Canadian nurse leader joins ICN staff as new consultant for socio-economic welfare

News Category: 
Publication date: 
Tue, 2012-10-02

Press Information . Communiqué de presse . Comunicado de prensa

Canadian nurse leader joins ICN staff as new consultant for socio-economic welfare


GENEVA, Switzerland, 2 October 2012 - Former Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Nurses Association Lesley Bell will be joining the staff of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in the new year as the ICN Nurse Consultant focusing primarily on socio-economic issues (SEW). She assumes the position formerly held by Elizabeth Adams who has returned to Ireland to take up the position of Director of Professional Development at the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Lesley to the staff of ICN,” said David Benton, ICN’s Chief Executive Officer. “As CEO of the ONA, she has a wide range of experience in lobbying for fair and equitable compensation, quality workplaces, and safe staffing. Her executive leadership abilities and active participation in the national nursing union will be key to helping ICN advance our socio-economic agenda.”

Since 1993, Lesley Bell has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Nurses Association, providing organisational leadership and direction to advance the ONA’s vision and mission. ONA is a union representing 59,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals and more than 13,000 nursing students.

"I am thrilled to take on this opportunity to work with nurses and nursing associations globally in addressing SEW issues in their workplaces,” said Lesley Bell. I look forward to the challenges ahead, of dealing with the current trend to decrease health care costs and the negative impact that has on the worklife of nurses. In addition I hope to transfer negotiating skills that I have developed over my career with the Ontario Nurses Association to help attain the remuneration and respect that all nurses deserve."

Other positions held by Ms Bell in the Ontario Nurses Association include Assistant Director (1991-1993) and Associate Director (1993) of Government Relations. During which time she provided strategic advice and support to the Legislative Committee and sought out provincial legislation lobbying opportunities for the advancement of the ONA membership. She was also responsible for research and education regarding the Regulated Health Professions Act.

Prior to this Ms Bell also held the position of President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association in 1990 where she was responsible for carrying out the policies and worked towards the objectives of the Association.

Bell’s nursing experience includes a 1977-1989 term as a staff nurse with Ottawa's Salvation Army Grace General. In 2006, she received the Bread and Roses Award from the Canadian Federation of Nurse Unions in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Nursing Unionism on a provincial and national level. Ms Bell has spoken at several ICN Congresses on the topics of negotiation and bargaining; racism; workplace violence and the value of nursing.

Bell was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Cum Laude) by the University of Ottawa. She earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario. In 2011, she attended and assisted with a Leadership Conference with SANNAM (South African Network of Nurses and Midwives) in an initiative to support nursing leadership development in southern Africa.


Note for Editors

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing internationally, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.

For further information contact Lindsey Williamson at:

Tel: +41 22 908 0100; Fax: +41 22 908 0101,


                            • ICN/PR2012 #15