GNLI Alumni Speak Out - Part 7
Lian-Hua Huang is Vice-President of the Taiwan Nurses Association, Chief Executive Officer for nursing at the China Medical University Health Care System, Taichung City, Taiwan, and a member of ICN’s Board of Directors.
In 2009 she enrolled on the first ever cohort of scholars attending the ICN’s Global Nursing Leadership Initiative (GNLI) in Geneva, which is a strategic leadership programme that prepares very senior nurses from around the world to drive policy that improves the health of people, healthcare and the nursing profession.
Many previous attendees of the GNLI, including Professor Huang, have gone on to prestigious roles at the very highest level of nursing in their countries and regions.
She spoke to ICN about the GNLI programme and how it has broadened her approach to nursing and influenced her career.
"Between 2009 and 2011 I was the president of Taiwan Nurses Association (TWNA). I had heard that ICN was starting its Global Nursing Leadership Initiative (GNLI) so I arranged for myself and one other nurse from the TWNA to attend.
"It was a wonderful programme that opened my eyes to the issues of global healthcare and global nursing.’ She said attending the programme enabled her to meet nurses and make friends from all around the world, bridging the gap between herself and other nurses living and working in different cultures and countries.
"I learned about the importance of nurses actively participating in policymaking and speaking with one voice as a global community of nurses. It enhanced my ability to communicate with nurses around the world and to express my own ideas more clearly.’ Professor Huang says attending the GNLI had a great influence on her, not least in the way it galvanised her efforts to increase leadership training for other nurses in Korea.
"I realised that in Taiwan we needed our own leadership training programme to develop our nurse leaders at home, so I set up the Taiwan Nightingale Nursing Leadership Institute in 2011. So far, we have had 249 nurses complete the programme, which has massively increased the leadership capability of nurses in Taiwan."
She also set up a Taiwan-based version of ICN’s Leadership for Change programme for nurses from her country and others in the region.
"Attending the GNLI gave me a closer connection to ICN and its work at the national and international level. It has increased my understanding of nursing as a global profession, and it is an honour to be serving as an ICN board member between 2017 and 2021.
"Attending the GNLI programme focused my mind on leadership and enabled me to cultivate nurse leaders in Taiwan. It taught me to participate in policymaking with a strong, unified voice for nursing, and we are continuing to work to raise the status of nursing, increase nurses’ pay and improve their working conditions in the practice environment.
"I am looking forward to 2020 being The Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and we will be using the Nursing Now Nightingale Challenge 2020 to create a new, younger generation of nurse leaders in Taiwan."
The TWNA still sends one or two of its leading nurses to the GNLI programme most years, and it also sponsor nurses from other countries to attend, so that they too can benefit from the programme.
"I would definitely recommend the GNLI programme to nurse leaders who want to be the best they can be. The GNLI is a great programme – long may it continue."