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Nurses' Voices Speaker Series

Date & Time

  • DATES: OCT 24 | NOV 28 | JAN 9 | FEB 13 | MAR 12 | MAY 7 | MAY 21 | JUN 11


Participants at a minimum of 50% of sessions will receive a certificate of attendance from CIFAL York


The world’s nurses have been enduring ceaseless challenges from the overwhelmed health care system—resulting in burn-out.  This was further exacerbated by the most recent COVID-19 pandemic that strained the front-line nurses worldwide.  Even as nurses have been appreciated and widely trusted for this service—their public voices are still rarely heard. The absence of nursing’s voice contributes to the fact that nurses continue to be undervalued.

This ‘Nurses’ Voices Speakers’ Series’ will continue our innovative global multi-media outreach to prepare and engage nurses, including students and retirees, to become empowered leading public storytellers and to share their stories of advocating for healing, resilience, and collaboration for a healthy world—as thought-leaders across the global public space and to the listening ears of everyone!


The key goals and objectives of the speaker series are to:

  • To provide a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences related to nursing and nursing’s public image and voice—across all six WHO Regions and representing many nursing clinical areas of practice, including public health.
  • To create a leading community of influencers, practitioners, researchers, and educators who are interested in nursing and improving nursing’s public image and voice.
  • To increase awareness of and commitment to the Nightingale Declaration to Achieve a Healthy World (available in 13 language versions) as our strategy for establishing NIGH’s global community and, thus, to strengthen NIGH’s capacity to bring grassroots-to-global feedback through our UN ECOSOC ‘Special Consultative Status.’
  • To provide attendees with practical information and tools that they can use in their own work related to nursing’s public image and voice.
  • To promote nurses, nursing, and nursing’s public image—across all six WHO Regions—by highlighting leading success stories and best practices.
  • To foster collaboration and networking among attendees, speakers, and stakeholders.
  • To stay up-to-date with the latest research, developments and trends in nursing’s public image and voices.
  • To provide attendees with an opportunity to access and provide feedback on Virtual Technical applications developed and established at CIFAL York.
  • To embed a study of the transcripts from this ‘Speakers’ Series’ to determine relevant themes and to publish related results in a published format to be determined.


  • Nursing Education Professionals, Researchers, and Students
  • Nursing Clinical Practice Professionals, Researchers, and Students
  • Public Health Nursing Professionals, Researchers, and Students
  • Professionals, Researchers, and Students in relevant academic fields
  • Non-governmental and intergovernmental professionals in related fields
  • Political, Religious, and Social Leaders
  • National, State, and Provincial Health Ministers
  • United Nations Representatives
  • Doctors
  • Caregivers
  • Policy Makers


Nurses' Voices: Grassroots to Global

Moderator: Dr. Deva-Marie Beck

International Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH).  Across the 25-year development of NIGH, Dr. Deva-Marie Beck has traveled to and met with nursing leaders in 20 European nations, including to Denmark, Lithuania, Scotland and Switzerland for WHO Global nursing leadership meetings, as well as to keynote five times at International Conferences of the Commonwealth Nurses & Midwives Federation in London, UK.

Moderator: Dr. Barbara Dossey

International Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health

Speaker: Dr. Pamela F. Cipriano

President, International Council of Nurses; Professor, School of Nursing and Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy, University of Virginia

Speaker: Kathleen McCourt CBE

President, Commonwealth Nurses & Midwives Federation (CNMF)

Speaker: Dr. Gloria Chan

Vice President, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI); 1st UN/NGO Youth Representative, NIGH, United Nations, New York

Panelist: Cyril Ritchie

First Vice President, Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO); Nightingale Initiative for Global Health Board of Directors

Panelist: Lynne Chase

Nightingale Initiative for Global Health Board of Directors

Recording of session 1


Nurses' Voices from the Western Hemisphere

Moderator: Dr. Deva-Marie Beck

International Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH).  Across the 25-year development of NIGH, Dr. Deva-Marie Beck has traveled to and met with nursing leaders in 20 European nations, including to Denmark, Lithuania, Scotland and Switzerland for WHO Global nursing leadership meetings, as well as to keynote five times at International Conferences of the Commonwealth Nurses & Midwives Federation in London, UK.

Moderator: Dr. Cheryl van Daalen-Smith

Associate Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University; Nightingale Initiative for Global Health Advisory Council

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Donna Nickitas

Dean and Professor, School of Nursing-Camden, Rutgers University

Panelist: Rosemarie L. Josey

Vice President, Commonwealth Nurses & Midwives Federation (CNMF); Nursing Officer, Public Hospitals' Authority, Bahamas

Panelist: Dr. Jose Castillo, III

Professor, School of Health Professions, Texas Wesleyan University; Area Director, National Council of State Boards of Nursing; Chair, Florida Board of Nursing

Panelist: Dr. Caroline Ortiz

Faculty, Pacific College of Health & Science; National Association of Hispanic Nurses, New York Chapter & Integrative Health Project's Work in Guatemala; Representative, International Nurse Coach Association & Curanderismo Apprentice

Panelist: Dr. Isabel Amélia Costa Mendes

Coordinator, IberoAmerican Network of Nursing Editors in Portuguese, Spanish, and English; Emerita Professor, Ribeirao Preto College of Nursing, University of São Paulo; Portuguese Language Advisor, NIGH Advisory Council

Panelist: Sharon Taylor

Retired Nurse Manager, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)

Recording of session 2


Nurses' Voices from Africa

Moderator: Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo

President, Ghana Registered Nurses & Midwives Association

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sheila Tlou

Former Health Minister, Botswana; Ardent Advocate for Human Resources for Health; Distinguished Nursing Visionary and Champion

Panelist: Andre Gitembagara

President, Rwanda Nurses and Midwives Union (RNMU); Board Member, International Council of Nurses (ICN)

Panelist: Dr. Edna Tallam-Kimaiyo

Immediate Past CEO & Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Kenya

Panelist: Dr. Fhumulani Mavis Mulaudzi

South African Research Chair: Ubuntu Community Model of Nursing; Professor of Nursing, Pretoria University; Deputy President of the Democratic Nurses Association of South Africa (DENOSA); Champion of Research Capacity Development and Transformation (2023), National Research Foundations Awards, South Africa

Panelist: Kenneth Kenechukwu Maduka

Certified Health & Wellness Practitioner in Private Practice; Representing the International Nurse Coach Association (INCA) in Nigeria

Panelist: Jeniffer Mukhwana

Ugandan NIGH Council of Advisors/Kiswahili-language Advisor; Primary School Teacher; Lay-Midwife; Personal Support Worker

Panelist: Eugénia Ngambir

MPH, RN, Nursing Leader in Quality Management / Health Safety & Environment, Clínica Girassol, Luando, Angola


Nurses' Voices from the Western Pacific

Moderator: Dr. Maria Theresa "Tess" Panizales

Nightingale Initiative for Global Health Board of Directors & Tagalog/Filipino Language Advisor

Keynote Speaker: Elizabeth Iro

Former Chief Nursing Officer (2018-2022), World Health Organization

Panelist: Jill Iliffe

Executive Director, Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, Greater Melbourne Area, Australia

Panelist: Dr. Pearl Ed G Cuevas

Graduate Nursing Professor, Centro Escolar University, Manila, Philippines

Panelist: Megumi Teshima

Board of Directors Representative from Japan / International Council of Nurses; Professor, Cultural Development for Nursing, Department of Nursing Policy and Management, Chiba University

Panelist: Dr. Nelia Silloriquez

Professor of Nursing & Media/Communications, West Visayas State University, Philippines

Panelist: Dr. Sue Kim

Professor, College of Nursing, Yonsei University; Past Director, Yonsei University WHO Collaboration Centre for Research & Training; NIGH Korean Language Advisor

Panelist: Anah Aikman

New Zealand Integrative Nurse Coach with Maori Worldview Perspectives; Representative, Integrative Nurse Coach Academy (INCA)


Nurses' Voices from Southeast Asia

Moderator: Dr. Phalakshi Manjrekar

Nightingale Initiative of Global Health Board of Directors; Director of Nurses, PD Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre, India

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Deepika Cecil Khakha

Nursing Advisor, Indian Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

Panelist: Dr. Ramesh Venkatesa Perumal

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Coordinator, Internationally Educated BScN Program, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University

Panelist: Dr. Tazeen Saeed Ali

Interim Dean of the Aga Khan University School of Nursing & Midwifery in Karachi Pakistan

Panelist: Maynul Hassan

International Affairs Secretary, Bangladesh Nurses Association

Panelist: Mana Kumari Rai

President, Nursing Association of Nepal

Panelist: Mariyam Shifaana Hussain

President, Maldivian Nurses Association


Nurses' Voices from Europe

Moderator: Dr. Deva-Marie Beck

International Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH).  Across the 25-year development of NIGH, Dr. Deva-Marie Beck has traveled to and met with nursing leaders in 20 European nations, including to Denmark, Lithuania, Scotland and Switzerland for WHO Global nursing leadership meetings, as well as to keynote five times at International Conferences of the Commonwealth Nurses & Midwives Federation in London, UK.

Moderator: Reverend Professor Stephen G. Wright

Rev. Wright has a long and distinguished history in academia and as a nurse leader in the British National Health Service. Course Director, Kentigern School; Resident Spiritual Director & Trustee, The Sacred Space Foundation.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Paul De Raeve

Secretary General of the European Federation of Nurses Associations focused on the promotion and protection of nurses and the nursing profession

Panelist: Dr. Alina Kushkyan

Director, Armenian-American Medical College "Erebouni", Yerevan, Armenia

Panelist: Dr. Ilya Kagan

Nightingale Initiative for Global Health Board of Directors; Dean, Department of Nursing, Ashkelon Academic College, Israel

Panelist: Dr. Karen Bjøro

Second Vice-president of the International Council of Nurses and former Second Vice President of the Norwegian Nurses Organization (NNO)

Panelist: Maria Cutajar

Nursing Services Directorate, Malta Ministry for Health, former Honorary President of the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses


Nurses' Voices from the Middle East

Moderator: Dr. Rowaida Al-Maaitah

Consultant for HRH Princess Muna Al-Hussein; Former Senator in the Upper House of the Jordanian Parliament; Former Minister of Jordanian Higher Education & Scientific Research; Minister of Jordanian Government Performance; Minister of Jordanian Social Development; Board Member, Jordanian Nursing Council; Professor, Faculty of Nursing, Jordan University for Science and Technology

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Naeema Al-Gasseer

An academically trained nurse and midwife, retired global health manager and resident representative, who has been working for the World Health Organization in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region (EMRO) and national health programs for more than 30 years. As such, her professional career encompasses experience in national, regional and international health systems, in women's health, as well as in humanitarian and development programs.

Panelist: TBD

Panelist: TBD


Nurses' Voices into the Future

Moderator: TBD

Speaker: Dr. Isabel Amelia Costa Mendes

Former Secretary General, Global Network of World Health Organization Collaborating Centres for Nursing & Midwifery; Emerita Dean, University of Sao Paulo at Ribeirao Preto College of Nursing; WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing & Midwifery in Brazil; NIGH Council of Advisors / Portuguese language Advisor

Speaker: Dr. Doreen Harper

Emerita Dean, School of Nursing, University of Alabama - Birmingham; WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing & Midwifery from the United States

Speaker: Dr. Hyeonkyeong Lee

Professor & Associate Dean for Research, Director of WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training for Nursing Development in PHC, Yonsei University College of Nursing, South Korea

Speaker: Dr. Nthabiseng A. Phaladze

Professor of nursing at the University of Botswana and the former Head of Nursing and Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Development.


Organizer & Partner



CIFAL York is part of UNITAR's global network of training centres for knowledge-sharing, training, and capacity-building for public and private leaders, local authorities, and civil society. CIFAL Centres are local and regional hubs for innovative, participatory and co-creative knowledge exchange opportunities to support decision-making processes, build capacity, and accelerate the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. Established in 2020, CIFAL York started its operation in June 2021 as the first CIFAL Centre in Canada. Health and Development training and knowledge sharing is among the key focusing areas of CIFAL York.

For more information or questions please contact:


With the global health challenges humanity is facing—including the severe and growing worldwide nursing shortage—teams at the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) have developed a catalytic, grassroots-to-global movement and community with our four-point mandate: 1) Encourage Self-Care; 2) Celebrate Diversity & Common Ground; 3) Engage Nurses’ Voices; 4) Promote Global Health & Well-being. 

Since our founding in 2006—and through our ongoing grassroots-to-global development—NIGH’s teams reflect the voices of nurses, midwives, teachers, and interdisciplinary groups of concerned citizens throughout the world. Our strategies have included: advocacy campaigns to reach UN Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals; online global outreach and multi-media; keynote addresses, workshops and related conference briefings, virtual and onsite discussions and meetings convened in 60 countries: plus 38 peer-reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters—and from UN Headquarters in New York and the World Health Organization in Geneva. Since 2018, we have further integrated these strategies into our ‘UN ECOSOC Special Consultative Status’— through collaborative discussions / planning with representatives from related United Nations organizations, UNITAR, the World Health Organization, and related United Nations NGOs.