International Council of Nurses (ICN)

General Information
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations (NNAs), representing the more than 13 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.

Focus Areas

  • Professional issues including nursing education, quality of care and patient safety, research and strengthening of health systems;
  • Nursing regulation, professional standards and competencies and life long learning;
  • Socioeconomic welfare, career pathways, nursing human resources, migration and shortages.

Main Activities

  • Developing and disseminating frameworks for nursing competencies and standards, ethics, quality of care and patient safety, research and evidence-based care, and strengthening health systems;
  • Building nursing capacity globally to tackle current and emerging health problems and concerns including MDGs, primary health care, HIV/AIDS, chronic conditions and infectious diseases;
  • Providing global norms and standards in nursing regulation and regulatory frameworks for nursing practice;
  • Addressing workplace issues including nursing human resources, shortages, migration and work environments.

Contact Information
Adress: 3, Place Jean Marteau, 1201 - Geneva, Switzerland
Telephone: +41 22 908 0100
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Latest News

  • Unfulfilled healthcare needs of migrant women care workers

    careOn November 21, a high-level panel at a meeting convened in Geneva will discuss a new WHO report entitled "Women on the Move: Migration, care work and health". Available data shows that a substantial and growing proportion of care work is being undertaken by migrants, the majority of whom are women. In Italy for instance, nearly 90% of home-based caregivers are foreign born. In this report, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls attention "to a global situation in which migrant women care workers buttress health systems in countries where there are shortfalls in healthcare provision, while their own right to health is eroded and their health care needs go unfulfilled." 

  • Why is adolescents’ health a human rights issue?

    ifhhroAdolescents face a myriad of threats to their right to health including violence, sexual assault, exploitation, trafficking, and harmful traditional practices. At the same time, they face multiple barriers to health services, including restrictive laws, unavailability of contraception or safe abortions; failure to ensure privacy and confidentiality; judgemental service provision, and discrimination. Our volunteer Tara Ornstein wrote an article about adolescents’ right to health for our website, explaining what the issues are and what health professionals can do to safeguard adolescents’ health and rights.