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ICN Congress 2021 - "Nursing Around the World" to celebrate the nursing profession

23 November 2020

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) today has announced new dates for next year’s biennial ICN Congress. The virtual event will be held on 2-4 November 2021 and will take delegates on a virtual celebratory tour of the world to reflect the truly global nature of nursing and celebrate the contribution nurses have made, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the theme ‘Nursing Around the World’, ICN 2021 will pass the nursing baton across the globe in a series of live and interactive events which will give our members the opportunity to showcase their expertise and innovations throughout the world. The ‘around the world’ theme will kick off in the Emirates where the Emirates Nurses Association (ENA) will be our partners for the 2021 Congress, before moving to Asia, the Americas, Europe and Africa and then returning to the Middle East for the conclusion of this virtual global tour.

ICN President Annette Kennedy said:

“We are planning for our Congress next year to be a unique event that will serve as a tonic for our profession, hopefully with the dark days of the pandemic behind us.

‘2020 has been the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, but the emergence of COVID-19 meant that we were not able to hold the many thousands of small events that had been planned by nurses all around the world. Our Congress next year will make up for that with an amazing celebration of nursing and nurses, a party for all 27 million nurses to enjoy from the safety of their homes. It will provide a pick-me-up for us all and enable us to look forward to a brighter and more certain future.”

In addition to celebrating the world of nursing, ICN 2021 will address the many burning issues affecting our profession, which have been brought into such stark focus by the pandemic.

Ms Kennedy added:

“Alongside the events we have planned a full scientific programme, we will of course be taking time to commemorate and mourn the loss of our many nurse colleagues who have sadly died during the pandemic. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

ICN Chief Executive Officer Howard Catton said:

“2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, not least our nurses, many of whom have, through no fault of their own, been in harm’s way during the course of their duties. But from the bedside to the boardroom, nursing has been the golden thread that binds our health services together and ensures our patients get the treatment and care that they deserve.

‘ICN Congress 2021 will celebrate the amazing achievements of our profession, highlight its latest research, and show how nursing leadership has shaped the world’s responses to the pandemic and all the other healthcare challenges that we face.” ICN originally announced its 2021 Congress for 5-9 June 2021 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has been decided to move it to a later date and change its nature. Abstracts have already been submitted and registrations made in early 2020, but abstract submission will reopen with the option to edit previously submitted papers as well as submit new abstracts. For those already registered for ICN 2021, we offer the choice of a full refund or a transfer of the registration to the virtual Congress with a refund of the difference. Full details on new fees will be available by the end of November 2020. Registration to the virtual Congress will open early 2021.

You may visit the new landing page of the ICN 2021 virtual Congress at

The Council of National Nursing Association representatives (CNR), ICN’s governing body, will meet virtually on 4-6 October 2021 when elections for a new President and Board will take place.

Download the press release here


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