Worldwide, nurses and nursing students benefit from being informed to navigate professional organisations to advance and support their professional development and contributions to transform our health and social systems. It is important to fully appreciate professional associations locally, nationally and internationally; to critically examine their vision, mission, strategic priorities, and impact for membership consideration.
Allow me to walk you through my journeyed experience. I am an active member supporting and contributing to my provincial nursing associations. It is important to look outside your local and regional lens to include a national perspective. In my case, my national association is the Canadian Nurses Association, which includes membership with the International Council of Nurses (ICN). International membership provides a comprehensive world view, insights and awareness for the greater good for all. Local to global participation cumulatively catapults your knowledge, connections, growth, untapped potential, future opportunities and innovation.
ICN is a federation of more than 135 national nursing associations (NNA), representing the more than 27 million nurses to unite global nursing power. Members are diverse, encompassing direct care, education, scholarship, advance practice, and labour unions. One of the four ICN strategic plan priorities targets strengthening membership empowerment across the three pillars of professional nursing practice, nursing regulation and the socioeconomic welfare for nurses. Enabling nurses to address key challenges at regional and national levels to maximize the global impact, reach and influence of nurses is targeted. Matching individual nurses, NNAs and now, Nursing Now Groups’ legacies, synergizes ICN to leverage shared knowledge and leadership to build reach, momentum, collective capacity, competence and confidence. ICN’s flagship legacy leadership programmes (Global Nursing Leadership Institute and Leadership for Change) are not just reserved for members. Our expert nursing and health policy hub, the International Nursing Review peer- reviewed scientific journal, International Classification of Nursing Practice (ICNP) data, webinars and events are just a few benefits members enjoy. The ICN family helps to support nurses, proactively and reactively, in hard times, as seen with ongoing ICN support during COVID-19 and during natural and manmade disasters in, for example, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Haiti and Lebanon . Nurses supporting nurses is paramount to world needs.
Caroline Lucarelli is ICN’s dedicated, committed and experienced Membership Officer. Her devotion, attention to detail, strong engagement relationships and two-way communication with member organisations to optimize customer focus is treasured. The benefits of ICN membership offer cumulative global value. As a nursing profession, alignment with reputable and professional nursing associations is important. With over 120 years’ experience, ICN is a credible and globally respected nongovernmental organisation who leads in identifying and intervening on key health policy issues. We are a non-state actor with the World Health Organization and have special status with the United Nations. We work better together to build, influence and sustain for collective action through governments, inter-governmental agencies, and key stakeholders. Let’s maximize our reach, scope and scale together. As ICN Chief Nurse, I have a purposeful and deliberate intention to lead. Let’s lead the world together to inform, contribute and monitor the next State of the World’s Nursing report and the Global Strategic Directions of Nursing and Midwifery to improve the health of the world and professional realities.
Looking forward to connecting with you at the ICN Congress in November.
Dr. Michelle Acorn, ICN Chief Nurse, DNP, NP PHC/Adult, CGNC, FCAN