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

  • Human rights law and access to abortion

    legalThe recently published Human Rights Watch Q&A on Human Rights Law and Access to Abortion discusses abortion as a human rights issue and the health consequences of unsafe abortions. It also shows that restrictive abortion policies do not reduce the rate of unsafe abortions, and highlights the positions of UN experts and agencies on the criminalization of abortion.

  • Intellectual property rights and access to medicines

    arrestLast week, on 17 July, the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines took place at the UN headquarters in New York. Sub-titled "Advancing Health-Related SDGs through Policy Coherence", the panel came together during the UN High Political Forum on Sustainable Development. William New of the news service Intellectual Property Watch wrote a short report of this event.