About Us

In 1978, the National Phlebotomy Association established an industry for the healthcare community and has been the only organization concerned with all aspects of educating and certifying the nation’s phlebotomists.
The Association was founded by Diane C. Crawford for the purpose of establishing a professional standard and code of ethics for this important group of health care specialists. From the beginning, NPA has been firmly committed to excellence in developing educational curriculum, providing accreditation, offering continuing education programs, researching issues involving phlebotomy, and promoting professional and public awareness. The curriculum design for phlebotomy was developed by Alice J. Hilifiker, Ph.D., and the national phlebotomy certification examination was launched by NPA at the University of California at San Francisco in 1981.

We believe that all education should be viewed as developing the total person, body, mind, and character regardless of race, color, creed, or sex. We believe in producing a literate, responsible citizen equipped with basic skills and principles, which will enable him or her to perform efficient and safe health care services. We believe that we must enumerate the necessity for continuing health occupation and education; thereby contributing to the unified purpose of providing quality health care for the people of our country and all over the world.

Diane Crawford NPA CEO and Founder


A Vital Role in Medicine

The phlebotomist is a vital member of the clinical laboratory team whose main function is to obtain patients’ blood specimens by venipuncture and microcollection and transportation of other clinical specimens. Phlebotomists are employed throughout the health care system in hospitals, neighborhood health centers, medical group practices, HMOs, public health facilities, and veterans’ hospitals. The field of phlebotomy has greatly expanded in the past several years, and the role of this integral member of the health care team has recently been brought into much sharper focus. The threat of AIDS, hepatitis, and risks to all segments of society from other infectious diseases has dramatically emphasized the need for quickly expanding training programs, while maintaining the highest possible standards of instruction and continuing education for these health care professionals. Patient and health care worker safety and quality assurances which adhere to the most stringent professional standards are essential at every echelon of the healthcare process. Society’s continuing good health may very well depend on it. The phlebotomist has a direct effect on the overall quality of medical care.

Goals and Objectives

The National Phlebotomy Association, through expanding present training and education programs, will continue to offer the community long-term solutions to vital concerns both in the National Capital Area and across the nation. The establishment of an across-the-board national standard of certification for all phlebotomists is at the top of the agenda. Attracting a prominent national board of directors with sufficient influence to assist our efforts in this complicated endeavor will be an important step in the right direction. NPA is expanding networking efforts to both the community and related organizations and groups in order to increase awareness and inform the public.


A review of minutes and documents reveals that in January 1978, Diane C. Crawford and twelve phlebotomists from hospitals in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC area who shared her dream and foresight founded the National Phlebotomy Association. The goals and objectives were:
  • •To set the National Phlebotomy Standards
  • •To develop educational curriculum for phlebotomist
  • •To provide an accreditation mechanism for Phlebotomy training programs
  • •To provide continuing education for phlebotomist
  • •To research issues involving Phlebotomy
In 1978 the first by-laws were completed and adopted, several revisions have followed. The Articles of Incorporation were officially obtained in the District of Columbia code of laws on May 26, 1978 bearing the signatures of Brenda Worthy, Belinda Pauls and Diane C. Crawford. This certificate of Incorporation was filed with the office of the Recorder of Deeds, May 28, 1978. Early in its development, NPA recognized the need for continuing education for employed phlebotomists as well as those entering the field of Phlebotomy. This education focus was established early. The first National Education Conference was held September 28, 1979 at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington D.C. The Seventh Annual Education Conference was held August 11-14, 1985 in Nassau, Bahamas. During a three- day period, phlebotomists, nurses, pathologists, laboratory managers and Allied health personnel attended workshops, seminars, exhibits, and continuing education programs especially designed to meet their needs. Previous program evaluations and were presented. The conference has been held in Florida, California, New York, Atlanta and Chicago and sites have been selected through 1993.

In 1981, a National Curriculum design for Phlebotomy Education was developed by Alice J, Hilfiker, PH. D and was copy written by the Register of Copyrights, Library of Congress, Washington, DC In August of 1981, the National Phlebotomy Certification Examination was launched at the University of California in San Francisco. Since then the examination has been offered eighty-five times. As of July 24, 1985, 3,085 phlebotomists were certified in forty-four states and Barbados. From 1981-1985 twenty-seven Phlebotomy Programs in universities, community colleges, hospitals, and private schools have been accredited. Since its inception NPA has demonstrated much growth, however, there are 7,700 hospitals in the United States. Here alone, the potential for program approval is great. This does not include the needs of the community colleges. The national newsletter, “The Tourniquet” was published twice yearly. Twelve issues have been mailed to members and associates. Editors were: Nancy Reasey - 1978-1981 Ida Robinson - 1981-1985 The initial insignia was developed by Jean Simendinger. It was modified by Diane C. Crawford, Founder. At the 1983 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia the participants adopted A Code of Ethics and Phlebotomy pledge submitted August 29, 1982, by Evelina Singleton and Barbara Brown. The Phlebotomy Prayer, which is optional, was written in 1978 by Pearl Spann.

The National Phlebotomy Association has assumed a key role in the interface between phlebotomists, the laboratory, the physician and the patient or client. From the period of benign neglect, when few individuals were interested or aware of phlebotomists, when laboratory organizations tabled discussions of an organization of phlebotomists, until today, much growth and understanding has taken place. Nationally, training programs are utilizing NPA curriculum for Phlebotomy training in increasing numbers. Institutions have redeveloped their Phlebotomy training objectives. Certification of phlebotomists has resulted in a role change for these practitioners. New textbooks are published yearly. There is educational experimentation in modification of program length and the selected use of independent study materials. It all started with a dream by Diane C. Crawford, support of committed colleagues and a positive response from the phlebotomy community. Prepared By Ida C. Robinson MSN, RN CPT (NPA)


NPA was founded on the principle that by pairing education and excellence together, we make the world a better place. For more than 40 years, we have not strayed from that vision.

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Phone:301-386-4200 Fax:301-386-4203 Email:info@nationalphlebotomy.org

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Address: 1809 Brightseat Rd Landover MD 20785