Network History - 1992 to 2000

Developed by Sue Cross RCN UK NPA

Click here to see Network History - 2002 to 2014


The first group of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) qualified in the United Kingdom in 1991. They were then invited to attend the Nurse Practitioner Conference in Colorado. At this conference they met with representatives of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and also the University of Colorado. It was agreed that NP's in the United States and the United Kingdom would work together to improve communication and a sharing of knowledge and experiences.


In San Antonio, Texas, USA the same group of NPs from the UK presented their experiences at the 1993 annual conference for the AANP. Enthusiasm grew in the UK and the first International NP Conference was held in London in August sponsored by the Royal College of Nursing UK. Many international colleagues attended this first NP Conference particularly from the USA.


At the 4th International Nurse Practitioner Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland more formal discussions began with an emphasis on developing a committee to improve international Nurse Practitioner communication. The concept emerged to develop a network not just in the western world, but all parts of the world where advanced practice nursing is present. Interest & presence of NP type roles was now noted beyond the UK, USA, & Australia.


During the annual AANP conference in New Orleans, the RCN and AANP hosted a meeting of NP representative organisations with a view to planning a joint conference to be held in the United States in 2000. During this meeting it was indicated that the concept of an organized network might possibly be a way forward for structured communication among nurse practitioners internationally. Discussions were supportive & convincing that a forum for nurse practitioners & advanced practice nurses could be beneficial to share not only educational development, but practice and policy strategies as well.


Various international partners including a representative of ICN met in Melbourne at the RCN Australia/RCN UK 6th International NP Conference in February. The discussions continued more intensely regarding the development of a NP Network and an attempt was made to develop an international definition of this role. This proved problematic given that this terminology is used inconsistently & diversely in countries where the roles exist. As a result the decision was made to move more toward a definition of advanced nursing practice, encompassing the nurse practitioner theme. Consensus of opinion for these meetings was to investigate the possibility of establishing an international nurse practitioner network in association with ICN.


At the ICN Centennial Congress in London in June a pre congress advanced practice nursing forum was held. The purpose was to:

  • Try and achieve a consensus as to what the key attributes of advanced practice might be. Formulate a questionnaire concerning advanced practice roles. Describe the philosophy of the proposed network. Give advanced practice nurses/nurse practitioners present at the conference a network opportunity.

  • Panel members from Scotland, USA, Bahrain, Canada, Ireland, Republic of South Africa, England & Australia provided information on the status of advanced practice in their respective countries. Information from this session was used to develop a questionnaire/survey distributed through ICN to determine areas of the world where these advanced practice roles exist. Results of this survey are pending.

At the International NP Conference in Cardiff, Wales in August a network steering group met & agreed that representatives from the UK & USA would meet with ICN in Geneva to set about the formal development and expected launch of the network. It was also agreed that the launch would take place at the 8th International NP Conference in San Diego, CA, USA.


The ICN International Network was launched at the 8th International Conference of Nurse Practitioners in San Diego, CA, USA on October 1, 2000. Now launched the Network has the following objectives:

  • To serve as a forum for exchange of knowledge

  • To serve as a resource base for the development of advanced practice/nurse practitioner roles and the appropriate educational underpinning

  • To serve as a vehicle for ICN to harness specialist expertise

  • To help ICN more effectively meet its mandate as the global voice of the profession

  • To provide a mechanism to promote and disseminate information from any of the network members and ICN

  • To act as the base for future international collaboration around advanced practice and the nurse practitioner role, including international conferences beyond 2000

Click here to see Network History - 2002 to 2014