1. Marrelli, Tina M. MSN, MA, RN, FAAN

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The International Home Care Nurses Organization (IHCNO) was started as a grassroots organization to serve the professional needs of home care nurses related to the "skillful caring for patients where they live." The mission of IHCNO is "to develop and support a vibrant worldwide network of nurses who promote excellence in providing optimal health and well-being to patients living in their homes." I initially saw a need for this organization because I received emails from nurses in diverse parts of the world asking about home care and home care policy, as well as home care operations.


As a result of this interest, a meeting was held in Florida with a small group of interested home care nurse leaders. This meeting identified the need for further inquiry. In May and June of 2009, there was an editorial in Home HealthcareNurse (I was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal at that time) entitled "We Need Your Participation." A Web site was developed for a survey tool related to the IHCNO around the same time to better understand what nurses might want out of such an organization.


Regional meetings and a platform for communication and networking were the highest priorities identified by the participants in the survey. Additional recommendations included a national meeting with educational programs. I know I am "dating" myself here, but some may remember the home care meetings held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor many years ago-those were the benchmark for these (at that time) "imagined" IHCNO meetings.


Fast forward to 2015-there have been three major IHCNO conferences to date!


To begin these annual conferences, Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio, became the setting for a planning meeting that was held in July 2012. This meeting brought together a small group of home care leaders and educators who began planning for the first conference!


That first IHCNO conference was then held at the Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in Cleveland, Ohio, June 25-28, 2013. Nurse participants included representatives from 13 countries! Thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Madigan, Samira Hussney, and team for their enthusiasm, support, and leadership skills, which led to a very successful inaugural meeting. The theme in Cleveland was "The Future of Health Care is At Home."


The second conference was held on September 23-26, 2014, in lovely Singapore. This very special meeting was hosted by the Tsao Foundation's Hua Mei Centre for Successful Aging and the lovely island country of Singapore. The team was incredible! Fong Yoke Hiong, a long-standing and enthusiastic member of the IHCNO leadership team, was our gracious host in her lovely home country. The attendance in Singapore included participants from Brunei, Hong Kong, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, the United States, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Singapore. The theme in Singapore was "Person-Centred Care in Home-Based Nursing-Service Models, Nursing Roles and Competencies."


The third conference was held this past July-July 8-10, 2015-at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. The theme was "Providing Collaborative and Holistic Home Care." Participants from six countries attended. Thanks to Associate Dean Dr. Nancy Valentine and her creative team of colleagues for a successful and fun meeting in such a vibrant city!


Pictures of all the meetings can be viewed at the Web site. Stay tuned for the next meeting-there is more to come as plans are firmed-up and dates nailed down. I invite you to join us!