The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations. It was founded in 1899 and was the first international organization for health care professionals. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization's goals are to bring nurses' organizations together in a worldwide body, to advance the socio-economic status of nurses and the profession of nursing worldwide, and to influence global and domestic health policy. Membership is limited to one nursing organization per nation. In most cases, this is the national nurses' association (such as the American Nurses Association, the Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwives or the Nursing Association of Nepal). In 2001, ICN permitted its members to adopt alliance or collaborative structures to be more inclusive of other domestic nursing groups. However, few member organizations have adopted the new structures.
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