ANA Mission Statement:
Nurses advancing our profession to improve health for all.
The American Nurses Association (ANA), founded in 1896, is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.1 million registered nurses through its state nurses associations, constituent member associations (federal government nurses, Guam, Virgin Islands) and nursing specialty groups, or “organizational affiliates.”
ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.
ANA seeks to improve work conditions that affect nurses and their patients, among them safe patient handling (elimination of manual patient lifting), safe nurse staffing levels, use of safe needles and workplace violence.
The association is dedicated to advancing other crucial issues that directly affect the quality of care, patients’ access to care and public health, including health care reform initiatives, the nursing shortage, practice rights for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), immunization and patient safety and quality measurement.
ANA has several affiliated organizations:
American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) — An ANA subsidiary, ANCC certifies nurses in specialty practice areas; recognizes healthcare organizations for promoting safe, positive work environments; and accredits providers of continuing nursing education.
American Nurses Foundation (ANF) — The charitable and philanthropic arm of ANA, ANF supports ANA’s work to promote the welfare and well being of nurses and advance the profession primarily through grants for nursing research and investments in nursing leadership.
American Academy of Nursing (AAN) — An independent affiliate of ANA, AAN, whose 1,800 invited ANA members (fellows) are recognized as the nation’s foremost nursing leaders, advances health policy and practice through the generation and dissemination of nursing knowledge.
A 15-member Board of Directors serves as the corporate body of ANA, with fiduciary duties. The board oversees implementation of policies and positions approved by the ANA House of Delegates, which can number up to 675 members, most of whom are elected by state nurses associations.
The House of Delegates meets every two years to vote on ANA policies and positions. Among House of Delegates actions in 2010 were resolutions to reduce workplace harassment, abuse and bullying of nurses, and to research the safety and effectiveness of reprocessing and reusing “single use devices.”
ANA’s Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics, made up of elected and appointed ANA members from diverse professional backgrounds, deliberates on emerging socioeconomic, political and nursing practice trends and recommends policy alternatives to the Board of Directors