IB SIG got its start in 1997 when it was established as a Specialty Interest Group of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO). It started with 6 members and today enjoys a membership of close to 200. This group was inspired by entrepreneurial RPNs that operated traditional and non-traditional nursing-based businesses that wanted to bring like-minded RPNs together to exchange knowledge and support one another in growing their businesses.
The group experienced a period of inactivity and was waylaid by challenging economic times, but the group has been re-energized and striving to build a strong foundation of member support and public education.
These are exciting times for this professional association. Independent Business first became a Specialty Interest Group by RPNAO in 1997, it is no less important today. With the ever-changing healthcare system in Ontario and the changing professional development opportunities for Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), the independent businesses for RPNs have evolved as well. Today, many nurses have businesses in such diverse areas as EMS Training, Massage Therapy, Foot Care, Wellness & Lifestyle Management, Tai Chi Exercise and Naturopathic Medicine – all with a focus on meeting the healthcare needs of Ontarians.