International Perspectives

ICN's Girl Child Education Fund receives a grant from Connecting Nurses project

The Connecting Nurses project has donated its Corporate Social Responsibility Award grant to the Girl Child Education Fund (GCEF), which assists with the education of the orphaned daughters of nurses in developing countries. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) established the GCEF in 2006. Since then, it has ensured the primary and secondary education of more than 310 girls in Kenya, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia by providing school fees, books, uniforms, shoes and emergency funds. ICN's member national nurses associations administer the GCEF in their respective countries.

Connecting Nurses is an initiative supported by Sanofi. The project's global mission is to bring nurses together to share ideas, advice and innovations, both online and in the real world. Connecting Nurses was developed in partnership with ICN, the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation, the Secrétariat International Des Infirmières et Infirmiers de l'Espace Francophone, and the Association Française pour le Développement de l'Education Thérapeutique.

‘We are both impressed with the accomplishments of the Connecting Nurses initiative in bringing nurses together and grateful for this generous support for the Girl Child Education Fund’, stated David Benton, ICN Chief Executive Officer. ‘I want to emphasise that this is not the first donation the Connecting Nurses project has conferred upon the GCEF, as the project has integrated innovative advocacy and fund raising for the GCEF in many of its activities. Connecting Nurses continues to achieve its goal to build a network of sharing and caring to enhance nursing's leading role in advancing health care’.

The GCEF received a grant of € 2000 during the CSR Award Lunch at Sanofi headquarters in Paris.

Nurses and their associations around the world, individually and collectively, support the GCEF. A contribution of US$ 200 helps to cover the costs of uniforms, schoolbooks, and fees for the primary education of a girl child for one year and US$ 600 for secondary education. Approximately US$ 5000 will secure the education of a girl throughout her primary and secondary school years. Donations go directly to education costs. Contributions can be made on the following secure online site: as

Additional information about the GCEF can be found at and

One element of Connecting Nurses is Care Challenge, a contest that highlights nursing innovations and helps to put them into practice. By championing the care innovations of nurses around the world, it provides a way for those innovations to be shared for the benefit of nurses, patients, caregivers, clinical practices and health systems. The programme is accessible from a dedicated web platform ( To date approximately 30 000 connections have been made on the Care Challenge platform.

Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. It has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health.

New audio book helps nurses in South Africa promote wellness

The Wellness Tree Speaking Book, a new tool to increase awareness about health choices, was launched in South Africa in October 2012. Jointly developed by ICN and Pfizer, the Wellness Tree Speaking Book offers a step-by-step guide to wellness. The goal is to provide access to essential health and lifestyle information to low literacy and vulnerable populations, including children who are acquiring life style behaviours.

Using the latest sound chip technology, the edition introduced in South Africa is narrated by South African actress and activist, Lillian Dube. It will be used in schools and communities.


The audio book is a component of the Wellness Tree project, an initiative developed by ICN in partnership with its member national nursing associations and Pfizer Inc. The project mobilizes and equips nurses to help address the global crisis of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA), a member of ICN, collaborated in the creation and launch of the Wellness Tree Speaking Book in South Africa.

NCDs, most notably diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers and chronic respiratory diseases, are the leading cause of mortality in the world. These diseases represent 63% of deaths annually, and 25% of the deaths are premature. Yet NCDs are largely preventable. Effective interventions target the main risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol. The world's more than 13 million nurses have the skills and knowledge to address the NCD crisis through a focus on wellness and disease prevention.

The Wellness Tree is a key awareness and education concept illustrating some of the components that can influence health and prevent NCDs, including genetic predisposition (the tree's roots), environment (the trunk) and lifestyle choices (the branches). The Wellness Tree projects include effective interventions to share knowledge and support people in making behavioural changes that address risk factors and lead to healthier lifestyles and improved health.

ICN announces new and revised publications

Two new and revised publications are now available on the ICN wesbite (

Flexible Work Practices in Nursing

Flexible work options for substantive nursing staff can be a win-win situation for health care organisations and nurses. This research paper, prepared by ICN's International Centre for Nursing Human Resources (ICHRN), provides an overview of flexible work practices for substantive nursing staff. Research in human resource management has raised awareness of what employees need in order to function effectively and efficiently. Nurses want substantive work and they want to balance their many work-life responsibilities. Flexible work options, particularly those reflecting the voluntary choices of nurses, are associated with nurses' greater job satisfaction, organisational commitment and intent to stay. For organisations, these work options provide more staffing flexibility with nurses who know their patients, their colleagues and the organisation.

The publication is available in English, French and Spanish on the ICN website: Hard copies may be ordered from the ICN on-line bookshop:

The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses

The new 2012 version of the ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses is now available. ICN first published an international code of ethics for nurses in 1953. It has been revised and reaffirmed at various times since its adoption. Nurses have four fundamental responsibilities: to promote health, to prevent illness, to restore health and to alleviate suffering. The need for nursing is universal. The four elements of the Code are: nurses and people, nurses and practice, nurses and the profession, and nurses and co-workers. The publication provides a framework for the standards of conduct, and assists nurses in translating the standards into action in their practice.


The International Council of Nurses extends warm greetings and profound appreciation to its member associations in more than 130 countries, and to the more than 13 million nurses supporting and providing health care worldwide. We commend you for your daily work to improve the health and lives of individuals, families, communities and nations. We applaud your knowledge, skill, compassion, tenacity and heroic commitment to provide care, often in the face of the most challenging circumstances. We applaud your advocacy for equitable and accessible health care for all. We hope that you, your families, and the people you serve will experience health and peace in 2013.

For additional news about nursing and health policy and issues worldwide, please visit, the website of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The user-friendly website, an essential global resource for nurses, provides access to ICN and the rich array of nursing networks, knowledge, publications, programmes and projects it offers. The home page contains links to the Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF), the International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing (ICHRN), the International Centre on Nurse Migration (ICNM) and the International Nursing Review.

To be effective the ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses must be familiar to nurses. ICN encourages nurses to help with its dissemination to schools of nursing, practising nurses, the nursing press and other mass media. The Code should also be provided to other health professions, the general public, consumer and policy-making groups, human rights organisations and employers of nurses.

The ICN Code of Ethics is available free of charge, in English, French and Spanish, from the ICN website: