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International Association of Paediatric Nurses

The International Association of Paediatric Nurses (IAPN) was established in August 1998 after a postal survey of known national paediatric nursing associations and two discussion meetings at the first international Congress on Paediatric Nursing at Amsterdam. This historic event was made possible by the work of the Dutch Association of Pediatric Nurses and the support of the International Pediatric Association (IPA).

This is a summary of the aims and the working arrangements of the Association, drawn from the survey and the meetings in Amsterdam.

IAPN goal and purpose

  • The goal of the IAPN is to enhance the care of children worldwide.
  • The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, and its definition of childhood are the basis of the IAPN's activity, which will promote and advocate the health and development of children.
  • The purpose of the IAPN is for paediatric nurses to communicate with each other - to have a network to help further the care of all children, meeting in spirit of collaboration, partnership and respect.

Membership of the IAPN

  • Membership of the IAPN is at country level, not at the level of the individual nurse. However, because there are some countries which do not have a national paediatric nursing association, some countries can be a member through an English speaking contact who will attempt to establish a national association over time (and link to the national nursing association of country if possible).
  • Also, some countries have made more than one paediatric nursing association which includes nurses caring for infants, children and young people: all may join but are encouraged to unite together.
  • The list of IAPN members is made up of associations the Dutch and UK associations know about – it will be added to as we are informed of other associations.

Working arrangements

  • At first this is a semi-formal organisation which means it is a communication network only. It does not have a Board, constitution or membership fee. Over time the members may decide to formalise the organisation to become the nursing voice for children at an international level.
  • The Dutch Association has offered to co-ordinate the mailing list and the newsletter (with some assistance from the UK's RCN Paediatric Nursing Forum). Each member associate/contact is responsible for communication within their own country and for communicating with other member associations if they wish.
  • Specialist groups such as national paediatric oncology nurse forums, may wish to make new contact in other countries: they can do this by enquiring through their national paediatric nursing association (or contact person) who is a member of the IAPN.
  • The IAPN will work collaboratively with the IPA to plan future Congresses. We aim to have an IAPN link person to work with the IPA and the local committee to help plan the nursing programme. 
  •  Working relationships have been established with the IPA Board. 
  • IAPN members will meet at the Congresses to take forward the IAPN aims and to review these working arrangements. Those who are unable to attend will be invited to contribute their ideas and views in writing before the event.


  • The list of addresses for member associations/contacts will be sent to all members and updated each year, so that members can communicate with each other.
  • Newsletters will be produced by the Dutch and UK associations, using information from newsletters and short reports from the member associations/contacts. It will be for each member association/contact to contribute this information. Each member association/contact may translate, copy and distribute the newsletter as it wishes.
  • Use of the Internet is being explored and the IPA has offered the use of its website: www.ipa-world.org
  • When informing relevant persons and organisations about the IAPN, it should be emphasised that it is a communication network, NOT an official organisation - it cannot speak for all paediatric nurses.

Contact details

  • Cordinator: Corry van den Hoed-Heerschop
  • Email: corryvdhoed@casema.nl
  • Tel/Fax: +31 35 526 1436
  • Address: Dutch Association of Paediatric Nursing, c/o LCW Boc 3135, 3502 GC Utrecht, The Netherlands.