of practice, and provides the nurse with a better understanding of the cultural, political, economic, and social issues that affect patients and influence health care delivery. "

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 08:38

Information shareapy

Connecting Nurses*, an initiative for nurses developed by Sanofi in partnership with ICN and others, has launched Information shareapy™, a unique online patient care platform built by nurses for nurses, for the benefit of patients and their families.

Information shareapy™ is a repository of practice tips, advice and best practice information gleaned by nurses in practice to share with one another and enhance quality patient care. Nurses from around the world are invited to participate in the international community. By uploading and sharing links on the platform, every nurse can make patient support tools and materials available to their peers.

The Information shareapy™ international community is made up of nurses. The platform is password protected and the professional status of each member is required to protect this professional space.

In addition to their individual participation, nurses can choose to follow Key Opinion Leaders representing ICN1, SIDIIEF2, NPHF3 and AFDET4, or active community members. They can also track particular topics which help in organising and sharing relevant content quickly.

Sanofi and its partnering nurse organizations thank every nurse for their kind input, their personal contributions and feedback, and their support in making Information shareapy™ a living and growing platform, serving our common interest of contributing to constantly enhancing and evolving patient care through innovative digital communication.


ICN1 : International Council of Nurses
SIDIIEF2 : Secrétariat International Des Infirmières et Infirmiers de l’Espace Francophone
NPHF3 : Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation
AFDET4 : Association Française pour le Développement de l’Education Thérapeutique



Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 12:27

ICN Congress Mobile App is now available!

Make the most of your time at the ICN Congress by having all the event information in the palm of your hand!

A mobile app is now available for downloading from the Google Playstore (for Androids) and from the AppStore (for iPads and iPhones).  The app gives you access to the Congress programme, floor plans, exhibition area, and much, much more.  Browse the schedule and select which sessions you want to attend. Check out the list of speakers and bookmark the ones you want to see. Explore the vast list of exhibitors and find them quickly in the venue maps. And stay informed through the integrated news feeds. We highly recommend that you download the free app before arriving in Melbourne in order to start planning your personalised Congress experience!

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 12:27

ICN Congress closes with call for increase in nursing leadership

Participants at the Council of National Representatives (CNR) meeting held just prior to the Congress released a Communiqué calling for the World Health Organization to urgently reinstate the vacant position of Chief Nursing Scientist at WHO headquarters and optimise the impact of nurses as the largest group of health professionals delivering care at all levels to achieve health and well-being of all citizens.

At the ninth biennial fundraising luncheon of the Florence Nightingale International Foundation, an emotional presentation by Masitsela Mhlanga moved participants to spontaneously donate $20,000 for the Girl Child Education Fund, which supports the orphaned daughters of nurses in four countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  The amount was above and beyond that raised by the Luncheon itself and was a first in the history of the Luncheon.

ICN’s 2015 Conference will be hosted by the Korean Nurses Association in Seoul, South Korea, 19-23 June 2015; and Barcelona was announced as the site for the 2017 Congress, hosted by the Spanish General Council of Nursing.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 12:27

ICN Board Member, Jürgen Osterbrink, receives Grand Order of the Republic of Austria

On 3 June 2013, ICN Board Member, Dr. Jürgen Osterbrink, was awarded the Grand Order of the Republic of Austria, presented by Austrian Federal Minister of Health, Alois Stoeger, on behalf of Dr. Heinz Fischer, President of the Republic of Austria, during the gala evening of the 20th national conference of the Austrian Health and Nursing Association (ÖGKV).

In the award ceremony, the Federal Minister of Health congratulated Dr Osterbrink on the quality of nursing research and teaching which has improved the care of the Austrian people.

In his speech, the Deputy President of the ÖGKV, Karl Schwaiger, highlighted Dr. Osterbrink’s many years of teaching and research and, in particular, his work on the project, Optimized pain management in nursing homes, and an individualised weight-based training programme for the very elderly. He stressed the importance of Dr Osterbrink’s contribution to the establishment and accreditation of five pain management courses at the University Hospital Graz which will benefit 200 nurses working with undergraduate and master's degrees in hospitals, ambulatory care and in nursing homes, improving inter-professional care as well as the quality of nursing services.

Dr Osterbrink  was elected to the ICN Board of Directors for the period 2013-2017 at the International Council of Nurses 25th Quadrennial Congress and Council of National Representatives in Melbourne, Australia, 18-23 May 2013.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 09:58

ICN and the Geneva Health Forum

ICN and the Geneva Health Forum have formed a reciprocal collaboration to demonstrate to stakeholders of the Geneva Health Forum the importance of nurses and nursing as a central component to advancing access to health and that improving access to health needs integration of nursing at the design phase of initiatives and not as an afterthought.

The collaboration is also expected to bring together practitioners and policy makers from the arenas of Global Health and Nursing to collaborate with each other and forge alliances that harness the power of nursing to advance access to health around the world. 

The Geneva Health Forum will be held 15-17 April 2014 at the Centre International de Conférences de Genève (CICG) in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The deadline for submitting an abstract is 31 July. Early Bird registration is from 15 October 2013 to 31 January 2014.  A discount will be provided to ICN members. For more information, please go to:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 11:39

8th Global Conference on Health Promotion: Big Business challenges Healthy Lifestyles

The 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion, Building on our heritage, looking to our future, was held in Helsinki, Finland from 10-14 June 2013.
In her opening address, Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said that one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion is the business interests of powerful economic operators.  “It is not just Big Tobacco anymore. Public health must also contend with Big Food, Big Soda, and Big Alcohol.”
In a 2001 article entitled, The private sector, international development and NCDs, former ICN President Christine Hancock and colleagues, highlighted “the potentially key role that the private sector can and should play in preventing and managing NCDs in developing countries”. 
The article concludes with a quote from Sir George Alleyne, director emeritus of PAHO: 'Few if any major health programmes with lasting impact globally have been successful without the involvement and active participation of the major social partners - the public sector, the private sector and civil society. Cooperation among them represents our best chance of surviving this tsunami of NCDs'.  You can find more about ICN’s NCD programme here.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 July 2013 01:00

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013

This newly released report shows the progress that has been made and the areas where action is most needed.  Following on from the 2013 IND Kit, Closing the Gap: Millennium Development Goals. 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, we draw your attention to the three health related goals:

MDG 4 – Reduce child mortality

  • Since 1990, the child mortality rate has dropped by 41 per cent; 14,000 fewer children are dying each day.
  • Still, 6.9 million children under age five died in 2011—mostly from preventable diseases.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, one in nine children die before age five, more than 16 times the average for developed regions.

MDG 5 – Improve maternal health

  • In Eastern Asia, Northern Africa and Southern Asia, maternal mortality has declined by around two thirds.
  • Only half of pregnant women in developing regions receive the recommended minimum of four antenatal care visits.
  • Some 140 million women worldwide who are married or in union say they would like to delay or avoid pregnancy, but are not using contraception.

MDG 6 – Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases.

  • In 2011, 230,000 fewer children under age 15 were infected with HIV than in 2001.
  • Eight million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV at the end of 2011.
  • In the decade since 2000, 1.1 million deaths from malaria were averted.
  • Treatment for tuberculosis has saved some 20 million lives between 1995 and 2011
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 13:26

Declaration on Safe Medical Equipment

ICN recently signed the Declaration on Safe Medical Equipment “calling on the European institutions to phase out the use of hazardous chemical in medical devices unless no safer alternatives are available.”

Along with seven other organisations, ICN is concerned about patients being exposed to harmful chemicals during medical treatment and, as such, joined the call to the EU legislation to encourage the health care sector to move away from unsustainable health care practices that pollute the environment and contribute to disease.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 July 2013 01:00

1-7 August 2013: World Breastfeeding Week

Infants who are breastfed have fewer illnesses and are better nourished than those who are fed other drinks and foods. It is estimated that 1.5 million infant lives would be saved, and the health and development of millions of others would be greatly improved, if exclusive breastfeeding took place in the first six months of life. ICN upholds the mother’s right to make an informed choice about infant feeding.

Support for mothers is essential. Nurses can provide emotional, informational, and practical support. They can make a significant contribution to the successful initiation of and continuation of breastfeeding, and provide new mothers with the confidence and reassurance needed to ensure successful breastfeeding. Nurses and national nurses associations have a responsibility to actively promote the provisions of the International Code of the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 July 2013 01:00

12 August 2013: International Youth Day: ”Youth Migration : Moving Development Forward”

ICN believes that nurses in all countries have the right to migrate as a function of choice, regardless of their motivation. Today, many young nurses look for employment abroad for many reasons.  ICN acknowledges the potential benefits of migration, including learning opportunities and the rewards of multicultural practice. At the same time, ICN acknowledges that international migration may negatively affect health care quality in regions or countries seriously depleted of their nursing workforce.

This marked increase in movement of the health care workforce across national borders generates a number of concerns. Paramount among these concerns is the issue of public and patient safety.  Globally, ICN continues to develop competencies, model legislation, regulatory policy and guidelines in order to bring transparency, provide portability of education and facilitate trade in services.  Nurses must be engaged in the formulation of these arrangements, as these frameworks must recognise not only the theoretical learning, but also the practical dimensions of producing a competent professional.  For more on this topic, go to:

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 01:00

Dying to Deliver: Surviving labour in sub-Saharan Africa

The Flight for Every Mother (FEM) is flying high to raise awareness and action about maternal health in sub-Saharan Africa.  UK obstetrician and pilot Dr Sophia Webster, and her team are on the wing to Cape Town, South Africa from where they will fly back England via 23 African countries** with high maternal mortality rates. Video

You can Follow Flight for Every Mother on Facebook.

The FEM flight path targets countries furthest from reaching Millennium Development Goal 5 - to reduce maternal mortality and improve maternal health. The FEM team will stop along the way to provide labour ward teaching and offer donations of basic equipment in local facilities caring for pregnant women and raise awareness about maternal health. Flight for Every Mother will also fund-raise for the Girl Child Education Fund and six other charities*, chosen because their sustainable work focuses on a different aspect of maternal health.

Many factors impact reproductive health outcomes for women, including little or no formal education, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, violence, poverty and poor access to skilled health care. The project aims to draw attention and to raise funds via sponsorship. The FEM pilots will create an international following by way of an on-line blog detailing their challenging journey.
Dr Sophia Webster has a passion for global maternal health and travels regularly to countries in sub-Saharan Africa to teach clinical skills to doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers. The FEM project is sponsored by the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Flight for Every Mother can be found on line at

FEM director, Dr Sophia Webster can be contacted via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


* GCEF, AMREF, SMILE, Life for African Mothers, Transaid, 28toomany, mothers2mothers

** South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Senegal, the Gambia, Western Sahara and Morocco

Last Updated on Monday, 26 August 2013 01:00

Global Nursing Leaders Institute 7-13 September 2013

With the contemporary theme, Redesigning Health Systems, the fifth ICN-Burdett Global Nursing Leadership Institute will take place from 7-13 September in Geneva.  Twenty-seven nursing leaders from 24 countries have been selected to take part in this year’s event. Speakers will include:

  • Maureen McTeer(Co-chair of the Canadian National Expert Commission);
  • Fariba Al Dharazi (Regional Advisor for Nursing and Midwifery for EMRO-WHO);
  • Helen S Rycraft (Head of Profession Human Factors and Organisational Learning at Magnox Ltd.);
  • Sheila Tlou (Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for East and Southern Africa);
  • Professor Ginka Toegel (teacher, facilitator and researcher at the International Institute for Management Development);
  • Jessie Schutt-Aine, UN Accountability Initiative for the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health
  • Judith Shamian (ICN President); and  
  • Tesfa Ghebrehiwet (former ICN nursing consultant on Nursing and Health Policy).

The GNLI offers an advanced leadership programme for nurses and/or midwives at senior level and executive positions in developed and developing countries across the world. The programme, drawing on the expertise of international faculty, allows participants to review and enhance their national and global leadership knowledge and skills within a collaborative and stimulating learning culture. The GNLI is facilitated by Dr Stephanie Ferguson, who is also Director of the ICN Leadership for Change™ programme.  Support for the GNLI is also provided by Pfizer, the founding sponsor.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 01:00

21 September: World Alzheimer’s Day – Dementia: A journey of caring

According to a July 2013 report by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, life expectancy is projected to reach 76 years in the period 2045-2050 and 82 years in 2095-2100.  A WHO 2011 report on Global Health and Ageing states, “The potential for an active, healthy old age is tempered by one of the most daunting and potentially costly consequences of ever-longer life expectancies: the increase in people with dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease.  Most dementia patients eventually need constant care and help with the most basic activities of daily living, creating a heavy economic and social burden. Prevalence of dementia rises sharply with age. An estimated 25-30 percent of people aged 85 or older have dementia.” Read more…

Nurses play a central role in raising public awareness and recognition of dementia throughout the world. They promote the importance of assessment and early diagnosis; the need for inclusive community support services and accommodation options; and the value of education and training for formal and informal caregivers. They encourage and support caregiver self-help groups and multidisciplinary collaboration in dementia oriented practice and research. And they advocate for the protection of patients’ rights and interests.  More information can be found on:

Last Updated on Monday, 23 September 2013 01:00

1 October 2013: International Day of the Older Person

Today, worldwide, there are 800 million persons aged 60 years and over, and this number is expected to more than double by 2050 – rising to just over two billion (Harvard Initiative for Global Health 2011). It is clear that a growing population of older adults and an increase in chronic disease will place increased demand on a range of health services - health promotion, illness prevention, rehabilitation, acute and chronic care, and end-of-life care. 

This is where nurses can provide the solution. Nurses provide cost-effective solutions to complex system problems.  We open up access to quality health care to everyone in a community.  We strive to prevent illness and keep people well informed and educated so they can manage their own conditions. Nurses can help safeguard the safety and security of older people. The mistreatment of older people is a global problem. Research shows increasing reports of abuse of elders at home and in health care settings. Nurses have an ethical and moral responsibility to serve as advocates for the world’s vulnerable and victimized populations.

Nursing services constitute the largest single element in providing care for the frail, sick and dying, while also contributing to health maintenance and disease prevention. Supporting family-care, self-care and the right of the older person to participate in decisions concerning life-style and treatment, are important aspects of the nurse’s role.  Older persons tend to be considered as a homogeneous group. ICN firmly believes that older persons need and have a right to expect individualised treatment or care plans developed with the nurse, a key member of the health team.

ICN has produced fact sheets on many different issues of ageing:



A position statement on Nursing care of the older person also highlights the key role of nurses in the care of older persons

A joint study by the OECD and the European Commission DG Employment entitled “A Good Life in Old Age? Monitoring and Improving Quality in Long-term Care” focuses on elderly care and the importance of developing ways to measure safe, effective and responsive long-term care services. It also looks at on-going country initiatives to improve the quality of life of elderly.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 September 2013 01:00

2 October World No-Alcohol Day

The harmful use of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year. According to WHO,  320,000 young people between the age of 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes, resulting in 9% of all deaths in that age group. ICN is concerned about the growing number of youths who abuse alcohol and other drugs. Nurses, as key providers of health care for young people, have a crucial role in addressing substance abuse in this age group.

Prevention and reduction of substance abuse through policy and advocacy, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and equipping youth with life skills to deal with stress, peer pressure, and other risk factors is an important role for ICN and nursing.  The harmful use of alcohol is one of the risk factors leading to the growing burden of chronic diseases.  WHO has developed innovative portals on alcohol and health with a web-based self-help intervention tool in four pilot countries, Belarus, Brazil, India and Mexico. The portals provide information not only for policymakers and professionals, but also for the public at large. They include a self-screening tool for hazardous and harmful use of alcohol and a fully computerized self-help programme for people who wish to reduce or stop drinking alcohol.

Other useful resources for nurses include;

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 01:00

On 30 October 2013, ...

patients in countries across Africa will come together to mark the first ever regional Patient Solidarity Day.

They will call on all Ministers of Health and all health care stakeholders to “improve lives through patient-centred health care.”  ICN has partnered with the International Alliance of Patient Organizations and many other organisations to promote this and celebrate the place of the patient at the heart of health care.

Why is Patient Solidarity Day important? Health systems in Africa are under pressure and cannot cope if they continue to focus on diseases rather than patients. 

Healthcare challenges in Africa are complex, patients face:

  • The multiple burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, injuries and trauma
  • Large inequities in the treatment and prevention of disease
  • Lack of medications to meet patients’ needs
  • Lack of resources, which make even basic patient safety techniques difficult to achieve
  • Stigma and discrimination

ICN has produced many fact sheets on patient safety as well as a position statement.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 October 2013 10:21

Hand hygiene dramatically reduces infection transmission

A study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases shows that the World Health Organization’s strategy for improving hand hygiene has a dramatic effect in reducing the number of health-care related infections and is easy for health-care workers to practice.   ICN’s fact sheet on infection control states that hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the transmission of infections.  Because nurses are in close contact with patients, they are exposed to a variety of microbes, some of which may cause disease.  By adhering to appropriate hand washing guidelines, nurses can prevent infection transmission.

The WHO hand-hygiene compliance strategy consists of five main components:

  • ensuring health-care workers have access to alcohol-based handrub at the point of patient care;
  • training and education of health-care workers on the most important times in patient care for hand hygiene;
  • monitoring and feedback on compliance;
  • visual reminders at the point of care in the workplace;
  • creation of a culture of attention to patient and health-care worker safety within the institution.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013 01:00

Registration opens for World Health Professions Regulation Conference

The world’s only international and interdisciplinary conference devoted to regulation in the health professions will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 17-18 May 2014. Registration is now open at

The conference, entitled “Health professional regulation – facing challenges to act in the public interest”, is aimed at the global community of health professionals interested and involved in regulation.

Scheduled to run over one and a half days, immediately before the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly in Geneva, the third World Health Professions Regulation Conference will provide participants with insights, perspectives and discussion on current challenges in health professional regulation.

Key speakers will explore the lessons learned from competence-based approaches to regulation, compare regulatory models and examine ways of promoting best practice in regulatory governance and performance.

You can find out more information about the conference and register to attend at the conference website at

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 01:00

20 November: Today ICN joins the celebrations for Universal Children’s Day

20 November: Today ICN joins the celebrations for Universal Children’s Day.  ICN has endorsed the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  In particular, we believe that nurses have a role to play in monitoring implementation of children’s rights and reporting the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children to appropriate authorities.

ICN is directly contributing to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 2: Achieve primary education through our Girl Child Education Fund, which supports the primary and secondary schooling of girls under the age of 18 in developing countries whose nurse parent or parents have died, paying for fees, uniforms, shoes and books.

ICN Fact sheets:

ICN position statements:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 01:00

End of the year 2013 Greetings

                                               Judith Shamian - ICN President

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 01:00

WHO Guidelines on Transforming and Scaling up Health Professional Education and Training

The World Health Organization has recently released the Guidelines on Transforming and Scaling up Health Professional Education and Training. ICN was part of the Core Guidelines Development Group that contributed to the development of these guidelines as well as accompanying policy briefs. 

The guidelines deal with the complex issues for transforming health professional education through the presentation of key policy issues, summarizing available evidence and providing recommendations and a commentary, which includes guidance for implementation. The guidelines set out a vision of a transformation of education for the health professions, and offer recommendations on how best to achieve the goal of producing graduates responsive to the health needs of the populations they serve.

The guidelines, recommendations and accompanying policy briefs addressing Faculty Development, Accreditation of Health Professional Education Institutes, Regulation of Health Professions Education, Financing Education of Health Professionals and Monitoring and Evaluating the Education of Health Professionals can be found at:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 01:00

Joint Consensus Statement on Postabortion Family Planning

Calling for a renewed commitment to the health of women following induced abortion, ICN, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), Department for International Development (DFID), and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has issued a joint consensus statement on the importance of family planning service provision to women when they are treated for postabortion complications. The statement commits the endorsing organisations to ensure that voluntary family planning counselling and services are included as an essential component of postabortion care in all settings, empower and serve postabortion women of all ages to prevent unintended pregnancies and further abortions, and provide information on optimal pregnancy spacing for those women who want a pregnancy. It lays out the rationale for offering family planning to women in such circumstances and reviews the intervention approaches that can be followed.  Read the statement here.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 01:00

6th Global Patients Congress

The 6th Global Patients Congress is the global event for patient leaders and others working to improve healthcare systems globally.  The Congress will bring together expertise and experience in how to build patient-centred healthcare globally, providing an international platform for high level policy debate, knowledge and skills building as well as opportunities for exchange and networking

The Congress theme is ‘Better access, better health: A patient-centred approach to universal health coverage’. The Congress will explore how a patient-centred approach can address the factors that will lead to universal health coverage and consider the patients’ perspective. Plenary and workshop sessions will focus on topics that explore questions such as: What are the barriers to access to healthcare in different world regions? What are the principles that promote equity?  What are the indicators of quality healthcare? What is the value of innovation? How should healthcare be financed?

The programme features plenaries with keynote speakers and a range of parallel sessions including papers submitted through the open call process.  The members’ day will include capacity-focussed sessions on how patients’ organizations can advocate on issues of access to healthcare.  The multi-stakeholder programme will explore a patient-centred approach as it relates to three themes: equity, quality and finance in all world regions. 

Conference attendance is currently open to IAPO members and Invited Guests only. For further information, visit:

Last Updated on Monday, 23 September 2013 01:00

March 24: World Tuberculosis Day

Reach the three million, A TB test, treatment and cure for all.

Of the nine million people a year who get sick with TB, a third of them do not get the TB services they deserve. The ICN TB/MDR-TB project is working to change that by providing more nurses around the world with the skills, expertise and knowledge in the prevention, care and treatment of TB. Nurses are in a unique position among health care providers to bridge the gap between health facilities and the community – the gap where many of the three million get lost. By integrating services effectively and engaging with local communities a continuum of care can be provided to ensure that everyone who experiences symptoms can access the right tests; people who have been tested will be given the results and if TB is diagnosed, will get access to the treatment they need in a way which fits into their lifestyle and takes account of their other priorities. The ICN TB Project is supported by a United Way Worldwide grant made possible by the Lilly Foundation on behalf of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership.

We are pleased to be able to share with you the experiences of TB nurses across the world:

  • China: Nursing Director, Meng Guiyun from the Xinjiang Chest Hospital in Urumqi, Xinjiang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China is an outstanding alumnus of the ICN Training for Transformation project in China. Director Meng attended the first ICN training in China in 2009 and returned in 2010. Since the first training she has been successful in advocating to hold several trainings for nurses and other healthcare providers in her hospital as well as in several remote areas of the province. As of 2011 she has trained more than 1,000 healthcare workers across Xinjiang on TB.

In addition, she and colleagues who also attended the training in 2009 developed a handbook on TB that was given to prison medical staff to help identify signs and symptoms of TB among prisoners as well as information on appropriate treatment. They have also carried out trainings with prison medical staff on various aspects of TB including infection control.

Following the training Director Meng implemented changes in practice and has indicated that between 2009 and 2011 the percentage of staff unable to properly name medications used to treat TB decreased from 31.7% to 3.5%. Medication dosage errors also decreased from 5.9% to 0.5% during this same time period. The hospital also showed a decrease in the patient default rate from 5.2% to 3.5%.

Moreover, after successfully advocating for changes in infection control measures, UV lights were installed in the TB wards and the hospital has made improvements in ventilation in the wards resulting in a decrease in the number of TB cases among healthcare workers in the hospital from 27 cases in 2009 to 5 cases in 2011.

In 2013, Director Meng, in collaboration with another nurse leader, developed and published a book on TB infection control and best practices of care for TB patients specifically for nurses. This book is now available for purchase across China.

  • Indonesia: Veteran project lead from Indonesia, Astuti Yuni Nursasi, is the ICN TB Project focal point for Indonesian National Nurses association (INNA). Since 2010 she has been involved in three workshops as co-trainer and focal point for the ICN TB Project. She has shown great initiative especially with regard to advocating the nursing role in TB management and was personally involved in the development of standards for nursing practice issued by the Indonesian National TB Programme. In October 2013, she presented on the outcomes of the training in Indonesia at the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease Global Lung Health Conference in Paris. Today, she is writing her dissertation and plans to develop a nursing model of empowering nurses, health volunteers, family and TB clients to improve TB patients’ independence in TB treatment.

Yuni participated in the Second Forum of the Stop TB Partnership in the SE Asia, Western Pacific and East Mediterranean Regions on 3-4 March 2014 and will attend Indonesia’s National Symposium of TB on 29 March 2014.

  • Russia: Irina Lyapina, a chief nurse of Tolyatti TB Dispensary says that the ICN TB project has changed her professional life since she was able to participate in the first Train the Trainer workshops devoted to TB/MDR-TB care in 2009. Since then Irina has trained lots of nurses not only in her dispensary, but also in general primary and hospital care. She continues to teach both nurses and students and to study herself. She is interested in expanding the nursing role in caring for TB patients and in conducting a study on depression among the patients of a TB+HIV unit and nursing interventions that might be useful in controlling depression.

Tolyatti TB Dispensary has a unit for treatment of patients infected by both TB and HIV. Before 2012 this unit provided controlled treatment of TB, but there was no special control over HIV treatment from the unit staff. Patients or their family members needed to visit the AIDS Center to receive ARV drugs but some were unable to do so due to different reasons. In 2012 nursing roles in this unit were extended in order to provide coordinated and controlled treatment of both TB and HIV. In this new system the ARV drugs are sent to the nursing post and, after proper documentation by the head nurse, are given to the patients by the ward nurses. Nurses are also responsible for providing controlled treatment and motivating patients to continue the treatment. It is well known that patients receiving both TB and HIV therapy suffer from side-effects; many develop depression. Nurses monitor the emotional well-being of patients and intervene, provide necessary support and invite specialist doctors for individual consultations. As a result, all indicators of treatment outcomes in the unit have significantly improved. Out of all patients who received treatment in 2012, 79% of discharged patients were TB bacteria negative, and in 2013 this had risen to 86%. In addition, the TB/HIV unit achieved a decrease in mortality rates.

ICN TB Resources:

Last Updated on Monday, 24 March 2014 11:27

7 April: World Health Day: small creatures, big threat

World Health Day 2014 is focusing on vector-borne diseases which account for 17% of the estimated global burden of all infectious diseases.  Malaria alone kills an estimated one million people every year. It has been recognised that climate change could significantly affect the ranges and numbers of disease vectors, such as mosquitoes, water quality, air quality, and food availability and quality.

In particular, ICN is concerned that the more than three billion people, who presently live in poverty across the world, will be seriously affected by climatic changes, as they are more dependent on natural resources, more vulnerable to infectious diseases and more prone to suffer the impact of disasters such as flood, drought, fires, and storms.

ICN Publications on Health and the Environment:

ICN position statements on:

Last Updated on Friday, 04 April 2014 13:06

World Immunisation Week 24-30 April: Are you up to date?

Immunisation is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. Thanks to modern vaccines crippling childhood diseases have been brought under control and some like smallpox have been eradicated saving the lives of millions. Immunisation is also a key strategy to ensure global health security and to respond to the threat of emerging infections. Despite the success of immunisation, parents sometimes fail to have their children fully vaccinated due to misinformation and unfounded rumours about possible adverse events. Failure to protect children through vaccination far outweighs any likelihood of adverse events following immunisation.

Nurses have possibly the most important role to play of any health care professional in the immunisation process. As the largest professional group that has presence in all health settings, nurses are most likely to advise and inform parents on vaccination, as well as actually administer vaccines. Nurses are also well placed to act as role models to achieve national goals and targets for immunisation coverage.  ICN’s publication Adult and Childhood Immunisation provides up-to-date information to nurses and other health professionals.  In addition, ICN has a fact sheet on Immunisations for health care workers: influenza and hepatits B which explores the issues associated with the immunisation of health care workers against these two important vaccine-preventable diseases.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 01:00

The 2nd Latin American Workforce Forum

The 2nd Latin American Workforce Forum (LAWFF) was held 24-25 April, 2014 in Havana, Cuba, following the meeting of the Federación Panamericana de Profesionales de Enfermería (FEPPEN), 22–23 April. During the forum FEPPEN held a training session on “Working together in the development of human resources in Latin America”. There was also a panel discussion on the “Development and training of human resources in nursing”. Over 50 participants from 18 countries were in attendance including the ICN President and ICN Board members from Costa Rica and Bolivia.  A communique was developed and is available here.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 August 2014 01:00

The Fight the Fakes campaign

The Fight the Fakes campaign welcomes 11 new partners: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU), the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), the European Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (GIRP), the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF), Mobilium, the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), PSM India and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI).  There are now 25 member organisations in the campaign which raises awareness about the dangers of fake medicines. Fight the Fakes is a global movement of organisations and individuals that speak up and help spread the word about this under-reported, yet growing crime.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 August 2014 01:00

WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing

The WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Development at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia was elected to act as Secretariat of the Global Network.  A  Ceremony of Transfer was held on 29 July 2014 in Coimbra, Portugal at the 17th General Meeting of the WHO CC Global Network.  The Network is comprised of WHO Collaborating Centre from the six regions of WHO, who focus on nursing and midwifery.  Founded in 1988 the Network strives to enhance the collaborative activities of Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centres, supporting WHO’s efforts toward universal health coverage. More information can be found on

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 01:00

WHO declaring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

In light of the WHO declaring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as a public health emergency of international concern and the continuing loss of life in the four involved countries including that of nurses and other health care workers, ICN wishes to send  a message of continued support to those providing health care in these countries and our condolences to those who have been most affected. The ICN acknowledges and applauds the courageous work of the nurses and other healthcare workers in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria during this tragic outbreak. We continue to monitor and discuss the situation with our colleagues within the WHO. For more information, we refer you to the WHO websites below as they have the most up to date information informed by in-country teams:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 01:00

Healthworkers at Risk

150 years after the adoption of the original Geneva Convention to protect the wounded on the battlefield, violence against patients and healthcare workers remains a major problem.  Blatant disrespect for the neutral status of medical facilities, transport and personnel is all too common in places such as Syria, Gaza or South Sudan.  The ICRC’s Health Care in Danger Project aims to protect healthcare workers by making access to healthcare in situations of armed violence more secure. Their latest video raises awareness about international humanitarian law, including the rules that protect patients and healthcare workers.

ICN’s advocacy work to protect healthcare workers and lobby for other key issues can be found on our advocacy page.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 01:00

ICN - Burdett Global Nursing Leadership Institute 2014

The 2014 Global Nursing Leadership Institute will be held 6-12 September 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. With 35 senior nurse leaders participating from 30 countries, representing all regions of the world, this is the largest class yet selected for the 6-day advanced leadership programme.  Under the theme of “Governance and Management”, the 2014 GNLI offers nurse leaders the opportunity to develop knowledge and competencies that focus on professional and self-regulation.  They will also learn how to deal with increasingly complex ethical challenges and to develop skills to understand institutional governance and management in the context of non-governmental organisations, the United Nations and other strategic partners.  

Last Updated on Friday, 29 August 2014 01:00

World Alzheimer’s Month

AlzheimersSeptember is World Alzheimer’s Month. With the theme, ‘Dementia: Can we reduce the risk?', this year’s campaign focuses on ways we may be able to help reduce our risk of developing dementia with brain healthy lifestyles. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, there are currently estimated to be 44 million people worldwide living with dementia. The number of people affected is set to rise to over 135 million by 2050. Nurses have a central role to play in raising public awareness and recognition of dementia throughout the world.  They can promote the importance of assessment and early diagnosis; the need for inclusive community support services and accommodation options; and the value of education and training for formal and informal caregivers.  They can encourage and support caregiver self-help groups and multidisciplinary collaboration in dementia-oriented practice and research, and they can advocate for the protection of patients’ rights and interests.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 01:00

SLNA Ebola report

Senesie Margao, President of the Sierra Leone Nurses Association (SLNA) has sent ICN an update on the situation regarding the Ebola virus in their country.  As of 3 September 2014, the SNLA reports 1,115 confirmed cases; 399 confirmed deaths of whom over 40 are nurses; 251 discharged cases, total survived and sent home.  The SNLA recently carried out a training of nurses on the prevention and care of Ebola patients, with funding from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.  The training, which took place in 14 districts with 568 nurses, concentrated on:

  • introduction to the virus
  • clinical management
  • infection control
  • nursing a patient with Ebola
  • safe care of the dead
  • supportive care for the caregiver and
  • practical training on personal protective equipment and working in an isolation unit

Full report

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 01:00

29 September – World Heart Day

Join the global movement for better heart-healthy choices wherever you live, work and play.

Heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year and the numbers are rising. By 2030, it is expected that 23 million people will die from CVDs annually.  The focus of the 2014 World Heart Day is the creation of a global movement to harness the power of individuals to protect their own, and others', heart health.
ICN’s Grow Your Wellness website provides nurses with key educational resources to help them adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle and reap the many benefits, such as increased energy, a sense of wellness and a reduction in the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 01:00

1 October 2014: International Day for Older Persons: “Older people – a new power for development"

According to the World Health Organization, there are currently around 600 million persons aged 60 years and over worldwide; this total will double by 2025 and will reach virtually two billion by 2050 - the vast majority of them in the developing world. While such a major demographic change presents huge challenges to healthcare, often the contributions that older people make to society are overlooked: contributions such as volunteer work, transmitting experience and knowledge, helping their families with caring responsibilities and participating in the paid labour force. The nursing workforce is also ageing yet older nurses are a rich human resource pool. In many countries, they represent the fastest growing segment of the nursing workforce. Their premature or forced exit from the workforce and/or reduction in working hours means a loss of much needed and experienced nurses to care for patients. When they retire, their knowledge, wisdom and clinical expertise are lost, as is their contribution to training and mentoring the next generation of nurses. ICN advocates for positive practice environments for all health professionals across all age groups, to end age related discrimination and improve working conditions; develops and promotes nursing human resource management competencies in order to improve the abilities of managers to develop and implement HR policies that effectively address the needs of an ageing nursing workforce; and raises awareness through publications, position statements and at meetings and other forums on the specific issues facing the older nurse.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 01:00

Death penalty statement

On World Day Against the Death Penalty, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) strongly affirms its position that nurses should play no voluntary role in any deliberate infliction of physical or mental suffering and should not participate, either directly or indirectly, in the preparation for and the implementation of executions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 01:00

10 October World Mental Health Day

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, ICN has identified the following actions for nurses and national nurses associations to combat stigma and discrimination and to transform mental health for all:

  • Promote mental health and prevent illness
  • Improve access to mental health care services
  • Promote community participation in mental health services planning, operation and evaluation
  • Influence policy makers and the public to shift from institutional care to primary health care through community-based programmes and task shifting approaches
  • Address educational needs of health personnel in mental health issues
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 01:00

11 October: International Day of the Girl Child

This year’s theme for the International Day of the Girl Child is “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence” in recognition of the importance of investing in and empowering adolescent girls and of preventing and eliminating the various forms of violence adolescent girls experience.  According to the World Health Organization women with less education are generally more likely to experience violence than those with higher levels of education.  The ICN-FNIF Girl Child Education Fund supports the primary and secondary schooling of girls under the age of 18 in developing countries whose nurse parent or parents have died. Please donate today to support African nurses and ensure a brighter future for their daughters.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 01:00

The 4th International Conference on Violence in the Health Sector

The 4th International Conference on Violence in the Health Sector will be held 22-24 October in Miami, Florida, USA.  The theme is “Towards safety, security and wellbeing for all”. Work related aggression and violence within the health and social services sector is a major problem which diminishes the quality of working life for staff, compromises organizational effectiveness and ultimately impacts negatively on the provision and quality of care. These problems pervade both service settings and all occupational professional groups in the health sector.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 01:00

Nurses elected to Institute of Medicine

Dr Stephanie Ferguson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN,Director of ICN’s Leadership for Change Programme and the ICN-Burdett Global Nursing Leadership Institute, and Dr Sheila Tlou, Ph.D., RN,Faculty member of the ICN-Burdett Global Nursing Leadership Institute and regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, UNAIDS, have been elected as members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM).  Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honours in the fields of health and medicine and recognises individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.  Other nurses who were elected include: Margaret Heitkemper, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, professor and chair of biobehavioral nursing, biobehavioral nursing and health systems, School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle; and Kathleen Marie Potempa, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean and professor, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 01:00

ICN Board’s statement on Ebola

ICN President Judith Shamian delivers the ICN Board’s statement on Ebola

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 October 2015 01:00

End of the Year Greetings 2014

                                               Judith Shamian - ICN President

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 March 2015 01:00

Virtual nursing session during the Med-e-Tel Conference 2015

Join the virtual nursing session to be held during the Med-e-Tel Conference on Friday, 24 April 2015 from 14:00-16:00 European Central Time (Luxembourg).  It is sponsored by Telenursing Working Group of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth, in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses.

The virtual nursing session can be accessed via the Anymeeting Platform: Seven nurses will make presentations, and there will be opportunity for questions to the presenters. Any questions you may have before Med-e-Tel may be directed to the ICN eHealth Programme office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Anymeeting Vroom Platform will open for technical adjustments 1 hour before the time interval scheduled for the session. 

All remote participants will access the Anymeeting Platform as "ATTENDEES".

In order to get specific skills, attendees are recommended to visit the following "Anymeeting" areas:

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 April 2015 01:00

UN Ambassadors and longstanding funders celebrate the GCEF

GCEF 1On the occasion of the 10th GCEF Country Coordinators Workshop in Geneva, UN Ambassadors joined long standing funders, Board Directors of the Florence Nightingale International Foundation and ICN staff, to celebrate and learn more about the impact and outcomes of the Girl Child Education Fund since its launch in 2005. After listening intently to moving presentations from the GCEF Country Coordinators, Ambassadors from the four implementing countries of Kenya, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia, and those from Norway, Sweden and the USA, where NNAs have been loyal supporters, along with the Project Manager of the Symphasis Foundation, all pledged further support and continued solidarity. With over 300 graduates since 2006, the GCEF has also made an impact in lowering dropout and pregnancy rates amongst the participants.

Attending were: H.E. Mrs Pamela Hamamoto, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the United States of America; H.E. Ms. Encyla Sinjela, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia; H.E.

Mr. John Kakonge, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya; H.E. Ambassador Rossette Nyirinkindi Katungye, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Uganda; H.E. Mr Steffen Kongstad, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Norway; Ms Jennifer J. Neves, Chargé d’Affaires, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Swaziland; Ms Katarina Martholm Fried, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Sweden; Thomas Albert, Project Manager, Symphasis Charitable Foundation; Dr. Patrizia Carlevaro, FNIF Board Director; Linda Carrier-Walker, FNIF Board Director; Jean Barry, ICN Nurse Consultant; Maite Martinez, ICN Policy Coordinator. The Ambassadors of Denmark and Japan and Paula DeCola of Pfizer regretted they were not able to attend.

Presentations can be accessed here:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 01:00

Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Instrument

ICN and Pfizer have jointly developed a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Instrument to assess nurse’s lifestyle behaviour, with a particular focus on healthy ageing. Thanks to further funding from Pfizer, this instrument will now be expanded to include further questions on immunisation, cholesterol levels and work environment issues.

The new HRA will be sent to selected nurse populations in order to study results and create collateral material to support identified needs.  The results will be presented at a “Healthy Nurse” booth at the ICN Conference in Korea in June, where additional data will be collected from participants. Maintaining a healthy workforce is important for both nurses themselves and to protect vulnerable patients.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 01:00

Enf of the Year (2015) greetings

Last Updated on Monday, 21 December 2015 01:00

Dialogue on Noncommunicable Diseases and International Cooperation

ICN will take part in the Dialogue on Noncommunicable Diseases and International Cooperation convened by the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on Noncommunicable Diseases from 30 November through1 December 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Dialogue provides a platform for an interactive, strategic multi-stakeholder discussion on how countries can fulfil the commitments made by Heads of State and Government in 2011 and 2014 to strengthen international cooperation on the prevention and control of NCDs within the framework of North–South, South–South and triangular cooperation. The dialogue will result in a report with recommendations. This is the first global meeting convened by the WHO on NCDs following the United Nations General Assembly Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 development Agenda (New York, 25-27 September 2015).  The Dialogue will provide an opportunity to explore how to countries can fulfil their NCD commitments in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030, which includes a global target to, by 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from NCDs.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 December 2015 01:00

South American Nursing Summit

Dr. Marlen Calvo Solano, member of the ICN Board, has participated at the 1st South American Nursing Summit in Paraguay which has established the South American Nursing Council.
The 1st South American Nursing Summit was held 14-15 August in Asunción, Paraguay, and gathered nurses from associations in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, El Salvador and Uruguay in order to reflect about current and future challenges and concretise agreements for strengthening communication and solidarity of nursing in South America. The nursing leaders participating in the Summit have created the South American Nursing Council with the objectives of ensuring the leadership development of nurses in the region, strengthening the engagement of nurses at governmental level and their participation at policy tables and making progress in the regulation of the nursing education and nursing professional practice.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 October 2015 01:00

26 January: Consensus Framework for Ethical Collaboration

On 26 January, an event will be held in Geneva, Switzerland to celebrate the first anniversary of the Consensus Framework for Ethical Collaboration between patients’ organisations, healthcare professionals and the pharmaceutical industry.  The Consensus Framework was established by five global healthcare organisations in order to support partnerships that will aim to delivers great patient benefits and support high quality patient care.  The five founding organisations are the International Alliance of Patients Organizations (IAPO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Association (IFPMA) the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the World Medical Association (WMA).  This year, two new partners have endorsed the Framework: the International Hospital Federation /IHF) and the International Generic Pharmaceutical Alliance (IGPA).  For more information on the anniversary event, please contact the IFPMA secretariat at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 01:00

Dr Norma Lang looks back at the beginning of ICNP

                                               Norma Lang

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the International Classification for Nursing Practice,
Dr Norma Lang looks back at the beginning of ICNP.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 01:00

12th of May 2015: The International Nurses Day

The message of the ICN President, Judith Shamian

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 October 2015 01:00

UN Sustainable Development Summit

More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit from 25-27 September at UN headquarters in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda. This momentous agenda will serve as the launch pad for action by the international community and by national governments to promote shared prosperity and well-being for all over the next 15 years. 

At this time of transition to the sustainable development goals (SDGs), ICN would like to highlight the need for a more system-wide investment with primary focus on health promotion and prevention of illness and other unhealthy conditions. As countries are accelerating efforts towards universal health coverage, there is a clear need for strong, well-equipped and well-staffed healthcare systems in order to continuously provide good quality healthcare services to all people in need. Nurses are the frontline responders to a range of health problems as a result of factors that are beyond health sector control. We believe that health must be considered in non-health goals including poverty, nutrition, water and sanitation, environment, education, human rights, gender and equity, disaster risk reduction and transport.

Nurses’ contributions to achieving global development goals take place both at the point of care and at the policy decision making table. As prime healthcare service providers, nurses can provide quantitative and qualitative data to inform evidence based policy development. To ensure smooth transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals, and to keep the momentum and accelerate the efforts to achieve health for all, ICN encourages the involvement of nurses both in health and non-health policy design, planning and implementation at national, regional and international levels. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 01:00

Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030

Two global meetings on nursing and midwifery were held in Geneva from 15-18 September 2015. The meetings supported the current work on developing a Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 (GSHRH). The first meeting focused on the documentation of the rich history of nursing and midwifery in WHO to inform the future of nursing and midwifery in the context of the global GSHRH 2030 and within the multidisciplinary interdependent health care delivery system. The second meeting focused on discussing the draft strategic directions on nursing and midwifery development 2016-2030 a critical companion to the GSHRH 2030. Read more…

Forty five participants attending these meeting were drawn from all six WHO regions and included Directors of WHO Collaborating Centers for nursing and midwifery development, regional Advisers for nursing and midwifery, stake holders including ICN, ICM, ILO, the Nightingale international Initiative, UNICEF, UNFPA and selected WHO departments. At the conclusion of these meetings, critical information was generated for the documentation of the history of nursing and midwifery in WHO. Both meetings were presided over by Jim Campbell, Director HWH and Annette Mwansa Nkowane, Technical Officer for nursing and midwifery supported by the international nurse expert and facilitator Stephanie Ferguson. A draft of the strategic direction on nursing and midwifery (2016-2030) will be made available for consultation from the 2-20 November 2015. A publication on the history of Nursing and Midwifery will be launched in May 2016.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 October 2015 01:00

The ICN is calling for submissions of case studies for the 2017 International Nurses Day Resource

The International Council of Nurses is calling for submissions of case studies for the 2017 International Nurses Day (IND) Resource.

Individuals, teams and organisations can send their contributions until 30 September 2016.

The 2017 theme is “A Voice to Lead: achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

For over 45 years, ICN has been publishing the International Nurses Day Resource (formerly known as the IND toolkit).

This resource ‘pack’ is provided to more than 130 countries reaching a potential audience of 16 million nurses globally.

Used by the nursing community everywhere, it is a strategy to improve health and health systems globally.

In 2017, ICN will change the way it presents and delivers the International Nurses Day Resource to better engage members, with:

  • Improved visuals and accessibility via web based interface
  • Improved ownership through case studies
  • A resource that is interactive and dynamic
  • Clear and concise call to action

ICN is interested in the work of nurses at any level (front line nurses, managers, directors, chief nurses, National Nursing Associations, Professional Nursing Organisations) –as individuals or in teams.

The case studies will provide the audience with an understanding of how nurses are critical leaders across the world in achieving the targets set out in the SDG’s.

The table outlines requirements in more details.

This is an exciting opportunity for countries to showcase their work to the entire world on how nurses are leading and are pivotal in the realization of the SDGs.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 September 2016 01:00