Enhancing nurses’ leadership skills in Bangladesh - ICN launches Leadership for Change in Bangladesh

2 November 2022


The Opening Ceremony of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Leadership for ChangeTM (LFC) programme in Dhaka, Bangladesh was held yesterday in partnership with Empowering Women through Professionalization of the Nursing Sector in Bangladesh (ProNurse), Global Affairs Canada and Cowater International.

The opening ceremony of LFC Bangladesh, led by Dr Kristine Qureshi, LFC Programme Director, included a welcome address by Rashida Akhter, Registrar, Bangladesh Nursing & Midwifery Council. Abdul Latif, Deputy Manager of the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery (DGNM) introduced the ProNurse project.

This five-year project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, is led by Cowater International and delivered  in association with the University of Montreal, and the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN). It aims to improve the quality of gender-responsive education and enhance the professional status of nurses in Bangladesh.

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Through ICN’s LFC programme, the project will build the leadership capacity of nurses in Bangladesh by providing LFC training to four cohorts of 25 nurses each, and a training-of-trainers (ToT) course to 15-20 nurses selected from the LFC trainees during the course. The LFC ToT will expand the national trainers’ skills to support and prepare other nurses for additional future leadership development with the aim of creating a faculty within the DGNM and the Bangladesh Nurses Association that can organise and deliver a sustainable LFC programme within the country.

Dr Pamela Cipriano, ICN President, remarked:

“It is exciting to see the ICN LFC programme launched in Bangladesh. Leadership is one of the four policy focus areas of the World Health Organization’s Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery 2021-2025 which recommends increasing the numbers of nurses serving in senior leadership positions and investing in leadership skills development. ICN’s leadership programmes directly contribute to this goal by equipping nurses with knowledge, strategies and strength so they can lead and manage nursing and health services in often complex and chaotic environments.

‘In addition, disasters, such as the recent destruction caused by Cyclone Sitrang, demonstrate the critical need for nursing leadership in the country as nurses work on the frontlines of caring for those affected by natural disasters. ICN stands in solidarity with the nurses and people of Bangladesh and calls on governments to take action in order to reduce the effects of climate change on health.”

The launch also included presentations by Lubana Ahmed, ProNurse Project Director; Shirina Akhter, Principal, Dhaka Nursing College; Kristine Qureshi; Véronique Doyon, Vice President, Cowater; Joe Goodings, Head of Aid, Development Programs, High Commission of Canada in Bangladesh; Md. Abdus Salam Khan, Joint Secretary, Planning Wing, Medical Education and Family Welfare Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW); Dr Lilly Nicholls, High Commissioner of Canada in Bangladesh; and Saiful Hassan Badal, Secretary, Medical Education and Family Welfare Division, MoHFW.

ICN has been a pioneer in leadership, management and negotiation skill development for nurses for more than 25 years through its highly successful leadership programmes: Leadership for Change™, Leadership in Negotiation, and the ICN Global Nursing Leadership Institute.

Established in 1995, the ICN LFC programme aims to prepare nurses with the leadership skills that are required to implement organisational change for the purpose of improving nursing practice and achieving better health outcomes. LFC programmes are tailored to respond to the specific needs of the countries in which they are implemented. This is achieved through close collaboration with the national nurse associations.

Download the press release here