The QNI has become a member of an international nursing network to improve nursing practice and support individual and population health across borders.
The community nursing charity said last week that joining the International Council of Nurses (ICN) – a federation of more than 130 nurses’ associations worldwide representing more than 27 million nurses – is important amid global challenges such as climate change.
‘We can only ensure that the needs of people and communities are met in the future through strong collaboration with other nursing organisations,’ added Professor John Unsworth, QNI Council chair.
He also highlighted the QNI has a ‘proud tradition of working internationally’ and was ‘instrumental in founding the ICN as one of the only formally organised groups of nurses at that time’.
The move comes after RCN members voted to re-join the ICN in May, having left the organisation in 2013 because of concerns about membership fees, estimated by the RCN to be around £1 per member.
The RCN agreed to consult members on rejoining in October last year following a campaign led by the We Are Global Nurses group. High profile nurses voiced their support including chief nursing officer for England Ruth May and chief nursing officer for Northern Ireland Charlotte McArdle.
Dr Crystal Oldman, QNI chief executive, said: ‘Attending sessions of the ICN’s Congress recently has only reinforced the need for nursing organisations to work across borders in order to improve nursing practice and support individual and population health…
‘Healthcare policy, nursing education, research and workforce challenges are experienced differently in different countries, but the underlying needs and principles are the same, and the solutions will be more effective if we share our collective expertise and collaborate internationally.’
Howard Catton, ICN chief executive, said the organisation was ‘delighted to welcome QNI into membership as part of the ICN family’.
He continued: ‘ICN is working closely with all its national nurses associations and the World Health Organization to make universal healthcare a reality, and the expertise that QNI will bring, particularly on community nursing, will be a significant contribution.
‘The pandemic has underlined that we are stronger together and we look forward to working with QNI in the future,’ he added.