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2011 was the year of everything digital for NANN as the Awards and Election Nomination processes were brought online, the NANN website was completely redesigned, and a new member benefit MyNANN, a private online social network replaced the listserv. The long-anticipated 2nd edition of Policies, Procedures, and Competencies for Neonatal Nursing Care was launched at the 2011 Conference.

NANN held its most successful conference in history in beautiful Las Vegas, NV with record breaking attendance, more exhibitors than any conference in the past and launching an astounding six new products including Competencies and Orientation Tool Kit for Neonatal Nurse Practitioners; Developmental Care of Newborns and Infants: A Guide for Health Professionals, second edition; Developmental Care CNE Learning Modules; Neo-Care Cards; Resource Guide for Neonatal Cardiac Care and Understanding Clinical Research: A Practical Guide.

NANN celebrates its 25th anniversary throughout the year via the website, newsletter, a commemorative journal issue, and special conference events. Happy birthday, NANN!


The NANN website is redesigned. The Advanced Competency in Developmental Care is released and 13 members successfully complete the portfolio evaluation and knowledge-based examination. The Research Committee develops a model for evidence based guideline development. The newly formed Health Policy and Advocacy Committee Chairs attend the National Nurse in Washington Internship meeting to begin to develop an advocacy agenda for NANN. The bylaws are amended so that a portion of the board turns over every year, with an annual election being held. A scholarship is offered to support nurses seeking degrees as nurse practitioners. Membership exceeds 7,300.

A new strategic plan, mission, and vision are developed to guide the association. NANN announces a new membership division, the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, to provide a forum of communication for neonatal nurse practitioners, and a formal voice for NNPs to communicate with the American Academy of Pediatrics. President Robin Bissinger heads a delegation of neonatal nurses to China. Catherine Witt is appointed Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Neonatal Care.

NANN teams up with NICUniversity to offer free online CE, and also offers a CE program on Respiratory Distress Syndrome. A team of members is convened to develop a competency in developmental care, with portfolio and exam components. In March 2006, the first annual Research Summit is held in Scottsdale, AZ. New product releases in 2006: Guidelines for Neonatal Nursing Policies, Procedures, Competencies, and Clinical Pathways, fourth edition; Foundations of Neonatal Care: A Comprehensive Competency-Based Orientation Program; Navigator Mentoring Program. NANN contracts with Lippincott Williams and Wilkins to publish the journal beginning in 2007. Catherine Witt takes over as interim Editor.

NANN Central changes to a 4-color news poster issued 4 times per year with supplements on the website. The first Faces of Neonatal Nursing Photo Contest is held, with the prize of a complimentary conference registration. Retired is added as a membership category.

Data from the 2003 member survey are analyzed and utilized to develop NANN's strategic priorities and operating goals for the next 3 years. The association co-sponsors the Neonatal Advanced Practice Nursing Forum. NANN co-publishes the updated Scope and Standards for Neonatal Nursing Practice with the American Nurses Association and the third edition of the Core Curriculum of Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing with AWHONN, AACN, and Elsevier Science. NANN's Developmental Care for Newborns and Infants: A Guide for Health Professionals, edited by Jacqueline McGrath and Carole Kenner, is published. The association celebrates its 20th NANNiversary!

Advances in Neonatal Care is indexed in Index Medicus/MEDLINE within 2 years of the journal's inception. NANN volunteers contribute to the creation of an online neonatal nursing course with Indiana University.

NANN membership is comprised of approximately 5,500 neonatal nurses from across the nation and around the globe. Education Standards for Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Practice Programs is provided at no cost to NANN members via the website. NANN joins the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign as an alliance member.

The association's new mission statement and key concepts are disseminated. NANN launches its new official journal, Advances in Neonatal Care, with Madge Buus-Frank as editor and W.B. Saunders Company as publisher. NANN collaborates with AWHONN on a research-based practice project on neonatal skin care.

NANN's leadership, in an effort to build a stronger organization, files for Chapter 11 to restructure its finances. The board, along with its management company, evaluates all existing contractual relationships as part of the process. NANN cosponsors with Children's Medical Ventures the first NICU Nurse Managers Meeting with 50 nurse managers from across the nation in attendance. Central Lines publishes reviewed clinical articles. NANN celebrates the first Neonatal Nurses Day, established by Jo Ann Casazza and the New Jersey Chapter of NANN.

Data from the 1998 member survey are analyzed and utilized to guide NANN's strategic priorities and operating goals. The national office moves to Chicago for the city's central location and time zone as well as close proximity to strategic partners. Hurricane Floyd occurs during the fifteenth annual conference. The 15th NANNiversary is celebrated!

NANN issues a position statement on BSN Entry into Practice-the 17th position statement NANN has issued since 1994. The Board of Directors chooses self-management with outsourcing for the association's administration, a choice with considerable unforeseen costs.

1997 goes live as a round-the-clock resource to members and other interested parties for information about the association's activities and accomplishments. Marcie Lapido serves as the Web Editor.

NANN has over twenty formal and informal relationships with organizations sharing its goals. Through interdisciplinary collaboration NANN has an even more powerful voice for responding to health care issues.

It is the most active year for chapter growth since the first chapter in Florida was chartered in 1987. At the annual conference in San Antonio, 14 chapters receive charters, bringing the total number of active chapters to 59.

NANN celebrates its tenth anniversary. The newsletter entitled Central Lines premiers. The annual conference is held in Chicago, with more than 1,100 neonatal nurses in attendance. The video "A Passion for Little People" debuts at the meeting.

NANN conducts its first broad survey of the membership. It is both an educational-needs assessment and a member-satisfaction survey. The final two meetings in the Clinical Update series take place.

During NANN's March clinical update in Washington DC, the first Neonatal Research Symposium takes place. The NANN Board of Directors authorizes the formation of SIG-MA, a subspecialty interest group open to neonatal nurses whose role includes management responsibilities. An independent charity organization, the Foundation for Neonatal Research and Education, is established by NANN leadership.

In February, Laurie Schweiger of Overland Park, Kansas is greeted as the 10,000th member of the association. Fifty-two members travel to Memphis for the first annual NANN Chapter Leaders' Assembly. The meeting is devoted to strengthening chapter infrastructure, with a focus on national-chapter relations.

The NANN chapter network consists of 22 local and regional organizations for neonatal nurses. Chapters are a vital component of the association, offering education and facilitating networking at a local level.

Membership grows to 7,411. The Robyn Main Excellence in Clinical Practice Award is established and named for Robyn Main, MSN RNC, who embodied excellence in nursing practice and had recently succumbed to cancer. The award's first recipient is Joan P. Bitter. The fifth NANN national conference, "Atlanta on My Mind," welcomes 800 attendees.

Membership reaches 6,500 nurse members. NANN Newsletter, a new member benefit, is published in January with Lynn Wolfe as editor. By September the newsletter is renamed NANNews. NANN conducts its first Clinical Update in Washington, DC with 300 in attendance. The South Florida Association of Neonatal Nurses (SFANN), with approximately 50 members, receives the first chapter charter issued by NANN. The Georgia Association of Neonatal Nurses (GANN) receives the second.

On January 1, the first duly elected officers of the association assume their positions. The Role Definition Committee begins a multiyear project to define terms related to advanced neonatal nursing practice roles and reach NANN membership consensus on the definitions.

The organizational work of the association continues under the direction of an interim board of directors. NANN's first election is held. Membership grows to 4,539. NANN is the sole sponsor of three conferences held in California, Maryland, and Louisiana taking place during the Spring, Summer, and Fall respectively. Local neonatal nursing associations begin to emerge and will become chartered with NANN.

Back in April of 1983 the First Annual Neonatal Nurse Clinician Practitioner Specialist (NNCPS) Conference was held. During this conference Teri Reid was named to head a national task force charged with developing a network of communications as well as assessing options for establishing a neonatal nursing organization. In March 1985 the third annual NNCPS conference was held. Participants vote to affiliate with NANN. Within two years the national task force will resolve to support the special interest group of NANN, consolidating the two groups.

NANN ends its first year with a membership of 3,790 nurses. Three quarters are staff nurses, and the remaining quarter consists of nurses in expanded role positions. NANN and Contemporary Forums co-sponsor three conferences over the course of 1985 collectively referred to as "The National Conferences of Neonatal Nurses". The first is held in March in Houston with 200 attendees, the second in Anaheim in June with 350 attendees, and the third in September with 450 attendees.

The National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), is officially founded and modeled after the Neonatal Nurses of Northern California in June, by five neonatal nurses: Linda Bellig, Patricia Johnson, Tracy Karp, Donna Lee Loper, and Charles Rait. The association is incorporated and based in California. Its purpose is to address the educational and practice needs within the evolving specialty of neonatal nursing while giving all neonatal nurses national representation.

Content for this timeline was obtained from historical records and other documents of NANN. This is in no way intended to reflect the comprehensive history, and therefore, it is likely that certain significant events are not included. It is intended as an encapsulated sampling of those events and markers along the way that reflect the evolution of NANN.

Past Presidents
Past Conferences
NANN's First Newsletter