Early identification improves health and lives of older persons


A programme which improves the lives of older persons through better assessment and response to their health and care needs now includes an international network of more than 30 countries. The EASY-Care Programme, based upon a set of assessment instruments, identifies unmet health and care needs, supports a personalised response and promotes efficient allocation of resources.

‘ICN fully supports the EASY-care mission to create a new world for older persons, a world free of unmet need’, stated Elizabeth Adams, a Consultant for Nursing and Health Policy with the International Council of Nurses (ICN). She represents ICN on the EASY-Care International Advisory Board which co-ordinates research and use of the EASY-Care instruments worldwide. ‘EASY-Care is a self or assisted assessment and aims to identify unmet health and care needs of older persons, who are not yet frail or accessing long-term care, but are managing at home with some underlying health and care concerns’.

Community nursing staffs have incorporated EASY-Care assessments into their working practice to support a holistic approach to the care of older persons. Use of EASY-Care by nurses can support collaboration with general practitioners, improve competencies of primary care nurses, and help as a diagnostic tool to identify persons with frailty and with cognitive impairment for onward referral.

‘Researchers around the world have evaluated and improved the EASY-Care assessment instruments for more than 20 years’, said Professor Ian Philp, University of Warwick, who developed EASY-Care in 1989 and chairs the international effort. ‘One large randomised controlled trial conducted in the Netherlands showed reduced hospital admissions and demonstrated that an EASY-Care assessment was a cost effective intervention’.

The latest international findings about the impact of the programme on nursing practice will be presented at the 25th ICN Quadrennial Congress to be held in Melbourne, Australia from 18–23 May 2013.

EASY-Care is available in both paper and electronic format. Further information about the EASY-Care programme and key references are available: http://www.easycare.org.uk.

Call for abstracts released for 2013 ICN Congress in Melbourne, Australia

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) invites nurses and others to share their ideas, research and expertise by submitting abstracts for the scientific programme at its 25th ICN Quadrennial Congress.

Focused on the theme of Equity and Access to Health Care, the Congress will take place in Melbourne, Australia from 18–23 May 2013. Nurses from around the world will gather to explore and highlight the critical role nursing plays in leading the way to healthier nations. ICN is organizing the Congress with the support of its member association, the Royal College of Nursing, Australia.

ICN also launched a Congress website (htpp://www.icn2013.ch) which will be regularly updated with the latest information about the programme and related events and activities.

The Congress will provide a global platform for the dissemination of nursing knowledge and leadership across specialities, cultures and countries. Plenary sessions will explore the Congress theme, with particular focus on gender equity, the global epidemic of non-communicable diseases and the tension between personal and societal responsibility for health. Featured main sessions will offer the most recent information on wellness and prevention, the nursing workforce, ethics/human rights, clinical care and patient safety. Themes for abstract submissions will address these issues and others including:

  • • developments in nursing education,
  • • disasters and conflict,
  • • care systems and access,
  • • eHealth,
  • • regulation
  • • the history of nursing.

Abstracts may be submitted for a concurrent session, a symposium or a poster. Instructions for submitting abstracts for the scientific programme and details on the themes to be addressed can be accessed at http://www.icn2013.ch. The online abstract submission system will be operative as of 16 April 2012. The deadline for abstract submission is 14 September 2012.

The Congress will also be the venue for ICN Network meetings.

Prior to the Congress, the Council of National Representatives, ICN's global governing body, will convene in Melbourne from 16–19 May 2013. Congress participants who are members of ICN member associations will be able to observe global nursing leaders identify the profession's priorities and future directions.

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Senior nurse leaders invited to apply for leadership institute

Nurses in senior or executive level positions from all countries are invited to submit an application for the ICN-Burdett Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI). The next annual GNLI will take place from 8–14 September 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. Full bursaries are available for 10 participants.

'This is an exciting opportunity that not only exposes participants to expert faculty but creates, through an action learning approach, a dynamic learning environment where lessons from multiple cultural, health, education and social systems are shared, explored and synthesised’, stated David Benton, ICN Chief Executive Officer.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) established the GNLI in 2009 to create an advanced leadership programme for nurses holding senior and executive level positions in high, middle and low-income countries. Drawing on the expertise of an international faculty, the programme allows participants to review and enhance their national and global leadership skills and behaviours within a collaborative and stimulating learning culture.

During the six-day residential programme, participants observe and analyse strategic leadership in action, enhance their global health knowledge and strategic skills and engage in peer learning and development. The theme of the 2012 GNLI will be Increasing Access and Equity through Leadership: Taking Action on Non-communicable diseases and the Millennium Development Goals.

Further information and an application form can be downloaded from the ICN website at: http://www.icn.ch/pillarsprograms/global-nursing-leadership-institute. Applications can be submitted to ICN by email at institute@icn.ch. The closing date for submission of applications is 15 February 2012.

A graduate of the 2011 GNLI called it ‘a personal and professional growth intervention of enormous impact. I have better insight into myself and others, and better understand the world of nursing and how to intervene’.

The GNLI is facilitated by Dr Stephanie Ferguson, Associate Professor and Director of the Community Nursing Organization at the Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. Dr Ferguson is also the Director of the ICN Leadership for Change ProgrammeTM.

ICN recently published a report based on an independent evaluation of the 2009 and 2010 GNLI cohorts and a subsequent analysis of the data collected data by the Center for Creative Leadership. Pfizer Inc. provided financial support for the report. The evaluation and the executive summary can be accessed at http://www.icn.ch.

The Burdett Trust for Nursing is an independent charitable Trust named after Sir Henry Burdett KCB, the founder of the Royal National Pension Fund for Nurses (RNPFN). The Trust was set up in recognition of the foundation, philosophy and structure of the RNPFN. Working in collaboration with their funding partners, the Trustees aim to make grants to nurses and other healthcare professionals involved in a wide range of innovative projects. Pfizer Inc., the founding sponsor, also provides support for the GNLI.

Nurses and regulators analyse impacts of key health care issues

Regulators and representatives of national nurses associations from 14 countries gathered in Taiwan to analyse the impact of today's critical issues on health care, the regulatory environment and the evolution of nursing practice. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) organized the three-day Credentialing and Regulation Forum, held in November, in collaboration with the Taiwan Nurses Association.

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Dr. Kwua-Yun Wang, Vice President of the Taiwan Nurses Association, speaks to participants during the ICN Credentialing and Regulation Forum, held in Taiwan in late 2011.

‘The annual ICN forum provides an opportunity for interaction, sharing and dialogue on international issues pertaining to credentialing and regulation’, stated Jean Barry, ICN Nurse Consultant. ‘We analyse both challenges and opportunities. For example, the explosion in the use of social media such as Facebook and blogs has raisedbreach of patient confidentiality and other issues. Yet social media also offers an opportunity to reach nursing students and recent graduates who may not have engaged with regulatory and credentialing bodies’.

Leading Taiwan economist and academic, Dr Sheng-Cheng Hu, discussed the economic crisis and its trajectory over the short term. The impact of the crisis requires public sector reforms including pushing back the retirement age and health sector reform in many parts of the world.

Forum participants shared information about the impact of the crisis on their countries. Effects included hiring freezes and non-replacement of workers and the related negative impact on the delivery of safe, quality nursing care. Long-term implications are likely to include lack of employment opportunities for new graduates in some countries and threats to the future supply of nurses.

Scopes of practice for all health professions are evolving due to the economic crisis, human resource challenges and changing demographics and disease patterns. Participants identified particular challenges and opportunities around determining the appropriate care provider. Registered nurses and nurse practitioners, if supported and authorised to practice to their full scope, can enable increased equity and access to cost-effective health care.

An efficient and effective model for establishing continuing competence for nurses and for all health professionals is critical for ensuring patient safety and quality care. Participants discussed some promising models being developed, particularly those reaching beyond a simple requirement of a certain number of continuing education credits and extending to multi-source feedback.

Further information about the forum is available at http://www.icn.ch.

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