What is the ANA?
As the only full-service professional organization for all of the Registered Nurses throughout the United
States, the American Nurses Association (ANA) plays an incredibly important role in the nursing industry.
There are approximately 3.1 million RNs in the United States, and they are all represented by the ANA
through their local organizational affiliates and constituent member associations. The association
provides a host of valuable resources for nurses and seeks to advance the profession by helping to
develop and maintain high industry standards, and by portraying nurses positively in the press. The ANA
also lobbies Congress and various regulatory agencies on behalf of all the Registered Nurses in the
United States to make sure their voices are heard regarding important issues that affect national health
care, the general public and nurses.
History of the American Nurses Association
The ANA was created in 1896 with a mission of advancing and protecting the nursing profession while
improving public health in the United States. The association was originally called “The Nurses
Associated Alumnae,” although it has been known by its current name since 1911. The ANA has long
been headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, where Karen Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, presides over
the national umbrella association as president.
How the American Nurses Association Operates Today
There are a total of 54 local member associations under this umbrella, each of which serves the interests
of registered nurses and patients in its constituent area. There are also three subsidiary organizations
that operate underneath the umbrella of the ANA, which include the American Academy of Nursing, the
American Nurses Foundation and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The academy is
responsible for generating, synthesizing and publishing information in order to promote advances in
health policy. The foundation serves as the association’s charitable wing, while the credentialing center is
responsible for credentialing facilities that uphold excellence in nursing and awarding specialty credentials
to nurses. And on top of all this, the ANA also maintains three journals: OJIN: The Online Journal of
Issues in Nursing, American Nurse Today and The American Nurse.
In addition to promoting high standards of nursing practice, the association also helps protect nurses in
the workplace in regards to issues such as pay, benefits and general professional wellbeing. The ANA is
an organization that celebrates nurses of the past, present and future through its myriad of recognitions,
public policy works, member organizations, subsidiary organizations and publications.