According to the International Council of Nurses (ICN) definition of nursing, "Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well, in all settings." 

Nursing includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness and the care of ill, disabled and dying people. ICN goes on to say that nursing also encompasses advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, research, participation in shaping health policy and patient and health systems management and education.