MONTREAL ICN CONGRESS 1-5 JULY 2023 Nurse together : A force for global health


4 July 2023

Nursing leadership highlighted in today’s sessions


The first plenary of the day was an enlightening session focusing on the art of inspiring action and driving change in the nursing profession and broader healthcare landscape. Moderated by ICN Deputy Chief Nurse, David Stewart, the session included Simon Sinek’s unique insights on leadership and motivation, equipping nurse leaders and healthcare professionals with invaluable tools to empower their teams and transform healthcare. Lauren Underwood spoke about leading actions to support and protect nurses in her role as U.S. Congresswoman and nurse; and Leigh Chapman, Canada’s Chief Nursing Officer, joined David on stage to share her experiences leading national nursing initiatives and discussing the essential ingredients for creating a culture of innovation and excellence in nursing.

Building a better future today was the topic of the second plenary today. Moderated by ICN CEO Howard Catton, speakers included David Beasley, Former Executive Directive of UN World Food Programme; Mickey Chopra, the Global Solutions Lead for Service Delivery in the Health Nutrition and Population global practice of the World Bank and Luwei Pearson, Associate Director of Maternal and Newborn Child Health at UNICEF. Sharing examples of how nurses have been at the forefront of the response to global crises, the speakers outlined strategies and actional steps for furter empowering and supporting nurses as agents of change, innovators, and advocates for sustainable solutions.

A symposium on the Global Nursing Leadership Institute was held this afternoon led by GNLI Director, Diana Mason, and with participation by GNLI scholars in different regions. And we held a symposium on the economic value of the nursing profession and practice which explored how nursing policy influencers can strengthen regulatory incentives and provide funding to promote high-value nursing care.

A masterclass, led by the Canadian College of Health, one of the top two largest providers of healthcare leadership development in Canada, looked at the key features of a leadership organisation and ways in which to enhance leadership integration and effectiveness.

Concurrent sessions on the topic of leadership included one on nursing leadership in policy making; and one in Spanish on nursing leadership and shaping the future of healthcare.


The South East Asian session looked at the challenges that the nursing profession faces in the region and how political conflict and crises exacerbate the nurse workforce shortage. The session featured Sudath Warnakulasuriya, President of Sri Lanka Nurses Association, K.C. Takma, Assistant Dean of the Institute Of Medicine Tribhuvan University, Nepal and Dileep Kumar, President of the Indian Nursing Council.

The first main session of the day, led by Dr James Buchan, looked at growing and sustaining the nursing workforce. Speakers include Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and Fely Marylin Lorenzo, Chair of the Commission on Higher Education in the Philippines.

At the second Policy Café today, delegates discussed the findings of the ICN publication, Recover to Rebuild: Investing in the Nursing Workforce for Health System Effectiveness.

Concurrent sessions looked at healthcare workforce challenges and solutions; evidence-informed practice; nursing and the social factors of health; and recruitment and retention of the nursing workforce.

Strengthening health systems

In the afternoon, the regional session for Africa was held looking at concrete action in bringing nurses’ voices and experiences to health systems transformation. Susan Nakhumicha Wafula the Cabinet Minister of Health in Kenya and ICN Board member André Gitembagara gave the opening remarks which were followed by presentations by Lydia Aziato from Ghana; Glory Mbisi, Chief Nursing Officer, Eswatini; and Judith Awinja Aluora from Kenya.

Noncommunicable disease

The second main session, Promoting and enabling healthier communities, looked at the threat of NCDs, and the effect of ageing populations.

In a concurrent session this morning, delegates discussed ways to prevent and treat heart disease, cancer and the groundswell of NCDs.


Confronting and mitigating systemic racism within the profession and addressing the impact that racism has on nurses and nursing was addressed in the first symposium of the day, held by the Gold Sponsors, the American Nurses Association, and the Canadian Nurses Association.

This afternoon, delegates were able to attend a concurrent session on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Patient and health worker safety

Our Silver Sponsor, BD, held a symposium entitled, Incorporating a culture of occupational health and safety, which looked at building a systems-based occupational health approach to protect our critical workforce with a focus on sharps injuries and bloodborne pathogen exposure.

Concurrent sessions on patient safety looked at person-centred care and improving health literacy; person- and family-centred care; patient safety and workplace health and safety; and improving patient access to health services. A French-language concurrent session discussed the quality and security of health care.

Education and regulation

ICN 1st Vice President, Lisa Little, moderated a concurrent session on nursing regulation across borders.


Gold Sponsors, Sanofi, held a symposium on the epidemiology and burden of influenza and the importance of getting the right vaccine to the right people. It looked at the complementary toles of physicians, pharmacists and nurses in the immunization process.

Advanced Practice Nursing

The results of a multi-phase international study on the development of speciality certification of advanced practice nurses were discussed in a symposium this afternoon led by ICN Chief Nurse Michelle Acorn. A panel of nurse leaders discussed the implication of the study results and strategies for implementing the guiding principles at national and international levels to optimise the speciality nursing workforce.

Digital technology and innovations

The final symposium of the day examined the role of the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP) in improving patient safety.  Four real-life examples of use of ICNP in practice, research and education in Portugal. South Korea, Ireland and Norway were presented.

Masterclasses continued today covering robotic assisted surgery, virtual reality and nurse-led models of care.

One concurrent session looked at harnessing digital health and artificial intelligence to optimise performance; another examined innovative and intervention strategies for the management of wellbeing of the workforce..

Primary healthcare

ICN Board member Alisi Talatoka Vudiniabola moderated a concurrent session on primary and community health; and another concurrent session looked at maternal child and adolescent health. In the afternoon, a concurrent session was held on healthy ageing.

An early morning symposium looked at communication, integration, and promotion of palliative care development with a focus on China and Australia.

Disaster nursing

Nursing care and disaster management was discussed in a concurrent session which focused primarily on the COVID-19 pandemic.


The ICN Congress is currently taking place in Montreal, Canada 1-5 July 2023.

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source : International Council of Nurses

29th International Council of Nurses Congress (ICN 2023)