About FNIF

—— About FNIF ——

The Florence Nightingale International Foundation
FNIF Board of Directors
The FNIF Logo – A Symbol of Caring
The Work of FNIF
Friends of FNIF Programme

The Florence Nightingale International Foundation

FNIF is the International Council of Nurses (ICN) premier foundation, it supports and complements the work and objectives of  ICN.

Its history dates back to 1912 when a memorial to Florence Nightingale was first proposed by Mrs Ethel Bedford Fenwick at an ICN Congress in Cologne. The vision was of an educational foundation for nurses. As the First World War intervened, it was not until 1929 that the memorial was finally activated by the ICN Grand Council in Montreal. Mrs Bedford Fenwick, the first president of ICN was elected the first chair of the Florence Nightingale Memorial Committee.

From 1931, national Florence Nightingale committees were established in countries where ICN had member associations. In 1932 discussions were held between ICN and the League of Red Cross Societies to use their Red Cross international post-graduate courses as an international memorial to Florence Nightingale.

The ICN Grand Council agreed to take over the international courses, and in 1934,  established the Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF) as a living memorial to Florence Nightingale. FNIF became an autonomous organisation under British law with its own governing body and a mandate to develop and promote nursing education world wide.

FNIF is a registered Charity in the United Kingdom and maintains its original purpose; to support the advancement of nursing education, research and services for the public good. Though UK registered, the day-to-day administration is carried out in Geneva through the International Council of Nurses, a federation of 133 national nurses' associations working to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally

FNIF is a new foundation for a new day!  We have a new board, a new programme and a new look.  Our focus is global — the needs of nurses everywhere are similar but the resources to meet those needs differ around the world.

As you know, Florence Nightingale is considered to be the founder of modern nursing.  She was devoted to health, education and research, and worked tirelessly to raise health care standards.  We are honoured to continue her legacy.

FNIF Board of Directors 2009 – 2013

The Foundation is governed by an international Board of Directors and administered through the Chief Executive Officer of ICN. Board members include:

  • Rosemary Bryant, FNIF President and President of ICN
  • Hiroko Minami, immediate past President of ICN and FNIF
  • Rudolph Cini, First Vice-President of ICN
  • James Bissell, professional health administrator in Switzerland.
  • Richard Bruce Flavell, specialist in bank risk management.
  • Patrizia Carlevaro, Head of the International Aid Unit at Eli Lilly.
  • Victor West, formerly Director and Council member of the Royal National Pension Fund for Nurses.

The FNIF Logo – A Symbol of Caring


The design brings together four elements — the flame, hand, heart and globe.  The flame represents the light of nursing knowledge and caring.  It also harks back to the lamp Florence Nightingale carried while caring for the wounded during the Crimean War.

The hand illustrates nurses reaching out to help and comfort others.  The white heart characterises the knowledge and humanity that infuse the work and spirit of nursing, and is an important global nursing symbol.  The globe shape illustrates the universality of the Foundation and the world in which nurses provide care.

The Work of FNIF

FNIF works independently while at the same time complements and supports the objectives and work of ICN, including:

Expanding Knowledge and Practise

FNIF awards scholarships and fellowships designed to enable nurses to undertake projects in several areas including advocacy, leadership, new models of patient care and new roles for nurses.

Advancing Care Through Research

FNIF research projects aim to advance health issues internationally and increase nursing knowledge.

The Girl Child Project: Mobilising Nurses for the Health of Urban Girls addresses the health needs of young girls living in urban areas. The study will serve as a foundation for effective policies and programmes to promote the healthy development of this vulnerable and overlooked group.


Friends of FNIF Programme

To finance our new programme of work, we are engaged in an active fundraising drive, seeking donations from individuals, corporations and philanthropic organisations.  An important component of this initiative is our new Friends of FNIF programme.  It is designed to recognise the support which allows us to fund an increasing number of projects aimed at improving public health.