Global Advancement of Advanced Practice Nursing Education

Michelle A. Beauchesne, DNSc, RN, CPNP

Disclosures

Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2004;4(1) 

In This Article

NONPF and Global Outreach

As the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) prepares for its 30th annual meeting of nurse practitioner (NP) educators in 2004, it is appropriate to reflect on its impact on advanced practice nursing (APN) education worldwide. In the United States, NONPF has long been well established as the leader in NP education, with more than 1100 NP educators as members. In addition, NONPF has taken measures to support NP education and the role of the NP educator globally.

In 2001, the Board of Directors expanded the mission statement of the organization to include the promotion of quality NP education across national and international levels. This action reflected consideration of the increasing development of NP educational programs in various countries and an interest in promoting the highest quality of educational preparation globally. The Board also included a specific goal on globalization in the 2001-2004 NONPF Strategic Plan so as to establish a priority for the organization to secure the global influence of NP education and the implementation of educational guidelines at the international level.

Recognizing that meeting this goal would take efforts within NONPF to understand the development of the role in various countries and to establish liaisons to facilitate exchange of information, the NONPF Board established a new standing committee -- Global Advancement. This committee exists to:

  • Promote APN/NP education;

  • Foster understanding of international APN/NP education and practice issues;

  • Advocate for quality APN/NP education in the international arena; and

  • Collaborate with other groups related to APN education and practice.

In 2001, the chair of the committee became an NONPF Board position, elected by the membership. The current chair of the committee is Dr. Felicitas dela Cruz, from Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California.

NONPF also recognizes the increasing interest of faculty members in having a forum to discuss international education issues. As a result, an international Special Interest Group (SIG) was developed in 2003. Under the leadership of Dr. Anita Hunter, of the University of San Diego, California, this group assists both international faculty and US APN/NP faculty with active international programs to work together to identify educational and practice problems, recognize and implement resolutions to those problems, and promote quality APN/NP education and practice in the international arena. The SIG is currently reaching out to other NP practice and education groups in North America to explore the feasibility of cohosting a future meeting of the International Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurses (INP/APN) Network.

To encourage increased participation in the organization by international faculty, NONPF is also proposing the addition of new international membership categories. A proposal for bylaws amendments to accommodate these categories is currently under development. As well, the NONPF Board is developing a structure to support formal linkages between NONPF and other international NP/APN educator groups. This structure, in the form of a memorandum of understanding, will strengthen the international NP education community.

In addition to its internal efforts to promote global NP education, NONPF has also been active in the international community. Leaders of NONPF participate in international NP conferences to promote the education perspective and the resources available through NONPF. The first international NP conference was held in 1993, sponsored by the Royal College of Nursing. Leaders and members of NONPF were involved in discussions about forming an organized network to develop the international definition of the NP role and education.

In 2000, in conjunction with the 8th International NP Conference, the INP/APN Network was formally launched as a subgroup of the International Council of Nurses. The key goal of this Network is to be an international resource for NPs and APNs, policymakers, educators, and regulators through the following activities:

  • Making information widely available about NP/APN practice, education, role development, research, and more;

  • Providing a forum for sharing and exchange of knowledge, expertise, and experience;

  • Supporting nursing and countries who are introducing or developing NP or APN roles; and

  • Providing access to international resources relevant to the field.

Some examples of NONPF's recent outreach to the international community follow.

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