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About ICN Awards International Achievement Award
International Achievement Award


About the award
Previous recipients
Award description
Nomination process
Presentation of the award

About the award

In 1999, ICN and the Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF) introduced the International Achievement Award to recognise present day nurse leaders. The International Achievement Award is given every two years to a mid-career practising nurse who is currently influencing nursing at the international level in two of nursing’s four domains: direct care, education, research and management. The award accords worldwide recognition of the recipient’s achievements and contribution to nursing internationally.

The conferment of this award for nursing achievement takes place at the FNIF Luncheon held during ICN’s biennial conferences and Quadrennial Congresses.

Previous recipients of the International Achievement Award

The inaugural recipient in 1999, Margaret Hilson, Canada, influenced nursing and health worldwide. She began her career as a community health nurse educator in India and later was appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to a regional training team where she gained first hand experience in Nepal, Thailand and Indonesia. In Central America, she worked with a women's peasant farmers' organisation to develop village health programmes and with a gold miners' union to assess occupational health and safety issues and prevention strategies.

In 2001, Dr Susie Kim, Korea received the second International Achievement Award. Dr Kim made major contributions to nursing education and practice, which have earned her international recognition. In the field of mental health, Dr Kim used qualitative research methodology to develop eight interpersonal caring techniques for improving self-esteem. She designed and established the first community-based mental health nurse care centre in Korea. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recognised the effectiveness of the centre in rehabilitating long-term medical patients at an affordable cost in Korea and in other developing countries.

The 2003 award was given to Carol Etherington, USA. Ms Etherington designed and implemented community based programmes for people living in the aftermath of war and natural disaster, working with ministries of health and national staff in Angola, Bosnia, Honduras, Kosovo, Poland, Sierra Leone and Tajikistan. The health and human rights needs of the under-served worldwide have been the passion and focus of Carol Etherington’s career, and she made an international impact with her advocacy for vulnerable and victimised populations.

2005: No award was present in 2005.

Anneli Eriksson, a registered nurse and President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)* in Sweden, was awarded the 2007 award. Her outstanding career includes working in India, Chechnya, Burundi, Sierra Leone, East Timor and Niger. Ms Eriksson is dedicated to getting nursing care to vulnerable populations worldwide and, in particular, has focused on helping endangered communities during catastrophes and the importance of nursing for populations living in precarious conditions. As the spokesperson for MSF Sweden she speaks out on the humanitarian values of that organisation and the importance of access to health care worldwide.” *Doctors without Borders

2009: As there was no recipient of the International Achievement Award this year, the special speaker at the FNIF Luncheon in 2009 was Nondunduzo Dlamini, a 19 year old graduate from the Girl Child Education Fund in Swaziland who talked about her experience and what the GCEF has meant to her. 

In 2011 Liisa Hallila of Finland received the International Achievement Award for her work in evidence-based nursing education and service development, organisational ethics, project planning, management and evaluation, teaching and training, and culturally sensitive practice; and for developing health care systems in a number of countries including Albania, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kosovo, Papua New Guinea and Russia.

2013: As there was no recipient of the International Achievement Award this year, the guest speaker was Mastisela Mhlanga, President of the Swaziland Nurses Association whose heartfelt speech touched everyone at the Luncheon and brought home the true purpose of the GCEF and how it changes the lives of the girls as well as the nurses in Africa.

Award description

The International Achievement Award is offered biennially to a practising nurse, with at least 10 years of nursing experience in one of the following domains of nursing: direct care, education, management or research. Nominees must have achieved significant impact internationally.


  • Nominees must be practising nurses, with a minimum 10 years of nursing experience, in one domain of nursing: direct care, education, management or research.
  • Nominees must have achieved significant impact internationally.
  • Nominees must be members of a National Nurses’ Association (NNA) in current membership (dues fully paid) of the International Council of Nurses (ICN).
  • Nominees must agree to be nominated, to deliver a public address on the occasion of the presentation of the award at an international nursing event, and to partake in award publicity.
  • The award will not be made posthumously.

Note: Members of the FNIF, ICNF and ICN Boards of Directors and any employees of these organisations may not make or support nominations, nor be nominated themselves.

Nomination process

Presentation of the award

A commemorative gift and a certificate detailing the award will be presented and the award recipient will deliver a public address to an audience of nurses from around the world. Related travel and subsistence costs will be included in the award. An official register of recipients and citations will be maintained.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 01:00