The ICN congress was opened by Kiwi chief executive Dr Frances Hughes and two New Zealand mental health nurse leaders – Dr Daryle Deering and Heather Casey – addressed the conference during a session on innovative primary care models.
Also amongst the New Zealanders attending the four day congress are New Zealand Nurses Organisation chief executive Memo Musa, president Grant Brookes and kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku.
Brookes joined other national nursing association presidents from Canada, Malawi, Rwanda and Denmark to discuss globalisation and its impact on nursing including workforce mobility and immigration. He pointed out New Zealand has the highest dependence on migrant health professionals of any OECD country. NZNO was also to take part in the Council of National Representation which was to vote on a series of proposals to reshape the more than 130 member ICN.
A keynote speaker of the congress was nurse Dr Mary Wakefield, the former Acting Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services who spoke on the ways nurses can be proactively involved in health policy and commended the ICN on its recent International Nurses Day resources as it highlighted ‘nurse-led solutions’ to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Another keynote speaker was Lord Nigel Crisp, the co-leader of the United Kingdom’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) who spoke of how the APPG report concluded that the world wouldn’t achieve universal health coverage without developing nursing which made up half of the health workforce. Also that nurses were not only undervalued but underutilised. And lastly it concluded that to develop nursing worldwide would have a ‘triple impact’ as it would improve health, promote general equality and promote economies.