The vision of the International Family Nursing Association (IFNA) is, “Nurses [and family health scholars] transforming health for families worldwide.”

Family nursing has a long and robust history beginning, some would say, with Florence Nightengale. In the mid 1970’s, family nursing scholars and practitioners began earnestly calling for the inclusion of families in health care through their leadership and scholarly writing in textbooks and  journal articles.  In 1988, the first International Family Nursing Conference was sponsored by the University of Calgary, Canada and chaired by Dr. Lorraine Wright.  I served as the Chair of the Scientific Review Committee.  Every three years following 1988, a group of scholars at various universities around the world independently organized and hosted the next International Family Nursing Conference in the United States, Canada, Chile, Thailand, Iceland and Japan.

In 2007, a Coordinating Committee comprised of myself (University of Calgary), Dr. Kit Chesla (University of California San Francisco), Dr. Donna Curry (University of Ohio), and Dr. Kathleen Knafl (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), began to develop the bylaws and infrastructure support for the establishment of the International Family Nursing Association which was officially launched in 2009.

Organizing committee for the International Family Nursing Association. Left to right: Janice Bell, Catherine (Kit) Chesla (standing), Kathleen Knafl, Donna Curry (IFNC8, Thailand, 2007)

The 14th International Family Nursing Conference was hosted by IFNA in Washington, DC, USA, August 13-16, 2019.  This was the 4th official business meeting of IFNA and a celebration of the 10th anniversary of founding of IFNA.

The 15th International Family Nursing will be hosted by IFNA in Dublin, Ireland in 2021.  The date will be announced shortly.

If you are a family nurse or a family health professional, please consider joining IFNA today.

“If health care providers believe, ‘I have confidence in my knowledge and skills about how to be helpful to families’, perhaps they would behave with more confidence to welcome, include, and acknowledge families as partners in care.”


– Janice M. Bell, RN, PhD