ICN Monthly Update May 2024

1 June 2024

Welcome to the May 2024 ICN Monthly Update!

We are pleased to offer a summary of our endeavors, achievements, and notable events from the past month. We invite you to explore the latest developments, discoveries, and highlights within our community. Thank you for choosing to stay informed and engaged with us through our Monthly Update!

Global Impact

World Health Assembly


The 77th World Health Assembly (WHA77) was held in Geneva, 27 May – 1 June 2024.  As usual, ICN had an in-person and a virtual delegation. You can read the WHA highlight report here

ICN also attended many side events, strengthening our partnerships and collaboration with a number of important groups such as the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations, the WHPA, THET: Partnerships for Global Health, United for Self-Care, BBC Storyworks, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, the Community Health Impact Coalition, Johnson & Johnson, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Heath, and many others.

We also met with the Singaporean Chief Nursing Officer Paulin Koh; the Indonesian  Minister of Health Budi G Sadikin; the Taiwanese Minister of Health, Dr Tai-Yuan Chiu;  the Chief Nurse of Tonga, Mele inu Filise; Dr Amelia Tuipulotu, WHO Chief Nurse; Dr Leigh Chapman, CNO for Canada; and Madeleine Ballard, CEO and Co-Founder of the Community Health Impact Coalition, amongst other.

We held our annual ICN WHA Nurses Luncheon on 29 May, which brought together nurses and other stakeholders attending the WHA with the aim of highlighting the issues of importance to nurses and networking

ICN interventions delivered at the WHA are available on our website here.  You can watch the proceedings here.  Read the WHO’s Director General, Dr Tedros, opening address, here.

Walk the Talk

We kicked off WHA77 with Pam and ICN staff taking part in the Walk the Talk: Health for All Challenge together with WHO Director General Dr Tedros! This event, held the day before WHA opened is organized by WHO and the Geneva community to celebrate the importance of healthy lifestyles.

UN Multi-stakeholder Hearing on Antimicrobial Resistance

On 15 May, Pam gave a powerful address at the United Nations Multi-stakeholder Hearing on Antimicrobial Resistance urging global leaders to make universal health coverage a central pillar in the response to the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Read the full story here.

WEF White Paper

ICN has contributed to a major new White Paper from the World Economic Forum (WEF) featuring innovative thinking to help shape the future of the care economy. ICN’s own International Nurses Day 2024 report, Our Nurses, Our Future: The Economic Power of Care, includes economic analyses of nursing, echoes many of the points raised in the WEF White Paper. Howard is member of the group of experts on the WEF’s Global Future Council on the Future of the Care Economy, which produced the report. Read our press release here.

ICN President addresses HIMSS conference

HIMSS, the European Health Conference and Exhibition, was held  29-31 May in Rome, Italy. Pam spoke at two sessions, "Should I stay or should I go?" and "Creating Tomorrow’s Health-a Closing Call to Action for Europe". ICN also had a booth to promote our work and our upcoming Congress. Read more about the conference here.

COINN Congress

Howard spoke at the 11th Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN) congress in Aalborg, Denmark on 7 May. He gave an intervention on leadership in nursing and used the occasion to recognize the crucial role of neonatal nurses.  He also took the opportunity to meet with the Danish Nurses Organization’s leaders and discuss the successful pay negotiations they recently concluded, international recruitment and importance of keeping length of nursing education.

New OECD report shows fewer young people want to become nurses in half of OECD countries

Following the release of a new OECD report, revealing an 8% drop in the number of young students expecting to train as nurses, ICN called for decisive action and investment in the global nursing workforce. Read more here.

Safeguarding Health Care in Conflict Coalition

In its new report, Critical Condition: Violence Against Health Care in Conflict, the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition recorded more than 2500 incidents of violence against or obstruction of health care in conflicts across 30 countries, country regions and territories in 2023 - an average of 7 attacks every day and a 25% increase from 2022! Read more on SHCC and the report here.

ILO meeting

Howard met with Maren Hopfe, Technical Officer Health Sector at the International Labour Organization to discuss continued collaboration across a wide range of nursing workforce issues, including improvements needed in working conditions and the importance of the ILO Nursing Personnel Convention.

Definition of Nursing

ICN is commencing an important project aimed at revising the definitions of 'Nurse' and 'Nursing'. This initiative comes at a crucial time as these definitions have not been updated for the past 25 years. Our goal is to ensure these definitions honour the legacy of the nursing profession, but also effectively address its evolving role in health care today and into the future.

The project will involve a comprehensive review of the existing definitions, engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders from educators, national nursing associations, regulators, government chief nurses, and many more. This thorough process is expected to lead to significant updates that will impact various aspects of the profession, from regulation and education to professional practice.

ICN understands the importance of broad participation and is committed to a consultative process to capture insights and feedback from all relevant parties. This is a great opportunity to shape the future of nursing, and we encourage your active involvement.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact David Stewart, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer ([email protected]).

The United Nations Civil Society Conference 


The United Nations Civil Society Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya, 9-10 May, where ICN had the opportunity to engage with various civil society and UN members to discuss key global issues. ICN representative Dr Holly Shaw attended the conference, along with members of the NNA of Kenya (NNA-K), including President Collins Ajwang and Secretary Stephen Nganga.

Dr Connie Sensor, a member of the American Nurses Association was a member of the planning committee for the conference as she sits on the Global NGO Executive Committee on behalf of the League of Women Voters. Nurses advocated for health and nursing at the UN, emphasizing the importance of including nursing expertise in policy discussions, especially in the context up the upcoming Summit of the Future.

Dr Shaw met with members of the NNA-K, who showed great enthusiasm for collaboration at local, national and global levels. Discussions revolved around topics such as the SDGs, UHC and investment in nursing for economic development.

First Meeting of the Diabetes subgroup Guideline Development Group

This first meeting of this WHO Diabetes subgroup was held on 29-30 April, and sought to:

  1. Review results of the prioritization process for new WHO recommendations on management of diabetes in pregnancy
  2. Review updated evidence landscape for priority questions
  3. Discuss and refine PICO (population, intervention, comparator, outcome) elements for prioritized questions, in advance of commencing evidence synthesis

The focus of this meeting was to evaluate the international data and evidence currently available for recommendations on screening and management of diabetes during pregnancy. This initial meeting was the beginning of a 12-month process to eventually write new WHO guidelines for screening and management of women with GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus).

It was emphasized that the WHO guidelines for GDM are not intended to be a clinical handbook but a desire to have action guidelines for clinical practice that are supported by data and evidence.

The work for this subgroup will be ongoing over the next few months under the WHO Department of Sexual Reproductive Health and Research (SRH) and Maternal and Perinatal Health (MPH).

WHPA meeting

The World Health Professions Alliance held a meeting on 26 May to launch its new strategy calling for health professions and key stakeholders to work together towards sustainable health workforces and strengthened health systems.

Health in the 21st Century

Dr José Luis Cobos Serrano, ICN Board member, represented ICN at ‘Health in the 21st Centurycare’ event, which took place on 7 May at the Ministry of Health in Madrid, to celebrate International Nurses' Day. The meeting was attended by the Minister Monica Garcia and the Secretary of State for Health Javier Padilla.

ICN Strategic Plan

We are pleased to announce that ICN’s Strategic Plan 2024-2028 is available on our website

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

ICN welcomes two new members

We are delighted to welcome two new members from Africa into ICN membership: the Order of Nurses of Angola (ORDENFA) and the  Order of the Medical and Health Professions in Cameroon (OPMS). ICN now counts 137 members from 134 countries.

New NNA Presidents

ICN is delighted to announce the new president of the Mozambique National Association of Nurses , Mr. Raul Santos Piloto.

ICN Project/Programme work



Programme update

Our ODENNA NNAs have advanced their fundraising skills in May. They have completed the "How to Fundraise and Pitch" course, equipping them with the ability to identify funders, craft compelling pitches and write strong grant proposals. An upcoming key event is the Live Pitch contest, where teams will demonstrate their skills by presenting their projects to judges and an audience, aiming to secure funding for their impact driven ODENNA projects. 

Furthermore, we are happy to share the launch of the NAMI mentorship initiative. Our ODENNA NNAs have been paired with mentors, preparing for engagement meetings that will commence in the summer. These 9 - 12 month engagements are designed to offer guidance and support as the NNA teams advance in executing their projects. We look forward to the progress and impact that these mentorship connections will foster.

LFC logo

Leadership for Change

Programme update

LFC Bangladesh

Workshop 2 and the Training of Trainers programme (TOT) were held from 5 to 19 May 2024. A total of 96 participants from local hospitals graduated and received their LFC certificates and pins during the closing ceremony on 16 May. For this special event, 20 posters were developed by each health care worker project team and six were presented to the Bangladeshi Ministry of Health.

Dr Kristine Qureshi, ICN LFC Director, and Judith Oulton, Cowater ProNurse Project Consultant and former ICN CEO, attended the graduation ceremony in Bangladesh to personally congratulate the 96 nurses and 21 new trainers who completed the LFC programme. This initiative is supported by Global Affairs Canada and Cowater International.

LFC Mauritius

The LFC Mauritius programme recently conducted Workshop 1 for its 2nd Cohort from 1 – 15 April. The face-to-face session included 32 participants, consisting of Ward Managers, Charge Nurses, a Lead Trainer, and seven Trainers. The Ministry of Health & Wellness granted release for the workshop, allowing the dynamic team to engage fully. During the workshop, participants began planning for five change projects with diverse themes: enhancing recreational activities and spaces for children admitted to hospitals; promoting proper breastfeeding methods and safety techniques for mothers; raising awareness about creating a sustainable clean environment, facilitating standardized nursing procedures; and developing nutritional booklets and charts for hemodialysis patients at local hospitals.

Nurses for Peace logo


Programme update

ICN stands in solidarity with nurses on the frontlines who face danger to provide care amidst conflicts and disasters. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of donors supporting our #NursesforPeace campaign. Your donations empower these courageous nurses in crisis zones, ensuring they can continue their lifesaving work. You can support #NursesforPeace through our online portal. 

GNLI logo


Programme Update

GNLI 2023

The 2023 programme will come to a close with the scholars’ presentations of their regional projects. The presentations will take place via Zoom on 11 June (PAHO, AFRO, EURO) and 13 June (SEARO, WPRO, EMRO). Invitations to attend the regional presentations have been sent to over 100 guests including NNA presidents, WHO Regional Leads and senior nursing leaders from different regions. Invitees will be able to provide feedback and guidance to the regional teams on the progress of their projects at the meeting. Since ICN provided a grant to all the 2023 teams (on average CHF 5000), the regional teams are expected to provide a final report on the outcome and impact of their research/project and account for how the funds were deployed. 

GNLI 2024

The onboarding of the 2024 cohort is currently in progress. The 34 selected scholars attended their first induction on how to use the GNLI Moodle platform last week, and are currently completing their first “about me” assignment. The 2024 programme will officially kick off with Module 1 on 18 June with an all-scholar session via Zoom. Meanwhile, we are currently supporting scholars who need a visa to enter Switzerland so they can attend Module 2 in October.

ICNP logo


Programme Update

The International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP) is currently undergoing a strategic reset to refine its governance and operational framework. This process, initiated in April and led by Professor Nick Hardiker, involves collaboration with the Editorial Board, ICN, and SNOMED International. Through a series of interviews, we are laying the groundwork for improvements. Stay tuned for the first results of this work. 

Girl Child Education Fund 

In May, the GCEF team celebrated International Nurses Day. We highlighted how important nurses are to our economy and how education is key to good health care. We believe that helping girls get an education is essential for growing the next generation of nurses and leaders in health care. By making sure every girl can go to school, we're investing in a future where everyone has equal chances to make a difference in health care and our communities. We invite you to join us in supporting the education of orphaned nurses daughters through the GCEF. At present, we are empowering 78 girls across Eswatini, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia with educational support. 


An average of 1,500 USD keeps a girl in school for a year. All donations, large and small, are welcome and can be made directly through ICN's bank account or online portal. ICN expresses its sincere gratitude to the generosity of its donors who provide the funds to make this programme possible, and to the volunteer nurses and local coordinators who work hard to ensure the success of the girls' educational journey. Email [email protected] if you have any questions about GCEF. 


International Nurses Day, 12 May


More than 600 nurses attended our IND webinar on 10 May, launching a new IND report on The Economic Power of Care. To watch the full IND webinar, click this link. Read our full press release on the webinar here and our story on the IND report here.

Global Partners Meeting



The Global Partners Meeting on Nursing and Midwifery (GPM) (formerly called the “Triad Meeting”), was hosted by WHO, ICN and the International Confederation of Midwives from 23-24 May 2024 in Geneva.  The GPM was attended by 250 delegates in person, and a further 250 on line. This was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet so many ICN member delegations in Geneva. HRH Princess Muna was also in attendance, Howard and Pam were able to update the Princess on some of our key priorities, including the recent work around IND and our involvement in the development of the next SOWN report. She was also interested to hear about our plans for Congress. With great presence and contributions from our NNAs, Board, and President, this GPM was very productive. As always, we are most pleased when we can meet with our members in-person, and would like to thank all of you who were able to attend the meeting, as well as those who were able to participate virtually - these meetings were very enlightening and informative. If you wish to watch the recordings of the event, they can be found here. All participants need only to log in to see the access to replay button.

ICN NP/APN Network Conference

It’s not too late to register for the ICN NP/APN Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland, 9-12 September.  With the conference theme, Advanced practice nursing: an invaluable investment for global health, the conference includes experts speakers such as Howard Catton and David Stewart from ICN, WHO Chief Nurse Dr Amelia Latu Afuhaamango Tuipulotu, Vicky Treacy-Wong from MSF and many more. 

ICN Congress Helsinki


The Call for Abstracts for the ICN Congress 2025 in Helsinki, Finland has been launched. Abstracts for an oral or e-poster presentation can be submitted from 2 August 2024 to 30 September 2024 under nine sub-themes. Abstract submission is reserved for members of ICN’s NNAs. ICN also encourages undergraduate student nurses to submit an abstract.

The nine sub-themes for the 2025 ICN Congress are:

  1. Empowering nursing leadership – Catalyzing global health
  2. Elevating health care excellence: Strategies for quality and safety in people-centred systems
  3. Advancing nursing practice: Seize the moment!
  4. Educating the nurse of tomorrow
  5. The ‘Triple S’ - A skilled, satisfied and sustainable workforce
  6. Nursing in humanitarian and emergency contexts
  7. Technology 4.0 – The era of connectivity, advanced analytics and automation
  8. Towards a healthier world - The strategic influence of nursing on global health priorities
  9. Upholding integrity and excellence - Nursing ethics and regulation

The key dates to remember for the submission of abstracts are:

2 August 2024:                      Online submission of abstracts opens

30 September 2024:            Online submission of abstracts closes

30 November 2024:             Applicants notified of acceptance

31 January 2025:                  Early bird registration deadline ends

15 February 2025:                 Extended early bird deadline for abstract presenters

Read our press release here.


ICN 2023 Annual  Report

Our 2023 Annual Report is available online.  Highlights include the ICN 2023 Congress in Montreal, Canada; the launch of the ODENNA project; our new educational modules; the launch of our new global brand; and two key publications: Recover to Rebuild and the History of ICN.