Network History - 1992 to 2000
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The first group of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) qualified in the United Kingdom in 1991. They attended a nurse practitioner conference in Colorado. At this conference they met with representatives of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and 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 share their 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 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 (RCN) UK including colleagues from the USA.
At the 4th international NP conference in Edinburgh, Scotland formal discussions began with an emphasis on developing a committee to improve international NP communication. The presence of Advanced Practice type roles was now noted beyond the UK, USA and Australia. The idea emerged to develop an international network to represent all countries where advanced practice nursing exists.
During the annual AANP conference in New Orleans, USA, the RCN and AANP hosted a meeting of NP representative organizations with a view to planning a joint conference to be held in the United States in 2000. During this meeting it was noted that the concept of an organized network might possibly be a way forward for structured communication among NPs internationally. Discussions were productive and indicated that a forum for nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses could be beneficial to share educational development along with practice and policy strategies.
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 regarding the development of an NP Network. An attempt was made to develop an international definition of this role. This proved problematic given that the terminology used is inconsistently and 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 was also to investigate the possibility of establishing an international nurse practitioner network in association with the International Council of Nurses (ICN).
At the ICN Centennial Congress in London in June a pre-congress advanced practice nursing forum was held. The purpose was to:
- Achieve a consensus on the key attributes of what 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 and 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.
At the International NP Conference in Cardiff, Wales in August a network steering group met & agreed that representatives would meet with ICN in Geneva to set about the formal development and expected launch of the network. It was 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. Given the diversity in defining advanced nursing roles the title International Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nursing Network (NP/APNN) was agreed on. The Network identified 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 theprofession
- 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.