With over 4,000 nurses representing 120 countries in attendance, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) 25th Quadrennial Congress was held from May 18 – 23, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. During her keynote address, Rosemary Bryant, President of ICN, emphasized the central role that nurses play in increasing equity and access to health care. Referring to nurses as the ‘glue’ that holds primary care services together in many countries, Dr. Bryant urged the nursing profession to create innovative models with expanded scopes of practice for nurses to address health challenges, such as maternal mortality, HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. Her message was echoed by the newly elected president, Dr. Judith Shamian, who closed the Congress with a call on every nurse to act as a leader at the community, health facility, or government level. “The wealth of nations depends on the health of their populations and that health is dependent on nurses,” concluded Dr. Shamian. Throughout the four day congress, the workshops and sessions all seemed to return to the issue of impact—and that the global population depends on the work of nurses to positively impact the world’s health.

ICAP was represented by Dr. Jennifer Dohrn, Project Director for the Global Nurse Capacity Building Program (GNCBP). Leading the HIV/AIDS Network session, Dr. Dohrn described the accomplishments of one of GNCBP’s projects, the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI). Funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), NEPI supports the development and implementation of targeted interventions at select nursing education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa to improve the quantity, quality, and relevance of nurses. “Quality health care necessitates that nurses graduate with critical knowledge and clinical skills essential to improve the severe healthcare worker shortage in African countries,” stressed Dr. Dohrn. In synergy with ICN’s theme of equity and access to health care, Dr. Dohrn spoke of ICAP’s work to develop and evaluate educational models that can be sustained within a country’s national health strategy and adapted by other countries as an effective way to improve health outcomes.

ICAP’s participation in the meeting strengthened ties with Chief Nursing Officers, leaders of nursing and midwifery associations and councils, and other key partners committed to increasing the capacity of the nursing and midwifery workforce in countries where ICAP works. The ICN Congress also provided an international forum to share ICAP’s innovative work in nursing and midwifery and opened the door to building new relationships that will serve to strengthen ICAP’s nursing activities at the country, regional, and international levels.

!{filedir_2}nursing_council.jpg(Jennifer Dohrn at the ICN Congress with Karen Daley, President of the American Nurses Association)!

p=. Jennifer Dohrn at the ICN Congress with Karen Daley, President of the American Nurses Association

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