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Historical Timeline

In 1985, a small group of visionaries convened under an apple tree in Pennsylvania to address the growing need for NPs of all specialties to have a unified voice. They established AANP to fill that need and become The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®. These perceptive leaders recognized that national action was essential to securing the relevance and durability of the NP role. Thanks to their foresight, AANP has flourished and now represents the interests of more than 385,000 NPs nationwide.

  • 1960s


    Dr. Loretta Ford and Dr. Henry Silver develop the first nurse practitioner (NP) program at the University of Colorado.

    Boston College initiates one of the earliest master's programs for NPs.

    Directed by a nurse and physician team, the Boston-based Bunker Hill/Massachusetts General Nurse Practitioner Program begins.

  • 1970s


    One of the first family NP programs, PRIMEX, opens its doors at the University of Washington.

    More than 65 NP programs exist in the U.S.

    National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is established.

    The American Nurses Association (ANA) develops the Council of Primary Care Nurse Practitioners, helping legitimize the role.

    The Burlington Randomized Trial Study finds that NPs make appropriate referrals when medical intervention is necessary.

    The University of Colorado offers its first continuing education (CE) symposium for NPs.

    The Association of Faculties and Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP) is established and begins developing PNP curriculum.

    There are approximately 15,000 NPs in the U.S. (Pulcini and Wagner).

  • 1980s


    More than 200 NP programs or tracks are available to students.

    Nurse Practitioner Associates for Continuing Education (NPACE) is established.

    Guidelines for Family Nurse Practitioner Curricular Planning is published after five years of development at the University of New Mexico.

    There are approximately between 22,000 and 24,000 NPs in the U.S. (Pulcini and Wagner).

    A steering committee forms to study the need for an organization representing NPs nationwide.

    The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is established.

    AANP initiates the development of national NP database.

    AANP has 100 members at end of its first year.

    AANP begins a concerted effort to affect pertinent national legislation.

    The federal government has spent $100 million on NP education.

    AANP conducts a member survey regarding NP professional malpractice liability insurance coverage, assisting NPs in reestablishing affordable malpractice insurance.

    Ninety percent of NP programs are either master's degree programs or post-master's degree programs.

    Publication of the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP) begins.

    The first official AANP National Conference is held in Philadelphia with 158 attendees.

    AANP moves its headquarters from Massachusetts to Texas and hires its first part-time paid staff position.

    AANP releases results of its first AANP National NP Sample Survey, collecting data on a range of NP preparation and practice characteristics.

  • 1990s


    The AANP State Awards for Excellence is established.

    AANP actively works with nursing associations, such as the Royal College of Nursing UK, to develop the role of NPs internationally.

    Barbara J. Safriet writes in the Yale Journal on Regulation supporting the NP role.

    AANP forms the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program.

    Mundinger publishes "Advanced Practice Nursing—Good Medicine for Physicians" in The New England Journal of Medicine, further supporting facts that NPs are cost-effective and quality primary health care providers.

    AANP initiates the Corporate Advisory Council (ACAC) to enhance communications and interaction with industry leaders.

    The AANP Foundation is established as a separately incorporated 501(c)(3) organization and is the first foundation operating to benefit NPs in all specialties.

    The AANP Foundation Scholarship and Grant program is initiated and makes the first awards to AANP members.

    AANP conducts a National NP Sample Survey comparing results reported in the 1989 survey.

    There are approximately 68,300 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program becomes separately incorporated.

  • 2000s


    AANP initiates the Fellows program, hosts the first international NP conference in the U.S. and creates the Political Action Committee (PAC).

    September 11: AANP enlists support of hundreds of NPs to offer aid in New York City and Washington, D.C.

    There are approximately 82,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    In lieu of forming their own organization, acute care NPs join AANP.

    The AANP Network for Research (AANPNR) is created as the first national practice-based research network exclusively for NPs.

    AANP conducts its Practice Site Survey.

    AANP has 13,500 individual members and 70 group members.

    AANP SmartBrief, a daily electronic newsletter with cutting-edge health care-related news culled from the top 300 electronic news sources, is implemented.

    The AANP Membership Survey is conducted.

    AANP has 14,500 individual members and 74 group members.

    There are approximately 97,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    National Nurse Practitioner Week, held annually in November, is recognized in a proclamation by U.S. Congress.

    The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) publishes a position paper on Doctorate of Nursing Practice.

    AANP conducts its National NP Sample Survey.

    There are approximately 106,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    AANP celebrates 20 years as the oldest and largest national organization for NPs of all specialties.

    NPs celebrate 40 years of practice.

    AANP conducts its Practice Site Survey.

    AANP has 20,000 individual members and 115 group members.

    AANP receives three of the highest awards for public relations (PR) excellence from the Texas Public Relations Association for the 2005 Celebrate 20/40 campaign, booklet and documentary.

    Participants in the AANP CE Provider Program increase to 16 approved providers.

    AANP conducts its AANP Membership Survey.

    AANP conducts its Educational Needs Assessment Survey.

    AANP Fellows (FAANP) launches the Mentorship Program.

    AANP conducts its 2007 AANP National NP Income Survey.

    AANP launches NPFinder, an online web-based site for NPs to register their practices where new patients are being accepted so that consumers can locate an NP in their community.

    AANP conducts its NP Compensation Survey.

    AANP develops and distributes its paper on AANP Standards for NP Practice in Retail-based Clinics.

    AANP launches the CE Center for online access to CE activities and credits.

    There are approximately 120,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    AANP joins with the AANP Foundation for the restructuring of the Corporate Partner Council (NPCPC), housed under the AANP Foundation.

    AANP initiates the development of online CE tracking.

    AANP conducts its Practice Site Survey, Compensation Survey and Educational Needs Assessment Survey.

    AANP enhances and increases its presence as a major advocate and leader for all NPs through lobbying and direct communication with policy makers.

    AANP creates a petition urging pharmaceutical companies and other suppliers of health care products to use provider-neutral language in consumer print and broadcast advertisements.

    AANP distributes a "Did You Know?" video showcasing the role of the NP. The video is distributed to public television stations in all 50 states; airs 400 times in many of the top 200 markets on networks such as CNN, Fox News, Discovery and MSNBC; and is distributed internationally to Voice of America with a daily viewing audience of 96 million people airing in 200 cities and 127 countries.

    AANP conducts the AANP Membership Survey, National NP Sample Survey and Educational Needs Assessment Survey.

    AANP launches E-Bulletin, a weekly communication email to all members.

    AANP launches, a social networking site for AANP members.

    AANP produces an advertorial/open letter to President Obama and members of Congress highlighting NPs as primary care providers. The letter runs in the Roll Call publication that is distributed to elected officials in D.C.

    There are approximately 130,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

  • 2010s


    AANP health policy activities center predominantly on Health Care Reform, CMS regulations, Medicare payment, Appropriations, Medical Home and state and local issues of importance to NPs and their patients.

    AANP participates at a meeting with White House Office of Health Reform to review the primary care perspective on preventive care, access, coordinated primary care, quality of care, payment and the need to recognize all primary care providers as solutions to the health care crisis.

    AANP attends President Obama's White House briefing on Health Care Reform legislation.

    AANP celebrates its 25th anniversary. View anniversary book.

    AANP Fellows (FAANP) celebrates its 10th anniversary.

    AANP has 28,000 individual members and 151 groups (as of May 2010).

    There are approximately 140,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    There are approximately 148,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    There are approximately 157,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    On January 1, 2013, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (founded in 1985) and the American College of Nurse Practitioners (founded in 1995) came together to form the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the largest, full-service national professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties.

    There are more than 171,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    AANP surpasses 50,000 members.

    There are more than 192,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    AANP surpasses 75,000 members.

    There are more than 234,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    The AANP Office of Government Affairs moves to its new location in Arlington, Virginia.

    AANP surpasses 85,000 members.

    There are more than 248,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    AANP builds and moves into its first fully owned corporate headquarters in Austin, Texas

    AANP surpasses 100,000 members.

    There are more than 270,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

  • 2020s


    AANP conducts the National NP Sample Survey: Practice.


    AANP conducts the Membership Survey.

    There are more than 325,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    AANP surpasses 120,000 members.

    There are more than 355,000 NPs in the U.S. (AANP).

    AANP conducts the National NP Workforce Survey.

    35th anniversary of the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP).

Do You Know Where to Find Pieces of NP History?

The AANP History Committee is searching for photographs and artifacts related to nurse practitioners (NPs), the NP role, AANP and other NP associations and anything else of historical significance from the 1960s through present day. Do you have or know where to locate pieces of NP history that deserve to be preserved?

Let AANP Know