International Council of Nurses announces appointment of new ICN Chief Nurse

4 May 2021


Photo credit: Registered Nurse Journal

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) today announced the appointment of Dr. Michelle Acorn, DNP, NP PHC/ADULT, MN/ACNP, FCAN, CGNC, as ICN Chief Nurse.

Dr. Acorn comes to ICN from Ontario, Canada where she held the position of Provincial Chief Nursing Officer, Ministries of Health & Long-Term Care since 2018. As ICN’s Chief Nurse, Dr. Acorn will be responsible for the development of ICN’s Nursing and Health Policy work, and the strategic development and delivery of ICN programmes and projects.

"We are delighted to welcome Michelle to the ICN team,” said Howard Catton, ICN Chief Executive Officer. “Michelle brings a great depth of knowledge and experience in providing strategic nursing expertise at the national level, and we look forward to working with her to advance ICN’s work in nursing policy.

Dr Acorn said, “I am privileged to join the reputable and impactful ICN. This timely opportunity to lead the advancement and support for the nursing profession worldwide is paramount. Integrating nursing expertise, leadership and decision-making that aligns with our global health priorities is essential.”

Dr. Acorn completed her Doctor of Nurse Practitioner/Nursing Practice and is certified as both a Primary Health Care and Adult Nurse Practitioner. She holds national nursing certifications in Emergency and Gerontology and an international certification as a Global Nurse Consultant. Her diverse clinical expertise includes practicing in the Emergency, as a Hospitalist, innovating GAIN (Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Networks), and pioneering the most responsible provider (MRP) impacts of a Nurse Practitioner-led model of inpatient hospital care and primary care in corrections.

Dr. Acorn transitioned to executive leadership, modernizing the Provincial Chief Nursing Officer role in Ontario, Canada to provide ministerial strategic nursing expertise as the technical and clinical advisor. She co-chaired the national Principal Nursing Advisors Task Force and acted as the Canadian delegate. Her scholarship and knowledge translation are in textbooks, peer-reviewed articles, evidence informed toolkits, and quality improvement initiates. She is recognised for her leadership, mentorship, preceptorship, and teaching.

Dr. Acorn was inducted as an inaugural Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing (FCAN). She is also an inaugural international Miller Foundation Post-Doctoral System Chief Nurse Executive Fellow in the Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy at Case Western University.

Download the press release here