International Council of Nurses announces new partnership to strengthen nursing associations in Africa

27 October 2021
PR 58

The International Council of Nurses has announced a new partnership that will lead to stronger and more sustainable nursing associations on the African continent for improved healthcare delivery and health prevention measures: Organizational Development of National Nursing Associations (ODENNA). Supported by the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, this partnership aims to pave the way for a global scale-up of the concept.

Nurses play a vital role in enabling people to access care and treatment wherever they live, including in remote rural areas. For many people, nurses are the only health professionals they ever see, so it is vitally important that nurses have the support and guidance they need to deliver the best possible care for all of their patients.

National Nursing Associations’ (NNA) core function is providing advocacy to influence better health outcomes, whilst building respect, recognition and support for the nursing profession. NNA’s organisational strengths will raise the scope and scale of regionally focused capacity and capabilities through nurse leader’s community of practice by pairing and mentoring methods used by ICN to build, enhance, integrate and sustain NNAs’ capacity. Strengthening ICN member NNAs to effectively influence and positively impact improvements in healthcare delivery and prevention is essential for ICN’s global voice of nursing to continue being heard and valued as knowledgeable professionals and system navigators.

The Organizational Development of National Nursing Associations (ODENNA) partnership will bring together ICN’s National Nurses Associations and Nursing Now groups in Africa with the goal of improving protection, support and advocacy for nurses on the ground.

The scheme, is a package which includes, the ICN’s Leadership For Change (LFC)™ programme as well as well-established NNAs twinning with less mature associations to enable them to increase their capacity to represent their nurses, yielding mutually beneficial engagement and collaboration.

ICN President Annette Kennedy said: “All nurses everywhere should be able to benefit from strong representation from their NNAs because empowered nurses are better able to advocate for their patients and deliver the best possible care. Some of our NNA members in Africa are very strong and influential, but we also know that some associations could benefit tremendously from partnerships with their more established neighbours. We are very grateful that with this funding from the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, ICN is able to broaden the reach of our NNAs in Africa and strengthen their ability to make a difference to all of their nurses and the patients they care for.

‘Our aim is for all countries in Africa to have strong NNAs, because authoritative and well-resourced nurses associations can effectively influence government policies, positively impact healthcare delivery and improve health prevention measures – now and for years to come.”

Phase 1 of the ODENNA partnership will include the training of faculty and facilitators from NNAs who will eventually run educational activities in participating countries. Phase 2 will see the implementation of the ICN Organizational Assessment Tool and the development by NNAs of plans to address areas identified for improvement. Phase 3 will involve the establishment of the LFC programme in each participating country.

ODENNA is supported by a Johnson & Johnson Foundation grant, which fully funds phase 1 and partially funds phases 2 and 3 of the initiative.

ICN’s upcoming Congress is an opportunity to present and discuss the ODENNA partnership with NNAs. The session is planned on 2 November, 16h00.

Download the press release here