American Nurses Association

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is a full-service professional organization representing Registered Nurses (RN) across America. They state as their mission:

“Nurses advancing our profession to improve health for all.”

The ANA works to advance the profession of nursing through a variety of means. They foster high standards of nursing practice. The organization helps to improve the work environments of nurses by promoting their rights in the workplace. The ANA works to improve the image of nursing by presenting the profession in a positive and realistic light. And they work to improve the nursing profession by lobbying Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues.

History of the ANA

In September of 1896 members of ten nursing alumnae (fewer than twenty nurses) met near New York City to organize a national professional association for nurses. None of those in attendance were actually RNs since at that time there where no laws or licensing bodies governing standards for nursing care. In February of the 1897, they finalized the constitution and bylaws for the Nurses’ Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada.

In 1901 the Nurses’ Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada incorporated in the State of New York. The association’s incorporation forced them to drop the reference to Canada from their name. Then in 1911 they officially changed their name to the American Nurses’ Association.

ANA Constituent Member Associations

Today’s constituent nurses associations of the American Nurses Association are as follows:

Membership in the ANA

There are three ANA membership options available to RNs today:

  • ANA & State Membership
  • ANA Only Membership
  • e-Membership Only

The ANA & State Membership option offers membership in both the American Nurses Association as well as your state nurses association. As such, you are a full voting member of both the ANA and your state association. You’re entitled to all benefits and discounts from both associations.

Some states allow RNs to join the ANA directly. This ANA Only Membership option offers individuals full ANA member benefits including full voting privileges, but no state membership benefits. This option is only offered to Registered Nurses in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Washington, DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

The E-Membership Only option is the cheapest option. It allows the virtual E-Member to take advantage of some benefits and discounts that ANA members enjoy, but they cannot vote and cannot take advantage of certain things like discounts on ANCC certification exams. This membership option does not include any state nurses association benefits.

Association Leadership & Governance

The leadership and governance of the American Nurses Association has evolved over the last century. Their leadership is now made up of four units:

  • House of Delegates
  • Board of Directors
  • Constituent Assembly
  • Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics

Contact Information

American Nurses Association
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 400
Silver Springs, MD 20910

Phone: (301)628-5000 or (800)274-4ANA
FAX: (301)628-5001