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					Emergency Nurses Association:
A Backgrounder

In 1968, Anita M. Dorr, RN, and Judith C. Kelleher, RN, were working on opposite coasts of the
United States and realized the need for nurses in emergency care to have a single set of
standards and improved methods for creating effective emergency nursing practices. As a result,
Dorr formed the Emergency Room Nurses Organization on the east coast and Kelleher formed
the Emergency Department Nurses Association on the west coast. In 1970, they combined their
organizations to form the Emergency Department Nurses Association and in 1985 the
organization’s name was changed to the Emergency Nurses Association.

Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is today the only
professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing and
emergency care through advocacy, expertise, innovation and leadership. Since it was founded,
ENA has served as a national voice for more than 32,000 members and their patients through
research, publications, professional development, injury prevention and patient education.

The ENA's vision is to promote advocacy, diversity and excellence of emergency nursing
practice, while providing visionary leadership for emergency nursing and emergency care. The
ENA represents a spectrum of emergency nurse professionals, including staff nurses, managers
in emergency departments, administrators, nurse practitioners, pre-hospital, flight, pediatric and
trauma emergency nurses, students and educators from more than 20 countries around the

The ENA provides professional development and continuing education for its members and the
community. As part of this mission, each year the ENA hosts two major events, its Annual
Conference and the Leadership Challenge. During the General Assembly at the Annual
Conference, delegates from each state meet to review the association’s professional policies; the
Scientific Assembly allows emergency nurses to participate in continuing education courses led
by nationally recognized nursing faculty members and experts.

The ENA’s Leadership Challenge presents its members with the opportunity to enhance their
management knowledge and skills by educating them on trends in nursing and leadership
principals in management, communications and finance.

The ENA also facilitates other continuing education opportunities throughout the year, including
courses on basic and advanced trauma nursing, pediatric and geriatric emergency nursing and
emergency department management. The association has also established the Emergency
Nurses Association Foundation (ENAF), a not-for-profit organization to provide scholarships and
research grants for ENA members. The Foundation is currently celebrating its 15 anniversary.

The ENA publishes a newsletter – the ENA Connection; two peer-reviewed journals – the Journal
of Emergency Nursing and Disaster Management & Response; and numerous other publications
designed to help members build their knowledge and skills in the field of emergency nursing.

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