The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations (NNAs), representing the more than 16 million nurses worldwide. Founded in 1899, ICN is the world’s first and widest reaching international organisation for health professionals. Operated by nurses and leading nurses internationally, ICN works to ensure quality nursing care for all, sound health policies globally, the advancement of nursing knowledge, and the presence worldwide of a respected nursing profession and a competent and satisfied nursing workforce.
ICN's ever-increasing networks and connections to people reinforce the importance of strong linkages with national, regional and international nursing and non-nursing organisations. Building positive relationships internationally helps position ICN, nurses and nursing for now and the future. Their work with the specialised agencies of the United Nations system, particularly with the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organisation and the World Bank, are important for nurses everywhere. In addition, they work closely with a range of international non-governmental organisations.
Mission: To represent nursing worldwide, advancing the profession and influencing health policy.
VISION: ICN represents the voice of nurses around the world. They influence health, social & economic policy at country, regional and global level through the sharing of evidence & best practice. ICN envisions a world in which human rights are respected and protected including the right of present and future populations to a safe, healthy and sustainable environment. They work in partnership and collaboration to advance the profession and improve the wellbeing of nurses and the health of populations everywhere and advocate for the respect of cultural values, customs and spiritual beliefs.
ICN Core business
-Supporting NNAs strengthening across the three pillars;
-Maintain best practices for responsible governance;
-Accountable financial management and income generation;
-Maintain ongoing relationships with internal and external organizations;
-Provide ongoing opportunities for global exchange;
-Evaluate and review current models, policies, processes and guidance so as to strengthen and enhance inclusiveness;
-Identify and disseminate and/or produce and maintain evidenced based up-to-date publications across all areas of work;
-Promote the contribution of nursing through enhancement of ICNP and the development and implementation of information and communications technologies and other innovations;
-Develop, maintain and promote up-to-date products such as ICN position statements, fact sheets, scans, website, etc.
ICN’s Three Pillars:
-Professional Nursing Practice
-Socio-economic Welfare for Nurses
Their partnerships and strategic alliances with governmental and non-governmental agencies, foundations, regional groups, national associations, and individuals, assist ICN in advancing nursing worldwide.
ICN is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. For further information on ICN structure, publications and activities.