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The History of the Nurse Practitioner Occupation: The Ultimate Web Guide – Online FNP Blog
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The History of the Nurse Practitioner Occupation: The Ultimate Web Guide


A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has completed further education and training and holds either a master’s or doctoral degree. They are also nationally board certified in a specific specialty and are licensed through a state nursing board, as opposed to medical boards that certify doctors. The scope of practice for an NP varies by state; while some states allow NPs to practice independently, others require that they work under the supervision of a doctor. This comprehensive web guide offers articles, videos, PowerPoint presentations, legal documents, and more to provide a greater understanding of the individuals and practices that helped pave the path for the nurse practitioner field.


  1. The Nurse Practitioner Will See You NowEvolution: In 1981 APPP became the Association of Planned Parenthood Professionals, allowing full membership to all family planning service professionals, including nurse practitioners. APPP became the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) in 1987.
  2. History: This is a one-page overview written by the National Institutes of Health NP page. Nurses’ Week provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions of all nurses at the NIH and offers a chance to view the future of NPs.
  3. History of HANP: This page displays a brief history of the Houston Area Nurse Practitioners.
  4. History of Nurse Practitioners: Medscape Today offers a one-page cited overview about the history of the nurse practitioner profession, part of a larger series.
  5. History of the Illinois Society For Advanced Practice Nursing: This is a one-page history of the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing, which includes certified nurse practitioners (CNPs).
  6. History of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland: The first NP program in Maryland was a 9 month Adult NP certificate program followed by a 1 year internship that was first implemented in 1973. Read more history at this article.
  7. Mary Grant Seacole: the first nurse practitioner: A short history along with links to related articles at BioMed Search.
  8. Nurse Anesthetist History: Beginning in the 1800s, nurses were first among professionals to administer anesthesia in the United States. Learn how this profession developed.
  9. Nurse Practitioner History: A short two-paragraph overview of the NP history, offered by the Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council.
  10. 349th Medrete in TepetitanNurse Practitioners: The Early Years (1965-1974): The Main Nurse Practitioner Association provides a deeper look into the development of the nurse practitioner practice.
  11. Roots of the Idaho Nurse Practitioners’ Organization: Verlene Kaiser wrote a nice piece of history for the Nurse Practitioners of Idaho Web site.
  12. The History of Psychiatric Nursing: While the formal recognition of psychiatry occurred early in the 19th century with the development of the modern cognitive sciences, psychiatric nursing as a profession was not recognized until Linda Richards opened a school in 1882.
  13. The rise of nurse practitioners in Canada: This article also contains information about the history of nurse practitioners in Canada.
  14. TNP History: This page offers the history of Texas Nurse Practitioners and the organization with that title.
  15. What You Ought To Know About Nurse Practitioner History: This short history describes the nurse practitioner and goes into the history without citations.


  1. Early History of ACNP: This timeline describes the history of the American College of Nurse Practitioners.
  2. Events in the History of the VCNP 1971-2009: This timeline focuses on the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, beginning in 1971.
  3. Health Reform and Health Policy: Of interest is the “Key Issues for NPs in Health Reform.”
  4. History of Nurse Practitioners: The World of Nurse Practitioners offers a history beginning in 1965 and running to 2007, with the news that there were approximately 120,000 practicing NPs that year.
  5. Rune visits the clinicHistory of NP Role Development in Ontario: This timeline begins with the first NP program established at the University of Colorado in 1965.
  6. History of the Minnesota Chapter: This timeline for the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners offers the names of various members who officiated for this chapter.
  7. History of NPs in Victoria: A short timeline of Victoria’s role introducing NPs to Australia. The Victorian Government has been supporting the development and implementation of the NP role since 1998.
  8. Network History: This timeline concerns the Nurse Practitioner / Advanced Practice Network, beginning in 1992.
  9. The History of Midwifery and Childbirth in America: A Time Line: Not all midwives are nurse practitioners, but some NPs are midwives…
  10. Timeline of Work to Enhance the Role of Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs), Nurse Practitioners (NPs), and Physician Assistants (PAs) in Abortion Care [PDF]: Detailed events from 1967 forward, explaining the roles of these professionals in abortions.

Video and PowerPoint

  1. Brief History of the Nurse Practitioner in the United States [PPT Download]: Elaine Leinung, DNP, FNP-BC, CNE, an assistant professor at the New York City College of Technology and president of the Brooklyn/Queens Chapter of the Nurse Practitioner Association of NY, provides a professional PowerPoint presentation.
  2. History of Advanced Practice Nursing Outcomes: This is a PDF of an original PowerPoint presentation on this topic — look for the history under the heading, “Examples of Early Advance Practice Nursing Outcome Research.”
  3. The History of Nurse Practitioner Education and Practice: Michelle Beauchesne offers this PowerPoint from her experience.
  4. The Victorian Nurse Practitioner Role: The History, Endorsement Criteria, & Re-Endorsement [PDF]: Terry Swanson, a nurse practitioner in wound management in Victoria, Australia, offers this PowerPoint transformed into PDF format.

Booklets, Legalese and Abstracts

  1. Medical Civic Action Program in Shinile Woreda, Ethiopia, 2010A Comparison of Changes in the Professional Practice of Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, and Certified Nurse Midwives: 1992 and 2000: This is a multi-chapter document offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  2. Approval of Nurse Practitioners: This is Subchapter 32M, a legal document approving nurse practitioners in the state of North Carolina in 1996.
  3. Historical Resources: The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists provides links, timelines and a digital collection for nurse anesthetists.
  4. Kentucky Legislature: This is SB31, 10RS that deletes the requirement for an advanced registered nurse practitioner prescribing or dispensing nonscheduled legend drugs to enter into a collaborative agreement with a physician.
  5. The Evolution and Future of Advanced Practice (Fifth Edition) [PDF]: A vital and well-written history of the NP is included in the beginning of this textbook.
  6. The Evolution of the Role of Nurses: The History of Nurse Practitioners in Pediatric Oncology: “In the late 1940s, the field of pediatric oncology nursing began emerging, and by the early 1970s, there were 2 pediatric nurse practitioner programs specific for pediatric oncology.” Full text is free.
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