Creating a Vision for Family Nursing Practice Around the World

The following is a IFNA member blog post by Kathryn Anderson, Co-chair of the IFNA Practice Committee.

Family Nursing in Action: Switzerland

The IFNA Practice Committee has a mandate to, “Identify and disseminate the best practice knowledge and family nursing models used internationally”. While numerous publications about family nursing practice models and the usefulness of relational interventions for families exist, a clear Position Statement to guide family nursing practice was lacking.

Between 2012-2015, the IFNA Practice Committee, consisting of approximately 14 members from 9 countries, crafted the first-ever IFNA Position Statement on Generalist Competencies for Family Nursing Practice which was approved by the IFNA Board of Directors and professionally prepared for distribution. This IFNA Position Statement was disseminated through the IFNA website and social media channels, letters to organizations and health care leaders (including educators), inclusion in poster and paper presentations, cited in scholarly publications, and shared through word of mouth communication. A companion IFNA Position Statement on Pre-Licensure Family Nursing Education was drafted by the IFNA Education Committee.  Both documents were welcomed with great enthusiasm.

Building on this previous work, the IFNA Practice Committee is very pleased to announce the posting of a new groundbreaking IFNA Position Statement on Advanced Practice Competencies for Family Nursing (APC-FN) for public review and comment. This new Position Statement outlines the competencies for advanced practice family nurses to guide the care of families in all settings and provides a focus for nursing education, theory, and research related to advanced practice family nursing. The APC-FN are designed to serve as an operational framework to guide advanced practice care for families and individuals within families. They outline the family nursing knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values requisite for advanced practice family nurses to provide effective family nursing care, regardless of role or setting.

This first of its kind, this document was developed over the past two years (2015-2017), and is a culmination of extensive discussions and draft revisions by the IFNA Practice Committee APC-FN sub-committee with ongoing input/feedback from the IFNA Practice Committee membership, invited input from several leading international advanced practice family nursing colleagues in 2016, and a final overall document editing by a family nursing scholar familiar with advanced practice.

The document for your review as an IFNA member is available at: Please provide your feedback in written form using the Word tracking mechanism to submit your edits and comments for the Practice Committee APC-FN document consideration. The competency document will be available for your comments until March 27, 2017. Please submit your written edits and comments to Dr. Kathy Anderson (khanderson at georgiasouthern dot edu), Co-chair of the Practice Committee and Chair of the APC-FN subcommittee. The subcommittee will collate all edits for IFNA Practice Committee approval. The revised document will be submitted to the IFNA Board of Directors for final approval.

Feedback from across our international community of IFNA members is urgently needed to ensure this document about APC-FN is culturally appropriate and extends nursing knowledge about advanced practice with families.


Kathryn Hoehn Anderson, PhD, ARNP, PMHCNS-BC, LMFT, is Co-chair of the IFNA Practice Committee and Professor and Director of the Center for Nursing Scholarship & Research in the School of Nursing at Georgia Southern University.