Iowa Nurse Practitioner Society was formed in 1999 as a statewide NP organization intended to include all NPs. At that time, the existing nurse practitioner organization, Iowa Association of Nurse Practitioners (IANP) was a chapter of the national pediatric association, NAPNAP, which did not allow ANPs and GNPs to vote or to serve on the Board. During the 1999 Spring IANP clinical conference, a group of NPs decided that it was time to start a new, all inclusive NP group in Iowa as the numbers of ANP, GNP, and FNPs were growing. Fran Milde, the University of Iowa GNP Program chair, Charlotte Kelley, Tess Judge-Ellis, who was on the IANP conference committee, Ann Diehl, Claudia Beckwith, who was on the IANP Nominations committee, and Nick Burnett called for a SIG meeting of non-PNPs who belonged to IANP. This is where we all decided to create a new organization. Nick Burnett asked, “Who here is willing to pay dues of up to $50 per year to start a new organization?” All hands went up. Charlotte called Tess on her way home to Des Moines from the conference in Iowa City and had the next organizational meeting planned out by the time she got home.
A group of 50 nurse practitioners met in Des Moines soon after the conference in 1999. The group voted on a name (Iowa Nurse Practitioner Society), ratified by-laws, and elected its first slate of officers. Charlotte was elected to be the first President and Tess was the first President Elect. Ann Diehl was the founding Treasurer and Claudia Beckwith was the founding Legislative Chair. Because she was also serving on the IANP Board, she served as an informal liaison between the groups. Four regional representatives were elected to the board, one from each of the four quadrants of the state. The intent was to have a regional representative to bring the concerns and practice issues from the rural areas of the state to the Board, to organize local continuing education and regional meetings, and to disseminate legislative information. Computers were not yet our main means of communication! Yearly clinical conferences were held in Des Moines.
We understood the need to work with IANP for lobbying efforts in the Iowa Legislature. In order to have a unified voice for NPs and health care in Iowa, INPS and IANP created a joint legislative committee. IANP had already made substantial progress in establishing legislative groundwork for full, independent practice.
We continue to have a unified voice for nurse practitioners in Iowa for health policy. We eventually hired a lobbyist with IANP to represent all ARNPs in Iowa.