On the Road to the International Council of Nurses Conference in MaltaMay 2, 2011
By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief
So I’m on my way to Valletta, Malta (Malta is a small Southern European country in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and North Africa and a five-hour ferry ride from Libya) for the International Council of Nurses (ICN) meeting. Since there’s no direct flight from my usual airport (Newark, New Jersey) to Malta, it was a no-brainer to go through Paris (April, Paris?) and stop there for a few days. I hadn’t been to Paris before—it was everything I thought it would be, and more. And its reputation as the “City of Light” is well deserved (see the photo of the Eiffel Tower at night, courtesy of my husband).
This will be my third ICN meeting—I attended the centennial meeting in London, and then one a few years later in Copenhagen. It’s amazing to meet nurses from all over the world, many of whom are grappling with issues similar to those confronting us.
Many, though, are dealing with issues far worse than our own. For example, nurses from sub-Saharan Africa face enormous odds in the face of internal conflicts as well as HIV and AIDS, and nurses in Japan have recently dealt with a series of disasters. These nurses amaze me.
And then there are colleagues who seem to be on the same professional development trajectory we’re on. We in the United States recently saw the publication of the much-publicized Robert Wood Johnson Foundation–Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health; England had the Front Line Care Report from the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in England. That commission was led by Ann Keen, a former nurse and a member of Parliament. The report came after a year-long investigation and “reflects the major issues raised and sets out a vision for the future of nursing and midwifery, and achievable next steps.” The report was issued in March 2010, and the recommendations for nursing leadership are hauntingly similar to those of our IOM report.
I’m looking forward to asking our international colleagues for their reactions to these reports. Tomorrow I’ll attend the meeting of the Council of Nursing Representatives (CNR), the governing body of ICN, and during the week I’ll be blogging and bringing you news and perhaps some podcast interviews with nursing leaders from around the world. Let me know if you have any questions you’d like me to ask.