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National League for Nursing Records

Identifier: MS C 274


Includes proceedings of annual conventions, minutes of meetings, biographical data of early leaders, correspondence, photos, and miscellaneous material.


  • 1894-1952


3.2 Linear Feet (8 boxes)


Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Language of Materials

Collection materials primarily in English


Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

Donor's copyrights were transferred to the public domain. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

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Historical Note

In 1893, a group of courageous women assembled during the Chicago World's Fair to establish the first association of nurses in the United States--the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses. From its inception, the association made its principal objective the "establishment and maintenance of a universal standard of training." In 1912 the society was renamed the National League of Nursing Education (NLNE).

Student nurses served an apprenticeship in which they learned through giving service to a hospital. The preparation of students was a concern to NLNE, which recommended that the two-year training course be lengthened to three years. An eight-hour work day was also encouraged for students. Other critical issues included the qualifications of superintendents, the nature of the curriculum, and the preparation of teachers of nursing. The organization firmly believed that, if the quality of education was to be improved, qualified instructors were essential.

Affiliating nursing training schools with universities, which began in the early 1900s, was viewed by the NLNE as a way of improving the education of nursing students. Nonetheless, the majority of training schools continued to be controlled and administered by hospitals. The lack of standardization in hospital-controlled schools made them difficult to assess. Since no criteria had been established for curriculum construction, it was not possible to determine readily appropriate basic nursing preparation.

At the annual NLNE convention in 1914, members of the Committee on Education initiated discussion on a proposed course of study. Their intent was to elicit ideas from some of the better schools for a model curriculum. The responses were so varied that a Curriculum Committee was formed to define the appropriate education of nurses.

In 1917, the NLNE released the first Standard Curriculum for Schools of Nursing, urging that the document should not be rigidly followed, but rather serve as a guide. Nevertheless, many schools of nursing adhered exactly to the published document. Although the Standard Curriculum had a great impact on the training schools, it was not well received by all groups, particularly the hospital and medical community which criticized the standards for being too high.

On June 16, 1952, at the National League for Nursing Education business meeting, the membership voted to amend the bylaws and become the National League for Nursing, thereby merging with the National Organization of Public Health Nurses (NOPHN) and the ACSN.

For almost six decades, The National League of Nursing Education, parent of all nursing organizations, had been passionately devoted to the cause of advancing nursing education. At the time of the 1952 convention, NLNE members remained fiercely loyal to those traditions and values. Their influence, particularly during the formative period of the National League for Nursing, would have a marked effect on the future of the new NLN.

On June 20, 1952, the National League for Nursing held its first meeting and elected its first board of directors and president.

On June 21, the board had an intensive but enthusiastic session in Atlantic City's Ritz Carlton Hotel where they worked out arrangements for launching a challenging new program made possible by merging the NLNE with the ACSN and the NOPHN. The interests of all three groups would be carried forward at the outset through board representation, staff, and continuation of ongoing programs. Under the new structure, two major divisions would be housed within the NLN: the Division of Nursing Service, responsible for hospital, public health, and industrial nursing; and the Division of Nursing Education, composed of a Department of Diploma and Associate Degree Programs, a Department of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs, and some provision for practical nurses.

The new board authorized the establishment of councils of agency members of the Department of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs and the Department of Public Health Nursing Services. Agency members had automatically transferred to these departments from the ACSN and the NOPHN, respectively.

The National League for Nursing is still very much a leader in advancing the health of diverse communities through nursing. Its current stated mission is to improve education and health outcomes by linking communities and information through collaborating, connecting, creating, serving, and learning.

The NLN membership base consists of more than 2,000 nursing school and health care agencies, and more than 10,000 individual members - nurses, educators, administrators, consumers, and students. There are 43 state and regional constituent leagues.

The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), an independent subsidiary of NLN, is the leading accrediting body for all types of nursing education programs - baccalaureate, master's, associate degree, diploma, and licensed practical nursing - within the U.S. and its territories.

NLN is a major provider of testing services. Its comprehensive line of testing products range from pre-admission testing for nursing school applicants to competency certification for specialty nursing groups and health institutions.

NLN Press publishes hundreds of scholarly and consumer-oriented paperback books, and distributes a line of health-related videos.

NLN's Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP), another subsidiary of NLN with its own Board of Directors and President, accredits community and home health care agencies throughout the country through deemed status conferred by the federal government. CHAP develops standards of excellence that assure ethical, humane, and competent care in home, community, and public health settings. CHAP also develops and distributes relevant products, services, and models of care-conducting seminars, publishing standards, and consulting.

(Adapted from "The Entry Dilemma" by Shirley H. Fondiller)

Collection Summary

Includes proceedings of annual conventions, minutes of meetings, biographical data of early leaders, correspondence, photos, and miscellaneous material.


Includes proceedings of annual conventions, minutes of meetings, biographical data of early leaders, correspondence, photos, and miscellaneous material.

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine


Acquired in 1974.


Processed by
HMD Staff
Encoded by
Dan Jenkins


Index of Photographs

  1. Early Leaders of American Nursing of the Pioneer Period Up to the Early 1950's
  2. Wald, Lillian D. (NOPHN - First President)
  3. Fox, Elizabeth G. (NOPHN - President)
  4. Gardner, Mary S. (NOPHN)
  5. Grant, Ameilia (NOPHN - President)
  6. Hansen, Anne L. (NOPHN)
  7. Harvey, Malinde (NOPHN)
  8. Harvey, P.W. (NOPHN)
  9. Houlton, Ruth (NOPHN - Gen. Dir.)
  10. Patterson, Florence (NOPHN)
  11. Sterling Soule, Elizabeth (NOPHN)
  12. Stevenson, Jessie L. (NOPHN)
  13. Tucker, Katherine J. (NOPHN)

Index to Scrapbook: Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Treasurer, President, Vice President and General Director

  1. Randall, Marian G.
  2. McKinney, Roessle
  3. Deming, Dorothy
  4. NOPHN Board of Directors
  5. PHN Board of Directors
  6. NOPHN Executive Committee
  7. NOPHN Board of Directors
  8. NOPHN Board of Directors
  9. NOPHN Board of Directors
  10. McLane, Lawrence W. Elected Treasurer
  11. Stokes, Emlen S. - Elected Chairman
  12. NOPHN Board of Directors

Scrapbook: Index to Board Members 1938

  1. Barker, Joseph S., Mrs.
  2. Hale, William E., Mrs.
  3. Shipley, Alfred E. Dr.
  4. Walker, Frank W., Dr.
  5. Grant, Amelia
  6. Mumford, Eleanor W.
  7. Eliot, Martha M., Dr.
  8. Waller, Clifford E.
  9. Watkins, James K., Mrs.
  10. Harvey, Malinde I.
  11. Deutsch, Maomi
  12. Hubbard, Ruth W.
  13. Wohlman, Abel
  14. Haupt, Alma C.
  15. Carey, Harry M.
  16. Bosworth, Robert Mrs.
  17. LaMalle, Helen Mrs.
  18. LaForge, Zoe
  19. Ross, Grace
  20. Brown, Charles S. Mrs.

Index to NOPHN Photographs

  1. Board Staff Committee, 1938-1940, etc.
  2. First National Nursing, Ofice - neg. only
  3. Historical Biennial Convention, 1924
  4. Historical Photos, VNA & PHN, 1926-1939
  5. Historical Pictures, various
  6. National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis - President's Dinner, 1940
  7. National Nurse Week, 1940
  8. Photos Miscellaneous
  9. Pictures of VNA, Posture Fundamentals, Modern & Etc., March of Dimes
  10. Public Health Nursing Photos
  11. Public Health Nursing Photos, Old & New, Before & After
  12. PHN - VNA and School Surgical Photos, 1944
  13. Silver Jubilee Luncheon Photos, 1937
  14. Uniforms
  15. Convention Exhibit Photos, 1929 (NLNE)
  16. Historical Pageant Members, June 12, 1933 (NLNE)

Index to NLNE Photographs

  1. Bixler, Roy Dr. and
  2. Bixler, Genevieve K. Dr.
  3. Bolton, Francis P.
  4. Darche, Louise
  5. Davis, Mary E. P.
  6. Delano Memorial Monument
  7. Dock, Lavinia Lloyd
  8. Drown, Lucy Lincoln
  9. Eldredge, Adda E.
  10. Fisher, Alice
  11. Gelinas, Agnes - President
  12. Giles, Ida F.
  13. Goodrich, Anne W.
  14. Gretter, Lystra C.
  15. Hall, Carrie M. - President
  16. Hawkinson, Nellie X.
  17. Jamme, Anna C.
  18. Johnson, Sally - Board of Directors
  19. Keating, Emma J.
  20. Kimber, Diana Clifford
  21. LaForge, Elizabeth
  22. Lawler, Elsie M.
  23. Logan, Larua R. - President
  24. Mayo, Adelaide - Executive Director
  25. Maxwell, Anna Caroline
  26. McCleery, Ada Belle - Secretary
  27. McCrae, Annabelle
  28. McIntyne, Ellen M.
  29. McIsaac, Isabel
  30. McMillan, M. H.
  31. Merrit, Isabel
  32. Muse, Maude B.
  33. Powell, Louise M.
  34. Roberts, Mary M. - Board Member
  35. Palmer, Sophia F.
  36. Redmond, Mary
  37. Richards, Linda
  38. Robb, Isabel Hampton
  39. Sister John, Gabriel
  40. Sister Helen
  41. Snively, Mary Agnes
  42. Stewart, Isabel M.
  43. Stimson, Julia C.
  44. Taylor, Effie J. - Vice President
  45. Thomson, Elnora E.
  46. Tittman, Anna L.
  47. Urch, Daisy Dean - Director
  48. Wheeler, C.A.
  49. Wheeler, Mary C.
  50. Wolf, Anna D.
  51. Wolfman, Abel
  52. Wood, Helen
  53. Young, Helen D.
  54. Unknown
Finding Aid to the National League for Nursing Records, 1894-1952
Unverified Partial Draft
HMD Staff
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Edition statement
Version 1.0

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

8600 Rockville Pike
Bldg 38/1E-21, MSC 3819
Bethesda MD 20894 US
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