Recognizing significant contributions to the economic and general welfare of registered nurses.
Established in 1976 in recognition of Shirley Titus who, at the 1946 convention of the ANA, urged that ANA formally launch an economic and general welfare program. The purpose of the award is to recognize the contribution that an individual nurse has made in the ANA economic and general welfare program.
Shirley Titus served as executive director of the California Nurses Association from 1942 to 1956. Under her leadership in 1943, CNA launched the first economic security program for nurses. The program endorsed in 1946 by the ANA. CNA adopted a resolution in 1946 for a 40-hour work week, the first in nursing history, which was implemented throughout the state in 1947. In addition to her efforts in economic security was her pioneering work in nursing education. While Director of Nursing Services and of the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, she established one of the first systems of general duty nursing, acting on her belief that general duty nursing would improve nursing education and patient care. Shirley Titus was a member of the Board of Directors of the ANA and of the American Journal of Nursing Company. She died in 1967, having devoted her life to the progress of nursing in what she described as its "tortuous evolution from the status of a craft to the status of a profession."