International Council of Nurses (ICN)

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations (NNAs), representing the more than 20 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. Our 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, we work closely with a range of international non-governmental organisations and other partners.

ICN Mission, Vision, Constitution and Strategic Plan

ICN Mission:

To represent nursing worldwide, advance the nursing profession, promote the wellbeing of nurses, and advocate for health in all policies.

ICN Vision:

The global community recognises, supports, and invests in nurses and nursing to lead and deliver health for all.

ICN Constitution

ICN Strategic Plan


Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF)

The Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF) ICN’s premier foundation; it supports and complements the work and objectives of ICN. Its purpose is to support the advancement of nursing education, research and services for the public good. Its signature project is the Girl Child Education Fund (GCEF).

The International Council of Nurses Foundation (ICNF)

The International Council of Nurses Foundation is the ICN Swiss-based Foundation organised exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes.


Council of National Nursing Association Representatives (CNR)

The Council of National Nursing Association Representatives (CNR) is the governing body of ICN and sets policy at the macro level, including admission of members, election of the Board of Directors, amendments to the constitution, and setting of fees. A National Representative is a nurse selected by a member association to be its representative, who may or may not be the president of that association, but who meets the ICN definition of nurse. The nurse accompanying the National Representative of a member association may participate in meetings of the CNR but has no right to vote except when acting as the authorised proxy for the national representative. At meetings of the CNR the right to speak is limited to:

  • members of the CNR, ICN Board of Directors, the ICN Chief Executive Officer and the accompanying person from the member association;
  • official observers designated by the ICN Board of Directors, on selected topics as determined by the chairperson of the meeting;
  • guests invited by ICN to speak on specific topics for the time allowed by the presiding officer of the meeting.

The CNR meets every two years.

ICN Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Network (NP/APN Network)

ICN has established the Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Network (NP/APN Network) in order to facilitate communication around common professional interests.

Aims and Objectives

The KEY GOAL of the Network is to become an international resource for nurses practising in Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Advanced Practice Nursing Roles (APN) roles, and interested others (e.g. policymakers, educators, regulators, health planners) by:

– Making relevant and timely information about practice, education, role development, research, policy and regulatory developments, and appropriate events widely available;

– Providing a forum for sharing and exchange of knowledge expertise and experience; Supporting nurses and countries who are in the process of introducing or developing NP or ANP roles and practice;

– Accessing international resources that are pertinent to this field.

What Does The Network Do?

The network is an evolving and continually updated forum that :

– Identifies issues early and monitors how they develop.

– Follows trends.

– Offers special expertise through creating a resource pool from network members.

– Disseminates ICN’s and others’ work in the field.

– Organises meetings and conferences.

Become a member of the NP/APN Network.

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