Kick-off of ICN’s innovative development initiative for National Nurses Associations in Africa

28 February 2023

Twenty-four National Nurses Associations (NNAs) in Africa have signed up to take part in the International Council of Nurses (ICN)’s Organizational Development of National Nurses Associations (ODENNA) initiative, which will develop individual NNAs’ abilities to support their country’s nurses based on the initiative’s pillars: organisational assessment, leadership development and ‘twinning’ with more established NNAs. The initiative, which is funded by the Johnson & Johnson Foundation and The BD Foundation, is designed to strengthen NNA ability to influence health outcomes and build respect, recognition and support for the nursing profession.

Starting on 27 February in Pretoria, South Africa and on 6 March in Nairobi, Kenya, around 100 nurse participants from the 24 countries will take part in ICN’s well-established Leadership for Change (LFCTM) programme, led by Norwegian and South African trainers, supported by local ODENNA nursing experts and the ICN Programme Manager, the overall coordinator of the ODENNA initiative. ICN members DENOSA (South Africa) and NNAK (Kenya) have kindly assisted in the setup of these trainings.

ICN President Dr Pamela Cipriano said: “We know that many of our NNAs in Africa are strong and functioning well, but we also know that as organisations change over time, development of new leaders is critical to being effective at influencing governments and health systems.. The ODENNA initiative will mean that all nurses in Africa will have access to strong, well-organised NNAs. We need authoritative and well-resourced nurses associations that are effective at advocating for nurses, influencing government policies, and improving healthcare delivery and health outcomes.

‘We are very grateful for the funding from the Johnson & Johnson Foundation and the BD Foundation for helping us 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.”

The LFC programme prepares nurses with the leadership skills required to make changes that are necessary to improve nursing practice and achieve better health outcomes for patients and communities. It provides participants with opportunities to develop their understanding of health challenges, obtain insight into international leadership styles, and utilize change management in the context of health system redesign and transformation, and health and social policy. An organisational assessment to establish the strengths of individual NNAs and the areas where development is needed, will be carried out prior, during and after the LFC training on-site. For many NNAs, this will be their LFC “Change Project”. The assessment, based on an ICN tool, will be the basis for developing a strategic and operational plan. NNAs which have expressed an interest to twin, will provide expertise, experience, guidance and support in this journey.

The twinning arrangements are designed to increase the capacity of NNAs to represent their nurses, and yield mutually beneficial engagement and collaboration for both the NNAs involved.

ICN would again like to thank the Johnson & Johnson Foundation and The BD Foundation for their generous support of the ODENNA programme, which is now in its second Phase.

For more information go to the ODENNA website here or contact ICN Programme Manager Stella de Sabata [email protected]

Download the press release here