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Canadian Nurses Association to co-host International Council of Nurses 2023 congress in Montreal

Ottawa, December 21, 2018 — The International Council of Nurses (ICN) — a federation of more than 130 national nursing associations representing more than 20 million nurses worldwide — announced today from its headquarters in Geneva that it has selected Montreal to be the host city for its 2023 global congress.

“After a long year of work by our team, including our Quebec partners, we are thrilled with this decision,” said Claire Betker, president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). CNA submitted a bid along with three other national nursing associations around the world to host the event, which will be held June 29-July 5, 2023.

“Montreal is one of the most exciting cities in the world to visit, and importantly for our fellow nurses and nursing students globally, it is a hotbed of excellence in nursing clinical practice, science, education and leadership,” Betker added. “By choosing Montreal as the host city, ICN and CNA will be able to offer an exceptional nursing program to attract, inform and excite the world’s nurses in pre-congress workshops, the main congress sessions, a post-congress residency program and site visits to some of the world’s newest and leading health-care facilities.”

Canada has hosted the congress three times since ICN was founded in 1899 — twice in Montreal (1929 and 1969) and once in Vancouver (1997). The 1969 congress attracted more than 10,000 nurses from 63 countries.

To prepare its bid, CNA worked in close partnership with Tourisme Montréal and the Palais des congrès de Montréal, which will be the site for the congress. “We are very proud that ICN chose Montreal and the Palais for their 2023 congress. The event will generate significant economic and intellectual benefits for the city, the province of Quebec and Canada as a whole,” said Robert Mercure, president and CEO of the Palais. “The health field accounts for over 30 per cent of conferences hosted at the Palais, and nursing greatly contributes to knowledge sharing within this key sector,” he added. Montreal will provide ICN delegates with a safe, affordable travel destination, and the congress will also be timed with the Montreal jazz festival, one of the premier music events in the world.

Quebec is the birthplace of nursing in the Western Hemisphere, where Jeanne Mance, the first lay nurse to arrive on the continent, helped establish health-care facilities starting in 1641. “Mance is an important figure, not just for nurses but also in the story of Canada because she co-founded the city of Montreal along with Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve,” said CNA CEO Mike Villeneuve. “We will weave that rich history throughout the congress, which will celebrate the nursing worlds of clinical practice, teaching and learning, science, leadership and policy — all from historical, current and future perspectives.”

CNA thanks the many partners who helped makes its submission to ICN a success!

  • Sylvie Cossette and Nancy Feeley, co-directors of the Quebec Network on Nursing Intervention Research
  • The Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association
  • The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing
  • The Comité d’experts ministériel en soins infirmiers (the deans and directors of schools of nursing across Quebec)
  • The Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (Quebec’s nursing regulatory body)
  • The Secrétariat international des infirmières et infirmiers de l’espace francophone (SIDIIEF)
  • Sylvie Dubois, Quebec’s chief nursing officer
  • The Government of Quebec
  • The City of Montreal
  • The Government of Canada

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CNA was founded in 1908 and is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, home to 140,000 members across all 13 Canadian provinces and territories. ICN, which was founded in 1899, is the world’s first and widest-reaching international organization for health professionals. 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.

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Michael Villeneuve, CNA Chief Executive Officer