President's message

Dear ICN members, colleagues, partners, sponsors and friends,

Welcome to ICN, a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations (NNAs), representing the more than 20 million nurses worldwide.

Annette Kennedy

I had the honour of being elected as ICN President at the ICN Congress in Barcelona in May 2017 and at that time I chose a watchword for my term: TOGETHER!  As the largest health profession worldwide we number over 20 million and can be a true force for change when we work together.  Together as nurses, we hold the power to influence, to drive change and to call for action. Only nurses hold the unique understanding and in-depth knowledge about a patient’s history, diagnosis, health care needs, personal worries and the concerns of a patient’s family and friends. It is the nurse who knows and understands all the details that are required to administer care to the patients and not the health care policy makers, the politicians, the funders, the economists or even our colleagues in health care, doctors, social workers or physiotherapists. As nurses we need to recognise this is informational power, which is unique to nurses and we have a duty to our patients to use this power in every conversation about health care.

I ask that you work with me and with ICN through your NNAs; and together we can continually strive to build a better nursing environment where nurses can safely provide the best standard of care for patients.  We can and must be at every table to influence health policy and it is only by working together that we will achieve our goal.

ICN is the conduit that can bring us together – whether it is at nursing events, through social media, through our educational platform, our leadership programmes, our TB training or through many other projects. ICN aims to raise the nursing voice at the highest levels of decision-making, ensuring that governments invest in our profession in order to open up access to quality health care for all.  ICN’s policy and project work is at the heart of what we do – working on multiple levels to influence policy at the top while ensuring on the ground training and education at the same time. We all have a duty to seek every opportunity to make our voices heard. Always remember your opinion is equally important to everyone else’s; don’t wait to be asked to the table or be asked for your opinion.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and I look forward to meeting you and hearing about your work, your issues, your problems and your ideas for ICN.

Annette Kennedy


International Council of Nurses