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National League for Nursing in Forefront of Global Affairs/Diversity Initiatives to Advance Nursing Education Worldwide

National League for Nursing in Forefront of Global Affairs/Diversity Initiatives to Advance Nursing Education Worldwide

Progress of International Council of Nurses (ICN) Education Network Propelled by Steering Committee Chaired by NLN Expert


New York, NY — December 4, 2009 — Virginia Adams, PhD, RN, a leading nurse educator and consultant to the National League for Nursing on global affairs and diversity, has been tapped to chair the Steering Committee of the International Council of Nurses Education Network (ICN-EN), putting the NLN in the forefront of planning the networks agenda and maximizing its impact across borders worldwide. Earlier this year, Dr. Adams served as the NLN liaison to the International Nursing Education Services and Accreditation (INESA). This joint task force of the NLN and NLN Accrediting Commission played a key role in the establishment of the ICN-EN. The purpose of the education network is to provide a forum to address nursing educational issues worldwide.

"I am thrilled to have Dr. Adams at the helm of this evolving area within nursing education," said NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN. "Her impressive background in global affairs and diversity initiatives will surely advance the important work of the ICN-EN, which dovetails with the NLNs core value to assist nurse educators in sustaining global partnerships."

Since the launch of the ICN Education Network in July, membership has nearly tripled, from 125 to 370 nurse educators. Dr. Adams has been collaborating with the ICN-ENs Geneva-based office on a number of projects to raise the networks profile among nurse educators and nursing students, many of whom are in developing nations. Chief among these is a new ICN-EN interactive website, designed to facilitate communication on issues pertinent to nursing education and standards, and health care policy and delivery. The website will also feature a comprehensive calendar of nursing education conferences around the globe; and serve as a go-to online resource for the nursing education community. Observed NLN president Dr. Cathleen Shultz, "It is exciting to know that up-to-date information about what is happening in nursing education around the world will be in one place and readily accessible."

At the Steering Committees first meeting, an October 20 teleconference, it was determined that the web-based discussion forum will initially focus on two high-priority issues: the shortage of nurse educators and primary care health care. The committee will collect, and post on the website, best practices from within their regions. In addition, questions about how nursing education programs are incorporating primary health care into their curriculum will be posted for discussion; given global variations in language and understanding, careful attention will be paid to clarifying and defining terminology. ICN-ENs inaugural e-newsletter, another Steering Committee project, is set for publication in early 2010; it will include bio-sketches of the international Steering Committee.

Under Dr. Adams direction, the Steering Committee will also draft a governance structure for the network and seek ways to partner with other groups within ICN, such as the ICN Student Nurses Network. Looking ahead to 2011, the Steering Committee plans to deliver its first report to the ICN during the groups biennial conference in Malta.

A professor and special assistant to the vice provost at University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Dr. Adams has worked to broaden the scope of international initiatives in nursing education; university programs were expanded or created in countries around the world including Barbados, England, Japan, and Peru. As a fellow in the WK Kellogg Foundation Community Partnerships program, Dr. Adams traveled around the US and abroad learning about delivery of health care services to underserved populations across racial and ethnic lines and exploring how health care education might be improved to more effectively address the needs of these sectors. "From site visits to places like rural Tennessee; El Paso, TX; San Francisco; Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, South Africa; Brazil; and Chile," remarked Dr. Adams, "I came to understand the significance of building strong bridges."

Nurse educators who wish to join the ICN-EN may complete an application online; visit the International Council of Nurses website at

Reporters/Editors: To arrange an interview with Virginia Adams or to learn more about the NLNs involvement in global affairs, please contact Karen R. Klestzick, chief communications officer at 212-812-0376 or

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 30,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members who represent all types of nursing education programs.