UPNAAI was founded on July 15, 1979, initially called the UP-PGH Alumni Association of California. The founding alumni were simply getting together, renewing ties, and enjoying friendships. Its success spread by word of mouth and soon became an annual reunion celebration of friends and colleagues from both the School and College of Nursing. These two groups merged and developed a strong structure to expand the association's objectives towards the pursuit of excellence and professionalism in nursing. On October 19, 1988, University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association of California, Inc. (UPNAAC) was born, a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation in California. The strength of bonding and reaching out inevitably led to the tremendous growth of regional and international membership. The sustained effort and dedication of membership empowered the leadership to continue the UP tradition of excellence. On August 7, 1993, UPNAAC was transformed to University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International (UPNAAI). The UP Nursing Alumni Association of Northern California and the UP Nursing Association of the Midwest joined UPNAAI as chapter associations on August 5, 2000. On August 4, 2001 the UP Nursing Alumni of NewYork/ New Jersey joined as another chapter of UPNAAI.
The University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni association International aims to foster professional and personal development of its members through education, research, support and collaboration.
UPNAAI will act as a unified international organization which will provide leadership to pursue the ideals of unity, fellowship, academic excellence, leadership, professionalism and service to country and humanity among nursing graduates of the University of the Philippines residing in the United States and other countries abroad.