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ICN 25th Quadrennial Congress

Over 4000 nurses have descended on Melbourne for the ICN 25th Quadrennial Congress.

The six-day event started on Saturday with an opening ceremony that included a parade of nations, presentation of awards and entertainment from Deborah Tetum.

The theme of the congress is access and equity to health and the central role nurses play in making that happen.

ICN chief executive officer David Benton said that no matter where you are in the world, nurses are providing access to healthcare for patients. "Nurses provide services to patients in the most remote, rural and disadvantaged communities.

"So if nurses are not supported to do it, then you will have huge inequalities."

On Sunday morning, United Nations special envoy for HIV/Aids Michel Kazatchkine was the first keynote presentation to be delivered. He spoke about the role of the nurse in the delivery of care for sufferers of HIV/Aids, as well as how treatment, and access to it, has changed over time.

Leslie Mancuso was Monday's keynote address, delivering a powerful set of practical strategies to nurses on how they can help deliver access to healthcare for women across the globe.
134 countries are represented at the conference and outgoing ICN president Rosemary Bryant said that over three thousand abstracts were submitted. "It was clearly a theme that touched nurses as being very relevant to their work."

Judith Shamian, former president and CEO of the Victorian Order of Nurses will replace Bryant when she steps down.

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