Global Network of WHO

Overview and History

The Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres (WHOCCs) for Nursing and Midwifery Development is an independent, international, non-profit, voluntary organization comprising the worldwide WHOCCs as its members. At its core, the membership includes internationally renowned nursing and midwifery leaders underlining the significance of this expert group.

In a 1987 meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, representatives of the UIC College of Nursing met with colleagues from other WHO Collaborating Centres to form the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development. Over 40 such Collaborating Centres are located worldwide. More information about the Global Network is available at the web site, An updated, downloadable PDF listing of the centers is available through this link: .

Since its inception, the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development has worked in partnership with WHO and its member sates, non-nursing WHO Collaborating Centres, non-governmental organizations, and others interested in promoting the health of populations. For the first seven years of the Global Network's existence (1987-1994), the UIC College of Nursing served as the Secretariat for the Global Network. The early history of the Global Network can be found in two publications:

  • Kim, Mi Ja (1996). Primary Health Care: Nurses Lead the Way. The American Association of Colleges of  Nursing: Washington, DC.
  • McElmurry, Beverly J., Norr, Kathleen F., & Parker, Randy S. (Eds.) (1993). Women's Health and Development: A Global Challenge. Jones & Bartlett: Boston, MA.


The Secretariat for the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing/Midwifery Development is elected from amongst the member Collaborating Centres for a predetermined period and coordinates and fosters collaborative efforts between the member Centres. UIC College of Nursing is proud to have served as the first Secretariat of the Global Network from 1988-1994.

The current Secretariat is University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, Brazil. (