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About ANA

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.6 million registered nurses. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. Founded in 1896, and with members in all 50 states and U.S. territories, ANA is the strongest voice for the profession.

ANA exists to advance the nursing profession by:

  • Fostering high standards of nursing practice;
  • Promoting a safe and ethical work environment;
  • Bolstering the health and wellness of nurses; and
  • Advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public.

Because ANA represents the interests of all registered nurses, we are here to support you to reach your full potential. From career development resources to lobbying Congress on the issues that affect nurses, we are here every step of the way.

When individual nurses achieve their full potential and unite with others, ANA can accomplish its mission: 

Nurses advancing our profession to improve health care for all.

ANA mission statement

Empowering nurses for over a century

ANA is the voice of its members and their needs – and it has been since 1896. 
In a time of dramatic health care reform, ANA is safeguarding the needs of health care consumers and nurses, and advocating that nursing expertise plays a vital role in developing policy initiatives. 
ANA has reiterated its longstanding Principles for Health System Transformation

The system must:

  • Ensure universal access to a standard package of essential health care services for all citizens and residents.
  • Optimize primary, community-based, and preventive services while supporting the cost-effective use of innovative, technology-driven, acute, hospital-based services.
  • Encourage mechanisms to stimulate economical use of health care services while supporting those who do not have the means to share in costs.
  • Ensure a sufficient supply of a skilled workforce dedicated to providing high quality health care services.

Other priority issues include:

  • An expanded role for Registered Nurses (RN) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) in the delivery of basic and primary health care;
  • Obtaining federal funding for nurse education and training; and
  • Helping to improve the health care work environment.

Fighting for what ANA members believe in

In addition to lobbying on issues that directly affect the nursing profession, ANA takes bold stances on issues important to its members. ANA has taken firm positions on a range of issues including:

  • Medicare reform;
  • The importance of safe nurse staffing;
  • Workplace violence;
  • Whistleblower protections for health care workers; and
  • Adequate reimbursement for health care services.

Supporting nurses to lead change

ANA knows that recognizing the essential value of nurses is just the start. Nurses work in all health care settings and have a unique perspective given that they serve in so many diverse roles and specialties. As a result, nurses can offer insights and contributions on how to improve health care in this country.

To accomplish this, nurse wellbeing is paramount. While nursing dedication often means that self-care comes low down on the list of priorities, it is vital to put this back on the agenda. With healthier nurses come improved patient outcomes, greater staff retention for organizations, and most importantly: nurses who are treated with the respect that their commitment deserves.

The future of health care

With an aging population and an over-burdened health care system, technical advances in health care are simply not enough. Nurses represent another side to the equation, where knowledge and expertise is balanced with care and compassion. Through empowering nurses to lead health care change, we can truly improve health care for all.


Because ANA represents the interests of all registered nurses, we are here to support you to reach your full potential.

You are now leaving the American Nurses Foundation

The American Nurses Foundation is a separate charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation does not engage in political campaign activities or communications.

The Foundation expressly disclaims any political views or communications published on or accessible from this website.

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