I have the honour of serving as President of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) for four years (2021-2025) and for the duration of my term, I have chosen my watchword – influence – because it is one of the most important actions that nurses can pursue at this time. It describes how nurses can impact the care of patients and their families, inspire other members of the healthcare team, and persuade lawmakers, policymakers, and decision-makers. It describes our effective power as we strive to change hearts, minds, policies and the delivery of care.
Today the world faces many formidable obstacles and challenges to achieving health for all. Yet, never before has the world looked up to nurses with such expectation. If we are to use this moment to elevate the status of nurses and the profession, to amplify their voices, and to overcome challenges, it is necessary to gain influence in a variety of ways that will accomplish the changes needed to achieve universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.
As the global voice of nurses, representing the 28 million nurses worldwide, ICN leverages nurses’ influence to build relationships, to create coalitions, to impact health policy, and to raise the voice of nursing in all settings. This includes our work with the World Health Organization and other international agencies; our publications, guidelines, and position statements; our projects to develop and strengthen nursing leadership; and our Congresses and other events bringing nurses and other health experts together to discuss and debate the important topics of the day.
ICN brings the nursing voice to the highest decision and policy making tables in the world to drive changes for health equity and prosperity, to protect health care workers and the public and to engage in preparedness and prevention of any future devastating assault on our world. We advocate for patients, vulnerable populations and those who have no influence or voice. We advocate for investments in the nursing workforce, in education and in leadership to ensure nurses are protected, respected and valued.
As a federation of over 130 national nurses’ associations, our strength lies in our numbers and in our solidarity. We are the largest health profession in the world and for over 120 years, we have been working together to shape our collective destiny and improve health worldwide.
We are committed to investing in nurses and nursing to lead and deliver health for all.
Dr Pamela F. Cipriano