Canadian Nurses Association and the International Council of Nurses co-host “Nursing. Power. Advocacy - Helping Nurses Deliver”

3 June 2019

Geneva, Switzerland; Vancouver, Canada; 3 June 2019 – International experts and key stakeholders gathered 1-2 June 2019 at a special Policy Event geared towards identifying solutions to helping nurses mobilise and deliver the best results for patients and the health system as a whole. The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and International Council of Nurses (ICN) hosted this event at the Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

With the Women Deliver Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender and equality, being held in Vancouver from 3-6 June 2019, CNA and ICN took the opportunity to hold an international colloquium to focus on the links among power, nursing and advocacy. The nursing profession is dominated by women and, as such, nurses experience gender inequality at individual, organisational and structural levels.


Annette Kennedy, ICN’s President, who gave the welcoming remarks said:

’Gender inequality is a scourge that blights the lives of women and girls and diminishes the potential of everyone – women and men – to live the best, most productive, happiest and healthiest lives they can. We know that if we empower nurses, we will address gender inequality more generally.’

Claire Betker, CNA’s president, said:

‘CNA is grateful to have had the opportunity to co-host this event with ICN. It is very important to have these conversations and identify strategies within and outside the nursing profession that help address power imbalances. I believe all nurses are leaders and we need help empower nurses to be leaders in their communities.’


The event kicked off Saturday evening with a welcome from Katja Iversen, President and CEO of Women Deliver, followed by an inspiring conversation with Autumn Peltier about youth, the voices of young women and the challenges of mustering personal courage and power. Autumn is a 14-year-old girl who was nominated for the 2017 International Children’s Peace Prize for her inspiring advocacy for clean and reliable drinking water. The conversations continued into Sunday where participants heard from and had the chance to engage with numerous inspiring leaders on the impacts and challenges of nursing. Nurses are leaders! The profession has tremendous power to influence health economics and population health.


ICN Chief Executive Officer, Howard Catton, told the audience about the pivotal work that ICN does with the World Health Organization.

“Because of ICN’s special status with WHO, we can contribute to the debates and influence decisions at the World Health Assembly. Our delegation to the Assembly last week ensured the voice of nursing was heard, and the role of nursing was reflected, strengthened and supported at the most important health policy decision-making body in the world. Coming just days after confirmation that 2020 will be the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, this policy event is the first in a series of important events and discussions ICN will be having over the coming weeks to ensure that 2020 delivers a step change in the recognition of and investment in nurses around the world”.

The Policy Event was a great success. The conversations will lead to ways in which both CNA and ICN can mobilise nurses and nursing to improve the health, well-being and rights of girls and women.

Note for Editors

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses’ associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing internationally, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.

About the Canadian Nurses Association

The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, representing 135,000 nurses in all 13 jurisdictions across Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For further information please contact

Gyorgy Madarasz, Press Officer, International Council of Nurses, Tel: +41 22 908 01 16

Eve Johnston Media and Communications Coordinator Canadian Nurses Association Tel: 613-237-2159, ext. 114 Cell: 613-237-3520 Email: [email protected]