ANA Overview

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Find information here on ANA’s priority issues and organizational structure.

ANA Mission Statement:
Nurses advancing our profession to improve health for all.


ANA, founded in 1896, is the only professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.6 million registered nurses, in collaboration with partner organizations:

ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.

ANA seeks to improve workplace conditions that affect nurses and their patients:

ANA also focuses on these crucial health care issues:

Related Entities

ANA has several affiliated organizations:

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) — An ANA subsidiary, ANCC certifies nurses in specialty practice areas; recognizes healthcare organizations for promoting safe, positive work environments; and accredits providers of continuing nursing education.

American Nurses Foundation (ANF) — The charitable and philanthropic arm of ANA, ANF supports ANA’s work to promote the welfare and well being of nurses and advance the profession primarily through grants for nursing research and investments in nursing leadership.

American Academy of Nursing (AAN) — An independent affiliate of ANA, AAN, whose 1,800 invited ANA members (fellows) are recognized as the nation’s foremost nursing leaders, advances health policy and practice through the generation and dissemination of nursing knowledge.


The Board of Directors serves as the corporate body of ANA, with fiduciary duties. The board oversees implementation of policies and positions established by the Membership Assembly, which serves as ANA’s governing and voting body. The Assembly elects, advises, and directs the Board of Directors on emerging nursing, health care and workplace trends.

The Membership Assembly, which meets annually, is ANA’s governing and voting body. It identifies and discusses issues of concern to nurses and provides direction to the Board of Directors. The Membership Assembly is comprised of the Board of Directors and representatives from each Constituent and State Nurses Association; the Individual Member Division (IMD); and ANA’s Organizational Affiliates.

ANA convenes ad-hoc Professional Issues Panels to evaluate changes in nursing practice and health policy and engage nurses in deliberations and well-researched decisions on pressing issues. Panels are convened around specific practice and policy questions approved by the Board of Directors.