ANA History

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Fewer than twenty nurses attended the first convention in 1896 of the Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada which became in 1911 the American Nurses Association. Not one of the original attendees was a registered nurse, there were no laws licensing nurses at that time.

Over one hundred years later the American Nurses Association has grown in membership; expanded its services; published a vast collection of material on nursing practice and the profession; established a code of professional nursing; developed and instituted the means for registered nurses to be credentialed in areas of specialization; but most of all became legislatively involved to advance the nursing profession so that the roles, duties and practice areas of nursing are respected in the world today. The American Nurses Association has opened wide our arms to welcome all dimensions of nursing practice and to advocate for each and every nurse regardless of their membership status.