Judith Shamian, the past president of the Canadian Nurses Association, will serve a four year term.
The CNA says the results were announced at the international council's congress being held in Melbourne, Australia.
In a news release issued Sunday, Shamian says she is very "humbled" by all the support from her colleagues in Canada and internationally.
Shamian is based in Toronto and has held a variety of positions including vice-president of nursing at Toronto's Mount Sinai hospital and executive director of Health Canada's Office of Nursing Policy
The ICN represents more than 130 national nursing associations and more than 13 million nurses worldwide.
Its website says it has created a variety of multi-media platforms for its members to be involved in political, social and policy decision-making in an evolving health care environment.