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ICN 25th Quadrennial Congress

Around 4000 nurses came to Melbourne for the ICN 25th Quadrennial Congress.

The six-day event started on Saturday 18 May with an opening ceremony that included a parade of nations, presentation of awards and entertainment from Deborah Cheetham.

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, “... nurses provide services to patients in the most remote, rural and disadvantaged communities”.

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’s keynote address on Monday morning was inspirational, delivering strategies to nurses on how they can help deliver access to healthcare for women across the globe.

About 120 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.

Chief executive of the Australian College of Nursing Debra Thoms said that her conference highlights were the opening and closing ceremonies, which featured the QANTAS choir, the Council of Nursing Representatives meeting and Anne Marie Rafferty’s Virginia Henderson Lecture.

“Holding the 25th Quadrennial ICN Conference here in Australia provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many Australian nurses to attend such an important event, providing opportunity to interact with nurses from the around the world,” she said.

“It is over 50 years since the Congress was held in Australia. A number of Australian nurses were able to present papers and posters enabling them to showcase Australian nursing to the international nursing community.”

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