Non-Practicing and Part-Time Nurses Association is an organization created by nurses with a philosophy of remaining active in the nursing profession through continuing education, networking, and volunteer activities, regardless of their working status.
"All of us nurses are nurses forever," said Carol England, a retired administrator in a community college health program and member of the Boulder region of the NP+PTNA.
"It's just a part of us, I think. We enjoy the camaraderie but we also come for the programs. We're fortunate to get such great speakers."
"We're an inclusive group. We talk to each other about our experiences in the fields of various healthcare professions," said Evelyn Kautzer, a retired RN.
The origin of the NT+PTNA was born out of a desire for continuing education. In 1972, a group of four nurses were alerted to the proposed licensure requirements of the Colorado State Board of Nursing, stated on the group's web site.
But at that time, no professional nursing organization had membership for non-practicing nurses and affordable continuing education programs.
The organization grew from an ad hoc group of the Colorado Nurses Association to a recognized conference group by 1973.
In 1980 it became an independent organization under its current name.
NP+PTNA has chapter in five regions: Boulder, Colorado Springs, Littleton, Northglenn and the Metro Denver area.
Members who are 80 years and older receive a free lifetime membership. Its web site also is a resource for national and state nursing sites, as well as other health issues, like government regulation and disaster education and training.
Programs through each chapter run September through May with monthly meetings usually featuring a guest speaker or activity.
At the March meeting of the Boulder chapter, Dr. John Scott, Jr., spoke about how stress affects health. Topics can range from the informative, like on arthritis or suicide in the elderly population, to the enlightening, like on therapeutic laughter or an optometrist's experiences providing care in Third World countries.
Marilyn Gary, a retired public health nurse and Boulder member of NT+PTNA, said her chapter has approximately 20 members, with six program each year.
"People come from all different kinds of nursing, from all experiences," she said, citing "The group really values the topics and what's current in nursing."
Each spring, the entire organization gathers for a luncheon.
Each chapter also provides a scholarship, which is sustained by donations from individuals, memorials, regions and other organizations.
The scholarship, with an application deadline of April 1 each year, is awarded to an RN or LPN who is pursuing education in nursing or other healthcare program.
Applicants must reside in Colorado and have a current Colorado nursing license. The scholarship is given out at the annual spring membership meeting and luncheon.
This year, the luncheon will be held May 1 at Mount Vernon Country Club in Golden. Cost is $20 per person. Reservation deadline is April 18.
For more information about the annual spring membership meeting, call Liz Meis at 303-237-4518 or Joan Young at 303-985-0092 or visit http://www.nurselinkofcolorado.org/
Here is a list of the regions and their meeting times and locations:
The Northglenn Region meets the third Tuesday of each month from September through May from 9 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. in the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church at 10785 Melody Drive, Northglenn.
The Metro Denver West Region meets the second Tuesday of each month from September through May from 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in the Light and Life Community Church at 220 South Yarrow Street, Lakewood.
The Littleton Region meets the third Wednesday of each month from September through May from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Grace Presbyterian Church at 251 East Sterne Parkway, Littleton.
The Colorado Springs Region meets the first Wednesday of each month from September through May from 7 p.m. to 9:05 p.m. in the YMCA Garden Ranch Center, 2380 Montebello Dr. W, Colorado Springs.
The Boulder Region meets the last Tuesday of each month from September through May from 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at 3700 Baseline Road in Boulder.