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Communiqué: ICN Appoints Mr. Howard Catton As Its Chief Executive Officer
Date Posted: 11/Feb/2019
On behalf of the International Council of Nurses, we are pleased to announce that the ICN Board has appointed Mr. Howard Catton as ICN’s Chief Executive Officer for the period of one year. Howard has served as ICN’s Director of Nursing Policy and Programmes for several years, leading our work with WHO, amongst other key activities.
 
“Globally we have entered a period of huge opportunity for nurses and the nursing profession as world leaders recognize that nurses are critical to addressing the health challenges we face. Whether it be improving access to healthcare, addressing NCDs, managing health emergencies or improving public health, it is nurses who in their daily practice will make a real difference to peoples’ lives” emphasized Howard Catton.
 
“Of course, there are challenges - the shortages of nurses, poor pay and working conditions and the growing demand on health services, however, now it is the time to push harder than we ever have before and make both the health improvement and economic case for investing in nursing”.
 
“It is an absolute honour for me to take on this leadership for ICN at such a significant time. ICN has over the past 120 years established itself as the respected and influential global voice of Nursing. We work extremely closely with WHO across a range of programmes and particularly with the Chief Nursing Officer Elizabeth Iro and those Nurses and Midwives based both at WHO in Geneva and also in the regions. With WHO we are a proud partner of the Nursing Now campaign and together are raising the profile of Nursing globally, and with 2020 set to be the Year of the Nurse and Midwife have a massive platform to drive forward a step change in the role and recognition of our profession.”
 
“Our National Nursing Associations have been the bedrock of ICNs work and success, and they will continue to be at the heart of our work going forward. As someone who has spent much of his career working for an Association, I know how important it is to listen, involve and be led by those nurses and members who daily are working in clinical practice and know the reality of healthcare delivery”.
 
“ICN Congress this year, the meeting of our Council of Nursing Representatives who lead Associations around the world and being joined by the Board of Nursing Now and many of our key strategic partners will deepen our collaborative working relationships and provide a key time for us to plan together how will use all the opportunities that 2020 celebrations of Florence Nightingale’s birth brings.
 
“Before then we have already started work with WHO and nurse leaders from around the world on the report “The State of the World’s Nursing” planned for 202O, have announced the theme for International Nurses Day this year Nurses: A Voice to lead – Health for All and again our publication will contain real examples of how nurses around the world are improving access to care and addressing the SDGs. Our new strategic plan for 2019-2023 sets out our mission to represent nursing worldwide, advance the nursing profession, promote the wellbeing of nurses, and advocate for health in all policies and builds on the ICN pillars of professional practice, regulation and the socio-economic welfare of Nurses. Global Impact, Membership Empowerment, Strategic Leadership, and Innovative Growth are the principles that will be driving our work.
 
I do not underestimate the magnitude of the task ahead, but it is with great pride that I take on this role and am confident that together with the President, excellent Board and staff of ICN, we will deliver – Nurses and Nursing are bigger than anything that might stand in our way”.
- Howard Catton
 
“I am delighted that Howard has accepted this position. For the past three years he has served as ICN’s Director, Nursing Policy and Programmes, working closely with WHO on several panels and working groups; leading our delegations to the WHO Executive Board and World Health Assembly; managing our Workforce Forums; and developing key policy and position statements on safe staffing levels, retention, migrant health, etc. I knew Howard before his role at ICN, when he worked at the Royal College of Nursing, UK and at the European Federation of Nurses. His international experience, his close ties with so many of our key partners, and his deep understanding of the work of ICN, gives the Board and me great confidence in his leadership”.
- Annette Kennedy

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