By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief
Here’s a final recap of my trip last week to the 25th quadrennial congress of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). (My previous posts on this year’s ICN events are here and here; there’s also a podcast of my interview with outgoing ICN president Rosemary Bryant.)
- Nurses and the Nazis. A session on ethics led by Australian nurse Linda Shields examined nursing in Nazi Germany and discussed how nurses might have rationalized participation in Nazi euthanasia and killing programs. She noted that aside from the usual “just following orders” mantra, obedience was tied to housing and livelihood, as well as to the belief that “the health of the volk (community) was more important than the health of the individual.” (The topic brings to mind our 2009 article, “The Third Reich, Nursing, and AJN”
I spent my final two days doing some sightseeing—one day I travelled the Great Ocean Road (along with a New York colleague and a group of Danish nurses) and on the other I visited the National Gallery of Victoria to see the Monet exhibit.
As always, one of the best parts of meetings like this is meeting nurses from all over the world and seeing a bit of another country. In my early nursing years, I really didn’t know about the ICN or that, as a member of the ANA, I could attend the ICN meetings. It’s a great experience and I encourage all nurses to attend at least one international meeting during their careers.