In 1974, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Bicentennial Celebration Committee determined that those nurses whose dedication and achievements have significantly affected the nursing profession should be honored for their contributions.
Therefore, the ANA Board of Directors created a seven-member Hall of Fame Committee who chose 1976, the year of the nation's bicentennial, as the best time for unveiling the Hall of Fame. From more than 100 names, the Hall of Fame Committee unanimously selected fifteen charter members with the recommendation that the Hall of Fame be made permanent. The ANA Board of Directors approved the recommendation and requested that the committee continue its work and add new members to the Hall of Fame periodically.
As a result, six nurses were inducted at the 1982 ANA convention, thirteen (13) at the 1984 convention, five at the 1986, and fifteen (15) at the 1996 convention. One of the criteria for each of the first four inductions stated that the individual must be deceased. Since then, the ANA Board of Directors has revised both the criteria and the nomination process and has determined that inductions must occur every two years at each of ANA's conventions.