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Leading New Zealand nurse appointed head of ICN

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New Zealander Frances Hughes has been appointed as the new chief executive of the International Council of Nurses.

Dr Hughes, who is a trained general and mental health nurse, will take up her new post at the ICN in February 2016.

“ICN has both the leadership and the staff to build on its existing strengths”

Judith Shamian

She has held the post of chief nurse and midwifery officer of Queensland in Australia since 2012 and was previously chief nurse at New Zealand’s health ministry for several years.

As a consultant at the World Health Organization and other non-government organisations, she has worked in Australia, South Pacific, the UK, Canada and Asia.

Dr Hughes also previously held the position of commandant-colonel of the Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps and was the first professor of nursing at the University of Auckland.

In addition, she has studied health policy under the mentorship of global nursing workforce expert Dr Linda Aiken of the University of Pennsylvania and also has undertaken research on post-disaster lessons for health professionals.

International Council of Nurses

Leading New Zealand nurse appointed head of ICN

Frances Hughes

Dr Judith Shamian, president of the ICN, said: “We are delighted Frances has accepted our offer to be ICN’s next CEO and, together with the board, lead ICN, an organisation that been serving nursing and health for over 100 years.

“The board is confident that with this appointment, ICN has both the leadership and the staff to build on its existing strengths and enhance our efforts to meet ICN’s mission and commitment to have a strong nursing community to meet both global health challenges while partnering with key global and regional organisations,” she added.

The council is a worldwide federation of more than 130 national nursing associations, though at present there are no members from the UK.

The Royal College of Nursing pulled out of the council in 2014, following a long row about the distribution of financial contributions.


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