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.
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