The Commonwealth Nurses Federation

The Commonwealth Nurses Federation (CNF) was established in 1973 with the aim of contributing to the improved health of citizens around the Commonwealth. It does this by fostering access to nursing education, influencing health policy, developing networks and strengthening nursing leadership.

As an alliance of national nursing organisations, the CNF has 45 financial members from all six regions of the Commonwealth.Governed by an eight-member elected board with current representation from Singapore, India, Malaysia, Australia, Ghana, Kenya and the United Kingdom, the CNF holds a general meeting every two years. The federation is funded by membership subscriptions, an annual award from the Commonwealth Foundation, charitable grants and fund-raising activity.

The CNF supports members with education, training and capacity development, working in Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Malta during 2011. The CNF is also providing a series of workshops on maternal and child health in Sierra Leone throughout 2012. Another of its projects is assisting small member associations to construct and maintain their own Internet profi le. Currently, websites have been created for Lesotho, Sierra Leone and the Bahamas, with others under way for Cameroon, Grenada, Jamaica and Uganda.

The federation represents nurses and midwives at the annual Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting, the biennial Commonwealth People’s Forum and the Heads of Government Meeting. It works closely with the Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Secretariat to make sure the voices of nurses and midwives are heard within a wider political context. In addition, the CNF is involved in a range of committees, including the African Regulatory Collaborative and the Ramphal Commission on Migration and Development, and is affiliated to other organisations with similar aims and objectives, such as the campaign Healthcare Information for All by 2015, the White Ribbon Alliance and the Global Health Workforce Alliance. A founding member of the Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance, the CNF also acts as a secretariat for this organisation.

Communication with members is a priority for the CNF. It maintains an active website and produces a monthly e-news bulletin with updates on current and forthcoming projects and events. Twice a year the federation publishes a journal, The Commonwealth Nurse, which provides detailed information and analysis of CNF projects. Subscription to these publications is free and available through the website.

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