Student Assembly at ICN Congress addresses most pressing issues facing nursing and global healthcare

30 June 2023
Student Assembly

Representatives of the world’s nursing students and early career nurses met today ahead of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress in Montreal, Canada, to discuss the challenges of how to tackle global health problems.

This generation of new nurses are entering the global nursing workforce at one of the most difficult times in the profession’s history, as the looming challenges of nursing shortages, humanitarian crises, unequal access to health services and global warming add to the already stressful work of nursing.

ICN Chief Nurse Michelle Acorn said: “ICN’s engagement with nursing students and early career nurses, who are the profession’s future leaders, amplifies nursing, health equity and social justice locally and around the world. We took the opportunity today to share valuable ICN professional resources with our delegates, including the ICN Code of Ethics, and our two new ICN education modules on Patient Safety and the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery. I am sure they will leave Montreal invigorated by their experiences at the Student Assembly and the upcoming Congress, and take that energy forward into their burgeoning careers.”

Under the theme Nursing Students as the Next Generation of Health Equity and Social Justice Leaders, student delegates assembled on 30 June 2023 to hear expert speakers from a variety of backgrounds and attend workshops and presentations on the many burning issues of the day.

Topics under discussion included nurses’ mental health after the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of nurses in climate change and planetary health, the challenges facing nurses from minority communities, the importance of national nursing associations in low- and middle-income countries, and the need for nurses to be properly recognised, valued and rewarded by political actors.

The voices of nurses at the Student Assembly will contribute to nursing and global health policy making, and ultimately to improvements in the health and wellbeing of populations worldwide.

ICN Nursing and Health Policy Analyst Gill Adynski said:

“Many of the biggest issues facing our world today, including climate change, noncommunicable diseases and aging populations, will disproportionately affect young and early career nurses as they take on the burden of addressing our world’s health.

‘ICN is proud to have welcomed student and early career nurse leaders to the 2023 Student Assembly where they addressed how they will be the next generation of health equity and social justice leaders. While the challenges ahead of this generation of nurses are massive, I feel assured that their intellect, compassion and fortitude can take on the many challenges that they face.”

Students also had the opportunity to meet with members of ICN’s Council of National Nursing Association Representatives, ICN’s governing body, and to discuss topics of importance to the students.

ICN is grateful for the hard work and commitment of the Student Assembly Planning Committee:

  • Annabelle Lemay, L’Association étudiante de sciences infirmières de l’Université de Montréal (AÉSIUM)
  • Lora Sliman, Canadian Nursing Student Association, Past-President
  • Avani Jain, Chair of ICN Student Steering Group
  • Julian Vadell, Director of a Residency for the Elderly and Previous ICN Student Intern
  • Amie-Rae Zaborniak, PAHO ICN Student Steering Group Representative
  • Charles Bilodeau, Président du Comité Jeunesse de l'Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec
  • Camilo Sierra Herrera, VP of McGill University’s Nursing Graduate Student Association
  • Ashley Stoltz, Canadian Nursing Student Association
  • Róisín O’Connell, EURO ICN Nursing Student Steering Group Representative

The Opening Ceremony of the ICN Congress will be held on 1 July, followed by a four-day scientific programme.

For more information on the Congress, go to ICN congress website.

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Student Assembly at ICN Congress addresses most pressing issues facing nursing and global healthcare

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