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About ANA

What is the American Nurses Association (ANA)?
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the voice of nursing. We are the nation's only full-service professional organization that represents the interests of the nation's 3.6 million registered nurses.

When was ANA founded?
In 1896, the first convention of the Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada was held. In 1911, this organization became the American Nurses Association. The Historical Review of Nursing and the ANA contains a detailed, date-by-date review of ANA's history.

Where is ANA located?
The ANA headquarters are located at 8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 400, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3492

How does ANA work with constituent and state nurses associations?
ANA is composed of organizations and individuals who have member or affiliate status. Constituent and state nurses associations make up the ANA House of Delegates. Delegates are apportioned according to each state's membership count.

Is the American Academy of Nursing part of ANA?
Yes. The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) is an affiliate of ANA. AAN, established in 1973, is an organization of distinguished nursing leaders recognized for their outstanding contributions in nursing education, management, practice, and research. The Academy's members are known as Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN).

Is the American Nurses Foundation (ANF) part of ANA?

Yes. The American Nurses Foundation (ANF) is a related entity of ANA. Founded in 1955 as the research, education, and charitable affiliate of ANA, ANF is the national philanthropic organization that promotes the continued growth and development of nurses and services to advance the work of the nursing profession.

Is the American Nurses Credentialing Center part of ANA?
Yes. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of ANA, provides individuals and organizations throughout the nursing profession with the resources they need to achieve practice excellence.

How does ANA work with the International Council of Nurses (ICN)? ICN is a federation of national nurses' associations that represents nurses in more than 120 countries. The American Nurses Association is a U.S. member of the ICN.


Is ANA membership only for Registered Nurses (RN)?
Yes. Only RNs are eligible to join ANA.

I'm not an RN. Can I access Members Only content of the website?
Yes. If you become a Subscriber, you can access digital content throughout the website.

Are there different types of membership?
Yes. ANA offers three different kinds of membership:

  • ANA & State Membership includes membership in ANA and your state nurses association. You receive full benefits from both. Best Value! Learn More.
  • ANA Only Membership - In some states, RNs are permitted to join ANA directly. ANA Only members receive full ANA member benefits but no benefits at the state level Learn More.
  • E-Membership –is only available in some states. This is a virtual ANA membership and does not include certain benefits. Learn More.

What are the benefits of joining ANA?
ANA offers a host of Member Benefits to help RNs in their in their professional and personal lives.  Learn More.

How much does it cost to join ANA?
Membership dues vary by location and which membership level you choose. Go to JoinANA.org to learn more.

How do I cancel my membership?
Monthly Payers need to submit cancellations in writing, no exceptions. If we do not receive this in writing within 20 days before the draft, we will continue your membership until you submit a cancellation.  You can email your cancellation request to memberinfo@ana.org or fax it to 301-628-5355.

How is my membership fee used?
Your dues further our advocacy efforts on behalf of all nurses.
Your dues also support periodicals including American Nurse Today, and the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.

Does ANA provide information on its members?
ANA does not rent or sell member information to outside parties.

When I try to join FL, MS, NY, NC, OH, OR, or WA as a full member, it routes me to their website. Why?

Several states handle their own membership process. Once you complete your application with one of these states, they will transfer your information into our database. Please note that this process can take up to one month.

Does joining ANA with a full membership also make me a member of my state nurses association?

Yes. ANA & State Membership is a combined membership between the national organization and your state nurses association.  You get two memberships for one low price!

Do my dues support any political candidate or party?

No. Your dues support the work and mission of ANA. No part of your dues goes to any candidate or party. Members may support the ANA Political Action Committee separately if they so choose.

Can I be a member of more than one state?
Yes. This is called dual membership. You must declare a primary and secondary state. Call 1-800-923-7709 to lean more.

What type of membership information do I need to send with my American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) materials?
Send, at minimum, your ANA membership number. If you have a membership card (you can print a copy), please send a copy with your ANCC application.

When will I receive my membership card?
Seven to ten business days after joining or renewing your membership, you can expect to receive your membership card. You can also print a copy from our website.

How do I print my membership card?
Go to My ANA and log in. In the box at the top, there is a link to "Print Member ID Card".

Definition of Nursing

Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.

Source: Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, Third Edition, (2015)

There are six essential features of professional nursing:

  1. Provision of a caring relationship that facilitates health and healing,
  2. Attention to the range of human experiences and responses to health and illness within the physical and social environments,
  3. Integration of objective data with knowledge gained from an appreciation of the patient or group's subjective experience,
  4. Application of scientific knowledge to the processes of diagnosis and treatment through the use of judgment and critical thinking,
  5. Advancement of professional nursing knowledge through scholarly inquiry, and
  6. Influence on social and public policy to promote social justice.

General Nursing Information

Are there organizations for specialty nurses?
Yes. There are many specialty organizations for nurses and many belong to ANA as organizations. Information can be found on our Affiliated Organizations page.

Where can I get a copy of the nursing Standards of Practice?
You can purchase any ANA standards publication through the ANA online bookstore, nursesbooks.org.

When is National Nurses Week?
Each year from May 6 – 12, we celebrate National Nurses Week. The week includes National Nurses Day, May 6, and May 12th is Florence Nightingale's birthday--the founder of modern nursing.

Does ANA specialize in providing clinical information?
No. For clinical information, contact the specialty nurses organization that addresses your particular clinical concern. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.

Nursing as a Career

I'm considering becoming a nurse. What are some good resources to help me learn more?
Several websites provide useful information about the nursing profession:

How do I find statistical information about nurses?
ANA has developed an overview of data on nurses, ANA's Nurses by the Numbers™. The 2016 edition focused on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It haso includes a special supplement based on data on nurses from the American Community Survey. ANA's Nurses by the Numbers™ is available for download at www.nursingworld.org/nbn.

HRSA's Bureau of Health Workforce's National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses has statistical information on

  • Number of registered nurses
  • Racial/Ethnic/Gender breakdown
  • Educational Background
  • Employment Setting
  • Nursing Salaries
  • Job Satisfaction
How do I find out where nursing schools are located in the U.S.?
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has useful information for determining the location and programming of nursing schools.

Is it true that there is a "payback system" for people who go to nursing school?
Yes. The Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program provides loan repayments up to 85% of the debt that nurses incur to pay for school. Students in the program must agree to work for two or three years in a facility deemed to have a critical shortage of nurses. Funding is contingent on congressional appropriations.

Where can I apply for a grant or scholarship?
ANA does not provide grants of scholarships. Educational funding options, including a scholarship search, are available at Discover Nursing. Research grants are available for RNs at the American Nurses Foundation.

Accreditation, Certification, and Credentials

Which organization accredits nursing organizations?
The American Nurses Credentialing Center is responsible for accrediting organizations. At their website, you can also find a list of all accredited providers.

How do I verify that a nurse is certified by ANCC?
You can order a verification from the ANCC website. You will need the certification number or social security number of the nurse for whom you are seeking verification. Fees may apply.

What types of certifications are available?
ANCC offers many specialty certifications. More than a quarter million nurses have been certified by ANCC since 1990. Visit the ANCC website for a complete list.

Continuing Education

Does ANA offer continuing education (CE)?
Yes. ANA strongly believes that professional development is a life-long process. That's why we offer nurses the opportunity to actively participate in learning activities that help develop and maintain continuing competence, enhance professional practice, support career goals, and ensure the quality of health care to the public. In addition, many states require CE for license renewal.

Where can I find the continuing education opportunities that ANA offers?

ANA offers a wide variety of CE options. You can find CE courses in:
What is an Independent Study Module (ISM)?
An ISM is a short course on a focused topic. It's designed to be in less than two hours. After reading an article, you'll take a multiple-choice test based on the material. Once you submit your test, you'll receive feedback on why your choices are correct or not. You can retake the test as many times as necessary to achieve a passing grade of 75%.

How do I find out if my state requires continuing education credits?

The American Journal of Nursing and the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing each conduct an annual survey to determine which states require CE credits. This information is generally published in the January or February issues each year. You can also contact your constituent/state nurses association for information on courses and events in your local area.

Magnet Program

What is the Magnet Program?
The Magnet Recognition Program® was developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to recognize health care organizations that provide nursing excellence. The program also provides a vehicle for disseminating successful nursing practices and strategies. Magnet status is not a prize or an award; it is a credential of organizational recognition of nursing excellence. A growing body of research indicates that Magnet hospitals have:

  • Higher percentages of satisfied RNs
  • Lower RN turnover and vacancy
  • Improved clinical outcomes
  • Improved patient satisfaction
How many Magnet designated healthcare organizations are there?
Almost 400 hospitals in the United States (AHA, Fast Facts on US Hospitals, 2011) have achieved ANCC Magnet Recognition® status. Locate a Magnet Hospital in your area.

Where can I get the Magnet manual?
You can find Magnet manuals and publications at Nursesbooks.org. To make sure you have the most up-to-date information, check for manual updates.

How much does the Magnet program cost?
Fees for the Magnet program are based on licensed bed size. You can view a current schedule of fees at the ANCC website.


How do I renew my license?
Typically, your State Board of Nursing will contact you before your license expiration date. Contact your State Board of Nursing for details, as each state has its own requirements. For more information about your State Board of Nursing, contact the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

How can I learn if a nurse is licensed to practice in my state?
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing maintains nursys.org, the nation's only national database for nurse licensure verification. Several services are available to the public, such as:

  • Licensure QuickConfirm
  • Nurses Emergency Responder
  • Nurse License Verification

How do I file a complaint about a nurse?
Contact your State Board of Nursing. Most boards will give you a form or the preferred format for making a complaint. You can find contact information for your State Board of Nursing through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Workplace Health and Safety

What are some common hazards for nurses in the workplace?
Nurses face different risks than people in other occupations. Some of the most common include:

  • Back injuries
  • Exposure to diseases and chemicals
  • Workplace violence
  • Stress and fatigue
ANA is committed to providing programs that address these workplace safety concerns.

How can nurses stay healthy while on the job?
ANA recognizes that while nurses care for patients and educate them on how to care for themselves properly, long hours, fatigue, and stress at work often makes it difficult for nurses to care properly for their own health. That is why ANA has compiled resources for nurses on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Code of Ethics for Nurses

Where can I get a copy of the Code of Ethics for Nurses?
You can view a PDF of the Code of Ethics for free. To read this version, you'll need to have Adobe Acrobat 7.0 or higher installed. If you prefer a printed copy, it's available for purchase from Nursesbooks.org. The cost associated with the entire Code of Ethics covers the cost to print, warehouse, and respond to requests for the document.

May I reprint the Code of Ethics for Nurses?
No. ANA holds the copyright on the Code of Ethics for Nurses and all other materials published through American Nurses Publishing. However, we welcome your request to reprint portions of our publications for academic or commercial purposes.

Position Statements and Policies

How does ANA decide on its position statements and policies?
Most position statements and policies are studied, discussed, and approved by the ANA Board of Directors or the elected nurse members of our House of Delegates. Each statement will mention where it was derived.

Where can I find ANA's position statements?
ANA maintains an index of position statements online.

I'm a student writing a paper. Can you send me information?
We're sorry. ANA does not have the staff to assist students with their research for class papers. You're welcome to use the resources on our website. Several other websites also provide useful information about the nursing profession:

Periodicals and Publishing

What publications are included as benefits of ANA membership?
As an ANA member, you receive print and online publications as part of your membership and may sign up for several e-newsletters. These include:

  • American Nurse Today, ANA's official, award winning journal, is published monthly (10 times in print, 2 times digital only) by Healthcom Media. It features "ANA on the Frontline" a section dedicated to nursing news and ANA initiatives.
  • OJIN is a peer-reviewed, online publication that addresses current topics affecting nursing practice, research, education, and the wider health care sector.
  • ANA's SmartBrief - a daily newsletter with the latest health and nursing news

How do I advertise in American Nurse Today?
You can view advertising information online. For more information, contact the American Nurse Today Advertising Department at 215.489.7000.

Does ANA publish books?
Yes. The publishing arm of ANA is Nursesbooks.org. We publish a wide selection of nursing books, including the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for a number of nursing specialty areas.

Where do I find information about publishing my book through ANA?
American Nurses Publishing is responsible for determining which books are published through ANA. If you're interested in having ANA consider your book for publication, please refer to our book proposal submission guidelines.

I wrote a book and would like to sell it through ANA. What should I do?
Please contact anp@ana.org.

Student Nurses

Can student nurses become members of ANA?
We're sorry. ANA bylaws specify that only RNs registered to practice in the U.S. are eligible for membership in ANA. Once you have received your RN degree and your license, please join us!

Is there a student nurse association that I can join?
Yes. The National Student Nurses Association has chapters at many nursing schools, and is an excellent group.

Can student nurses access the Members Only areas of the ANA website?
Yes. Sign up as a Student Subscriber (free for NSNA members or those willing to receive NSNA information) at www.anasubscribersignup.org to access Members Only areas of NursingWorld.org.

I'm doing a presentation on ANA for my nursing school class. Do you have additional information I can use?
Of course! Check out ANA's video gallery for a variety of videos from ANA leaders and members. Feel free to show these in your class. If you wish to receive ANA membership brochures that you can use as handouts, contact check out the Student Nurse section on Nursing-world. Thanks for discussing ANA!

I'm doing a class paper on an aspect of nursing. Can ANA help me with my research?
We're sorry. ANA does not have the staff or resources to assist students with research papers.

Can ANA put me in touch with a nurse who will speak to my nursing class?
We're sorry. ANA does not have the staff to provide speakers to school classes. It's also our policy not to give out information on our members. Several state nurses associations maintain a list of nurses willing to speak to classes. Contact the state nurses association in your state to see if a speaker is available in your area.