ICN Chief Nurse Blog - October 2021

18 October 2021

This month’s blog will highlight our second signature ICN leadership programme, Leadership for Change (LFC). The July blog focused on the Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI) https://www.icn.ch/news/icn-chief-nurse-blog-july-2021.

Established in 1996, the LFC programme aims to cultivate leadership skills among nurses so that they can implement organisational change in order to improve nursing practice and achieve better health outcomes. The target group for the LFC programme is nurses in management roles who are in a position to implement organisational change to improve things or implement new programmes to support quality services or a supportive healthcare workplace environment. The programme covers a wide range of leadership and management concepts. Teaching methodology includes brief lectures, group activities and facilitated discussion sessions. Using the management and leadership strategies learned in the programme, each participant works in a team of three to five individuals to develop, implement and evaluate a significant change project.

All LFC programmes are initiated through the ICN member country nursing association. While all of the concepts included in the programme curriculum are covered in all LFC programmes, each LFC individual programme is tailored to respond to the specific needs of the countries in which they are implemented. This is achieved through close collaboration with the national nursing association and healthcare entities in the country. The vast majority of nurses who complete the LFC programme advance their careers in nursing by receiving promotions and or having their scope of responsibility markedly expanded. LFC graduates across the world continue to lead efforts to implement change, assure access to care, improve the healthcare workplace environment of nurses, which in turn supports improved delivery of health services.

On behalf of ICN, I would like to thank the national nursing associations for their partnerships and support for the LFC. This very special programme provides nurses with the opportunity to develop an understanding of global health challenges, gain advanced leadership skills and abilities to improve health services.

Many corporate and philanthropic organisations continue to support the LFC programme. For instance, through the generous support of Johnson & Johnson and the collaboration of the Chinese Nurses Association, the LFC programme is now being offered to 500 nurses across 12 provinces of China. During 2020, Union to Union supported an LFC programme in Lesotho, and is now supporting the LFC programme in Cambodia. Many nursing associations have secured support from their ministry of health, while others have supported the programme themselves. Currently, ICN has LFC programmes underway in Bahamas, Cambodia, Chinese Mainland, Mauritius, Norway, Seychelles, Taiwan Region and United Arab Emirates. India is scheduled to start two cohorts of LFC programmes at the end of 2021, and continue into 2022, and a regional programme for Africa will also commence next year.

The impact of the LFC programme has been noted by many local governments and ministries of health. LFC programmes in Bahamas, Lebanon, Taiwan Region and the United Arab Emirates have received such recognition.

ICN has been working diligently to maintain the high standards of the programme. Dr Kristine Qureshi has been serving as the Global Director for the ICN LFC Programme since 2015. ICN has a cadre of LFC programme trainers, recruited from among nurses who have completed an LFC programme, who are willing and able to support LFC across the globe. ICN aims to have LFC trainers in every region of the world.

Our amazing Programme Officer, Tania Pavlovic, has supported the LFC process since 2017, from programme implementation with the national nurses associations to ensuring everything runs smoothly from contracts to logistics and licensing.

Please welcome Stella de Sabata, our new Programme Manager, who will provide oversight and seek opportunities to ensure that LFC programmes are run as widely as possible, and LFC trainers are cultivated in sufficient numbers.

The LFC and GNLI programmes are part of ICN’s ongoing work that aligns with the World Health Organization’s Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery that include leadership development. For more information on these programmes, visit our website.

We hope you can join us at the ICN virtual Congress on 4 November, 16:30-18:00 CET for a session on Leadership Development in Action: ICN’s Leadership for Change and Global Nursing and Leadership Institute Programmes – Live meet and greet the LFC and GNLI programme directors. To register for the Congress, click here.

Yours in nursing, health, and leadership,



Dr. Michelle Acorn, ICN Chief Nurse, DNP, NP, CGNC, FCAN, FAAN