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International Council of Nurses

Judith Shamian

Judith Shamian, ICN President

The International Council of Nurses is a federation of national nursing associations representing nurses in more than 130 countries, including Canada. Founded in 1899, ICN is the world’s first and widest-reaching international organization for health professionals. CNA has been a member of ICN since its inception in 1908.

Operated by nurses for nurses, ICN works in the following areas:

  • Professional nursing practice (e.g., advancing nursing knowledge to ensure quality nursing care for all and advocacy for sound health policies globally).
  • Nursing regulation (e.g., credentialing, code of ethics, standards and competencies).
  • Socio-economic welfare for nurses (e.g., occupational health and safety, human resources planning and policy, remuneration, career development).

ICN news

Canadians at ICN

Canadian nurses have a proud tradition of international involvement and leadership at ICN:

  • Judith Shamian, past president of CNA (2010-2012), is currently president of ICN
  • One Canadian is a past president (Alice Girard) and five are past vice-presidents (Helen Glass, Helen Evans, Alice Baumgart, Eleanor Ross and Verna Huffman Splane).
  • CNA former executive director Judith Oulton was CEO for 12 years, until 2008.
  • In June 2009, former CNA president Marlene Smadu was elected third vice-president.
  • In 2010, former CNA director Jean Barry was named consultant, nursing and health policy.