Updates on Nursing Associations 2022

Parksville, BC – June 2022

I’m writing this update at the end of June in advance of our summer break in Canada. World events in the first half of 2022 have left us shaken and concerned about the future as we grapple with climate issues, global conflicts, food security, and population health. As I follow the daily news, I also turn my attention to developments in nursing and look for statements and opportunities for advocacy.

ICN Updates

The 75th World Health Assembly took place in May. It was interesting to follow on social media as it generated considerable attention this year. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) was active in presenting ‘Interventions’ on specific resolutions. See ICN’s summary here.

ICN along with the International Confederation of Midwives and the WHO met for their 9th Triad meeting in May. The representatives issued the 2022 Triad Statement focusing on health care workforce issues and reporting on what countries are doing in response to the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery 2021-2025. Howard Catton, ICN CEO, has been interviewed by many news media this year speaking about the war in Ukraine and related humanitarian crises and on the scale of the nursing shortfall globally.

Annual Meetings

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and the Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC) held their annual meetings in June. Both were open to all members and observers in a virtual format. The CNA Meeting of Members was noteworthy because it marked the first time that individual members could vote to elect candidates for the Board of Directors and vote on AGM motions. The previous federation model of territorial and provincial member associations carrying votes has ended. As a member who is following these changes, it will be interesting to see how the new membership structure will work and how the new Board will communicate with members throughout the country.  

After both meetings, I was left somewhat disappointed that there wasn’t more substance presented on what our associations are doing to demonstrate leadership during the current health care staffing crisis and other major issues in 2022 (I receive newsletters and view social media updates but others may not). I do recognize that annual meetings present highlights and financial statements on the previous year and are always six months out of date for the current year’s activities. It makes me wonder if members would be interested in (and commit to attending) an organizational update given in the autumn each year. We could meet the new Board members, hear their priorities for the current year, and ask questions – all through a virtual format, and in a less formal manner than at an annual meeting.

Annual meetings and major events aside, I do appreciate the ongoing work of our professional associations at all levels to bring a nursing perspective to provincial, national, and global health challenges and policy change.

By Nora Whyte – June 27, 2022

I acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

Save the date for July 2023!

Nurses for Peace

ICN Campaign: Nurses for Peace

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has launched a #NursesforPeace social media campaign to join nurses around the world in solidarity with the nurses of Ukraine.

ICN in partnership with the European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN) and the European Forum of National Nursing and Midwifery Associations (EFNNMA) issued a powerful statement on March 3, 2022. Speaking on behalf of the global nursing community, they condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine and call for an immediate ceasefire.

ICN is encouraging nurses around the globe to participate in the social media campaign and to add our support by signing the statement.

Thank you to ICN and European partners for your strong leadership at this critical moment and for demonstrating support for the Ukrainian people in this call for humanitarian action. For updates and suggested actions, please visit the ICN website.


By Nora Whyte – March 3, 2022

I acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

Year in Review: 2021

ICN Congress

A highlight of 2021 was the opportunity to participate in the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress, held in a virtual format for the first time. The ICN Board and Staff team along with congress partner Emirates Nursing Association did an outstanding job of hosting the three-day event attended by 5,000 nurses and guests from around the globe. Speakers and participants added to the richness of the discussions on key topics relevant to nursing today and conveyed the sense of urgency on workforce issues and equity in global health. Among the important documents discussed was the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery 2021–2025 released in April 2021 by the World Health Organization. Four focal areas for health systems – education, jobs, leadership and service delivery – were important strategic directions covered in congress sessions.

I enjoyed the daily keynote presentations and the continuity provided by ICN leaders who conveyed the enthusiasm and spirit I had experienced at past congresses. However, I did miss the informal social gatherings and memorable encounters with nurses from other countries at congresses in Singapore (2019), Barcelona (2017) and Durban (2009).

Prior to the congress, I was pleased to continue my collaboration with Patrick Chui and Susan Duncan in planning a presentation delivered by Patrick as a pre-recorded oral concurrent session. The presentation drew on previous work and explored policy advocacy leadership by Canadian nursing organizations using a current example of COVID-19 vaccine equity. We discussed ways in which nursing organizations demonstrate policy advocacy leadership in highly complex and evolving contexts. In our conclusion we proposed areas of research that will be useful in generating knowledge to strengthen nursing organizations’ influence on health systems and policy.

Professional Development Highlights

Webinars were the way to go for professional development this year. I enjoyed sessions organized by the Canadian Nurses Association throughout 2021 and the Annual Marion Woodward Lecture hosted by UBC School of Nursing in November. A stimulating session in December was hosted by the International Collaboration for Community Health Nursing Research (ICCHNR): Dr. Barbara Stilwell delivered the annual Lisbeth Hockey Lecture on The Power of the Nursing Narrative. I liked Barbara Stilwell’s call to nurses: “Let’s power together” as she concluded her lecture. Thank you to the organizers and speakers for contributing to my learning and thinking during the past year.

A New Roadmap

Looking to this new year and beyond, the WHO Regional Office for Europe has published Building Better Together: Roadmap to Guide Implementation of the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery in the European Region.  As noted in the foreword by Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, “…we will work over the next five years to ensure that nurses and midwives have the capacity to contribute to key areas of public health, primary care, long-term care and post-COVID-19 recovery. We will put this into practice through relevant education, improved working conditions, the promotion of leadership opportunities and clear career pathways.” (WHO, 2021, p. v).  Taking into account regional and global policy contexts, it lays out key directions and monitoring mechanisms.  It’s an excellent resource that may serve as a guide for other regions to follow.

I end my year in review comments with a special note of appreciation to all the colleagues who continue to involve me in fascinating projects and who stay in touch through regular email exchanges and on social media. Thank you to my Twitter followers!

By Nora Whyte – January 4, 2022

I acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.

Global Nursing Reports: May 2021

Each year at this time I write a short piece to reflect on National Nursing Week in Canada and follow what others are posting on social media. This year there isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said already by nursing leaders and through Canadian media coverage of nursing during COVID times. I do want to commend leaders in nursing organizations and to thank colleagues for the tremendous work they have been doing under such difficult circumstances. I think about nurses I have known in India, Nepal, and South Africa and wonder how they’re doing. I hear stories about nurses in all parts of Canada who continue to be key to the COVID response and I learn from colleagues in my circle about their recent experiences with the vaccination rollout in British Columbia.

International Council of Nurses May 2021

ICN celebrates International Nurses Day on May 12 each year. This year, it has released an excellent report Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A Vision for Future Healthcare. The report calls for nurses to become the “architects and designers” of health systems, not only the people who deliver care. Among the report’s key recommendations are that governments embrace this new global strategy for nursing and embed its recommendations into their national healthcare strategies.

A graphic that captures the vision for future health care is found on page 7 highlighting the report’s framework and recommendations. It lists six aspects of health care transformation and five ways to support nurses to leverage a better health system. Transformation includes a renewed emphasis on public health nursing, investments in innovation along with greater attention to quality and affordable care. Approaches for supporting nurses focus on safe workplaces, valuing the role of nurses, and better access to education and professional development. This year’s report provided information on a survey of National Nursing Associations on aspects of the COVID response and current issues for evolving the profession. The report is illustrated with country spotlights from the nursing associations and media reports.

Another major report published this month marks the culmination of the global Nursing Now campaign – Agents of Change: the story of the Nursing Now campaign. Although I had followed the campaign since its launch in 2018, I hadn’t been aware of all the impressive accomplishments described in the report. The appraisal of the process and outcomes to date are worth reviewing; it is interesting to know that the reach extended to 729 Nursing Now groups in 126 countries. There’s a strong message to build on the campaign’s momentum as noted on page 14:

“The Nursing Now campaign has generated tremendous energy from nurses and their allies. They have truly come together as agents of change. It is critical at this pivotal moment, as the world turns its attention to rebuilding health systems for the future, that nurses do not lose this momentum.”

Holloway et al. (2021).

A final note for nurses with an interest in global health policy, ICN’s Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI) is worth exploring as a career development step. BC’s Angela Wignall shared her enthusiasm and described her recent experience as a GNLI scholar in a two-part blog for the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC: Part 1 on the ICN Global Nursing Leadership Institute and Part 2 on Nursing Bodies: Learning from Global Examples. To learn more, please see the GNLI program overview with details about the program and the application process.

By Nora Whyte – May 22, 2021

I acknowledge with respect that I live on the Unceded traditional territory of the K’òmoks First Nation.


Holloway, A., Thomson, A., Stilwell, B., Finch, H., Irwin, K., and Crisp, N.(2021). Agents of Change: the story of the Nursing Now campaign. Nursing Now/Burdett Trust for Nursing. London.

International Council of Nurses. (2021). Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A Vision for Future Healthcare. Geneva.