In 1978, the National Caring Research Conference was conceived and initiated by Dr. Madeleine Leininger. The annual conference was designed to gather scholars together to share ideas, research, and theories of care and caring.
The core philosophy of the association is based on the belief that caring is the essence of nursing and caring is the unique and unifying focus of the profession.
The national organization began in 1987 through the generosity of 42 charter members. In 1989, with the encouragement of nurses from around the world, the conference association was changed to the International Association for Human Caring (IAHC) Inc.
The central purpose of the IAHC, Inc. is to serve as an international, scholarly forum for all nurses interested in the advancement of the knowledge of human care and caring within the discipline of nursing. In 1993, Drs. Leininger, Delores Gaut, and Malcom Mac Donald produced a video outlining the history and growth of the Association. In 1994, Dr. Leininger established the Leininger Research Scholarship Fund to assist in the financial support of nurse researchers studying the phenomenon of human care and caring.