Damer, a member of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), was an outstanding nursing leader at the turn of the century -- a critical time in nursing history.
She served as the leader, and often founding member, of several nursing organizations; promoted the advancement of educational standards; promoted public health care for tuberculosis patients; advocated for the temperance movement as a public health issue; and worked to secure the legal recognition of the nursing profession -- a seemingly hopeless endeavor at that time.
Damer worked as a private duty nurse for eight years and then in public health for several more. Damer was a member of the first Board of Nurse Examiners and became president of the board. She also served as president of the Buffalo Nurses Association where she was chair of the committee that organized the first state nurses association, NYSNA, of which she later served as president. She also was president of the American Journal of Nursing Company and she served for five years as the second president of the Nurses' Associated Alumnae (now known as the ANA). Damer later worked with tuberculosis patients in a hospital and started a social services department for them. In 1906, she became supervisor of a convalescent home for children.
Unfortunately, at the height of her career, she was seriously injured in a carriage accident and died five years later. At the time of her death, Annie Damer was probably one of the most well-known nurses in the country.