The International Council of Nurses announced the launch of the ICN Telenursing Network during a keynote address at the Med-e-Tel Conference in Luxembourg.

The address by Claudia Bartz from the ICN described how members of the new network will collaborate with the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth Telenursing Working Group and other industry organisations.

The network aims to promote opportunities for the exchange of ideas and expertise and to support the professional goal of integrating telenursing roles into global nursing practice.

An advisory group drawn from telenursing representatives from different parts of the world, will provide leadership and direction.

David Benton, chief executive officer of the ICN said: “ICN is at the forefront of preparing nurses to leverage telehealth technologies so they can extend their reach to patients anywhere and anytime.

“The publication of the ICN international competencies for telenursing in 2008 provided the springboard for formation of the Telenursing Network in order to advance telenursing and telehealth. This will be pivotal for nursing and health care in the 21st Century.”

Telenursing leaders in the US and Canada proposed the new network to ICN, where it was approved in May 2008. It will be led by key figures in telenursing, including Loretta Schlachta-Fairchild, Lois Scott, Diane Castelli and Robert Pyke.

The leaders said in a joint statement: “Telenursing is a competency that all nurses will use in the future – together we must act to prepare our colleagues to incorporate this important role into their current practice.

“ICN, being a visionary organisation with a strong history of nursing leadership, has made a clear statement in launching the ICN Telenursing Network: telenursing offers unprecedented access to care and the ability to export nursing care using technology and is a powerful tool for global health care improvement.”

The launch and first official meeting of the ICN Telenursing Network will take place on 1 July 2009 during the ICN 24th Quadrennial Congress in Durban, South Africa.

Link: ICN Teleworking Network