Nurses march on Albany, 1971
|VOLUME:||848 linear feet, plus 358 microfiche and 12 videocassettes|
|ACQUISITION:||The Bellevue Alumnae Center for Nursing History is the official repository for the records of the New York State Nurses Association. Records slated for preservation are transferred to the Center on a regular basis.|
|ACCESS:||All NYSNA archival records are open to researchers, with the following exceptions: Economic and General Welfare Program records; Confidential or closed session meeting records; Membership, Code for Nurses violations, and any other records which involve personal data on individual members; Any records identified as confidential at the time of transfer. Confidential Letter Books from the Nursing Practice and Services Program are closed, and unavailable to outside researchers. Certain rules will be waived for NYSNA staff; others must apply for access in writing to the executive Director of the New York State Nurses Association. Contact the Center's archivist for further information.|
|COPYRIGHT:||Please consult the repository for information about duplication or publishing of any materials from this collection.|
|The New York State Nurses Association Archives 1901-1995, Bellevue Alumnae Center for Nursing History, Foundation of New York State Nurses, Guilderland, NY|
|NOTE:||Due to the large size of this collection, the collection is described in parts for ease of use, as detailed below. Finding aids and index available at the Center for Nursing. Records after 1992 are only partially processed at this point; box lists are available for post-1992 records, but the materials are not yet indexed or included in the descriptions below.|
Table of Contents
- Administrative History
- Collection Descriptions
- Voting Body, Board, and Committee Records, 1901-1991
- Publications and Memorabilia, 1928-1993
- Records from the Offices of Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director, 1901-1991
- Nursing Education Program Records, 1941-1989
- Legislative Program Records, 1914-1989
- Nursing Practice and Services Program Records, 1920-1990
- Economic and General Welfare Program Records, 1953-1990
- Research and Support Services Records, 1931-1992
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA or the Association), the membership organization of registered professional nurses in New York state, designated the Foundation of the New York State Nurses Association as the repository and curator of its archives in January 1987. Founded in 1901, and with a current membership of over 35,000 registered nurses, NYSNA is the country's oldest and largest state nurses association. These records constitute the largest collection maintained by the Center for History of Nursing.
The Association's founding and continuing goals are to protect the public and advance the profession of nursing. As a multi- purpose professional association, NYSNA has pioneered efforts in nursing legislation, nursing education, nursing practice, nursing research, the organization and delivery of nursing care services, collective bargaining and other economic and general welfare matters. NYSNA is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association (ANA). Nineteen separately incorporated NYSNA constituent district nurses associations provide services and leader- ship at the local level.
The Association's records pertain to all facets of its complex and extensive activities including its relationships with its district associations, the ANA, other state nurses associations, hundreds of other health related organizations, and thousands of individual nurses. The records contain a wealth of information on the genesis and evolution of nursing; the social and economic context of the health care delivery system; the changing role of women; labor relations in the health care industry; and ethical and legal issues in modern health care delivery.
Collection DescriptionsVoting Body, Board, and Committee Records, 1901-1991
47 linear feet
In 1899 Sophia Palmer and Eva Allerton first recommended organizing a state nurses association in New York for the purpose of securing suitable legislation for nurses. At a gathering of alumnae association delegates on April 16, 1901, a vote was taken to form the New York State Nurses Association. Bylaws adopted at this meeting stated that "the object of this Association shall be the advancement of the educational standard of nursing; the furtherance of the efficient care of the sick; the maintenance of the honor and character of the nursing profession; also the furtherance of cordial relations between the New York State nurses and the nurses of other States and countries." The Association's early efforts were focused on securing legislation to regulate the profession of nursing. The Association has since expanded its efforts to include nursing practice concerns, nursing research, nursing education and the economic and general welfare of nurses. Meeting records, annual reports, bylaws, and voting body transcripts document official action and the evolution and development of the Association. These records are the primary source of information for NYSNA's first forty years. Voting body and convention records include minutes or transcripts of the official proceedings from 1901 to the present, and are a rich source of information on the evolution of the Association and the nursing profession. Keynote addresses and other convention programs involved many prominent nursing leaders. Board of Directors records from 1914 to the present and committee notebooks dating from 1928, consist of minutes, attachments and agendas of meetings. These records document the work of over 150 different organizational units and provide information on a wide range of issues of concern to nurses throughout this time period. Annual or biennial reports of the Association's various organizational units include membership statistics and provide information on resolutions and general activities.
Publications and Memorabilia, 1928-1993
10 linear feet
The publication of a State Bulletin was first proposed in 1924 to inform members of "items of interest to the State members, contributed from the various Districts." There is no known existing set of this publication. The Quarterly News, published jointly by NYSNA, the New York League of Nursing Education and the New York State Organization for Public Health Nursing, was first published in 1929, continuing until 1938, and is available in the NYSNA Library. In 1938, the New York State Nurse began publication as NYSNA's official organ, continuing until 1970 when it became the Journal of the New York State Nurses Association. In 1988, the Journal became a peer-reviewed scholarly nursing journal. In 1970, the Association also began publication of Report, the official newsletter of the New York State Nurses Association. Both serials continue to be published regularly a NYSNA's official organs. NYSNA has also published numerous newsletters, pamphlets, brochures and other printed materials to keep its members and the public informed. Serial publications include the Journal of the New York State Nurses Association, New York State Nurse, Report, the Legislative Bulletin, and various Economic and General Welfare Program newsletters. Pamphlets, brochures and other printed materials include membership recruitment flyers, legislative programs, resource directories, reports, and nursing education and nursing practice materials. Memorabilia include numerous plaques and citations awarded to NYSNA for media and program achieve-ments. Other framed documents include pen certificates for legislation for which NYSNA played a significant role in achieving pas-sage, proclamations and resolutions and the Association's Certificate of Incorporation. A scrapbook contains clippings, press releases, flyers and pamphlets covering convention and meeting activities, legislative and collective bargaining efforts and accomplishments of individual nurses. Included is a good collection of clippings on the topic of men in nursing. Assorted buttons promote ANA, NYSNA, constituent district nurses associations and candidates for ANA office.
Records from the Offices of Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director, 1901-1991
130 linear feet
A position of Executive Secretary, later changed to Executive Director, was established in 1926. Responsible for the administration of the Association, the Executive Director appoints professional and administrative staff to implement NYSNA policies and programs, and provides support services to the Board of Directors and to committees related to the Voting Body of the Association. The Executive Director is also administrator of the NYSNA Welfare Plan for Registered Professional Nurses Employed by the City of New York and the Health and Hospitals Corporation. The first supporting position of Assistant to Executive Secretary was created in 1931. Since that time, the numbers, titles and responsibilities of assistants to the Executive Director have varied. The Deputy Executive Director's role is determined by the Executive Director, and currently includes staff support for various committees and councils, liaison activity with allied organizations, groups and agencies, administrative oversight and assistance to Association departments. The records of the Offices of the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director are the primary source of information on all corporate and administrative activities of the Association from 1940 to the present. Included are correspondence, meeting records, reports, scrapbooks, subject files, and official reports and documents. Records extensively document the Association's relationships with ANA, NYSNA constituent district nurses associations, and other state nurses associations. Other records pro-vide information on the changing organizational structure and staffing of NYSNA, efforts to improve the practice and employment conditions of nurses, the evolution of the program areas, and the Association's relationships with other organizations and governmental agencies. Minutes and other meeting records are included for the Board of Directors, committees on bylaws and finance, and other organizational units staffed by these offices. Audits and budgets, legal opinions and correspondence, historical summaries, and reports to regulatory agencies further document Association activities.
Nursing Education Program Records, 1941-1989
20.75 linear feet
The New York State Nurses Association has been committed to advancing the educational standards of nursing since its founding. NYSNA's Nursing Education Program evolved from ANA's efforts to mandate a bachelor's degree as the minimum education level for entry into practice. The Special Committee on Education was created in 1964 by NYSNA's Board to implement entry into practice recommendations and to assume responsibility for continuing education efforts. Evolution of the Program led to creation of a staff position in 1967. Currently the Nursing Education Program has a Director and Associate Director, and is active in developing and promoting standards for nursing education, recruiting into the profession, planning to assure adequate nursing personnel, and providing consultation to members and numerous outside groups. Activities of the program include provision of testimony to various legislative and governmental bodies, issuance of position statements on nursing education standards and issues, and sponsorship of programs for nursing students. In March 1977 NYSNA and the Council on Continuing Education were accredited by ANA as an approver and provider of continuing education in nursing. Meeting records, correspondence, grant applications, reports, position statements, workshop and conference materials and publications document the Nursing Education Program's involvement in all aspects of nursing education. Included are minutes, meeting materials and correspondence for the Councils on Nursing Education and Continuing Education, other organizational units, and the Nursing Students' Association of New York State. Program records provide information on the closing of diploma schools of nursing, careers in nursing, recruitment into the profession, scholarships, and the development of policy on various nursing education issues. Of particular note are records on the development of the Association's entry into practice proposals, including the Blueprint for the Education of Nurses in New York State and "The 1985 Proposal," and proposals for mandatory continuing education. Other continuing education records document the accreditation and continuing education approval process and various continuing education offerings.
Legislative Program Records, 1914-1989
42.75 linear feet
From its inception the New York State Nurses Association has been intensively involved in the legislative process. A Committee on Legislation was formed in 1901 to prepare a bill governing the practice of nursing in New York state. This Nurse Registration Bill was signed into law in 1903, becoming the country's third Nurse Practice Act. The Association initiated major revisions of the bill, which were enacted in 1920, 1938, and 1972, each revision substantially strengthening and influencing the profession nationwide. Describing and protecting the distinct nature of nursing and protecting the public through the regulation of nursing practice continue to be at the heart of NYSNA's Legislative Program. Staff support for the Program began in 1931 when an Assistant Legislative Chairman was hired for the legislative session. Today a Director and Associate Director provide staff support for the Council on Legislation as it studies needs for legislative action; studies proposed legislation for its implications for nurses; advises the Board of Directors on legislative matters; and develops the Association's annual legislative program for submission to membership. Program initiatives have included preparation of NYSNA sponsored legislation, engagement in and coordination of lobbying efforts, provision of testimony, and sponsorship of educational programs on legislative issues and processes. Meeting records, correspondence, bill prints, memoranda of support and opposition, testimonies, reports, publications, and subject files document NYSNA's legislative priorities, lobbying efforts, and educational activities. Included are minutes and meeting materials for the Committee on Legislation, Council on Legislation, and other committees. Records on legislation sponsored or monitored by the Association include copies of bills, background information, and legislative alerts sent to members on specific issues. Testimonies given or prepared by staff or members on issues of concern to nurses, and publications prepared to inform the membership provide extensive information on NYSNA's position on a variety of issues. Topics heavily represented include the legal definition of nursing practice, third party reimbursement for nurses, entry into practice, continuing education and primary health care. Records documenting revisions of the Nurse Practice Act date from 1914.
Nursing Practice and Services Program Records, 1920-1990
43.75 linear linear feet
The New York State Nurses Association has had continuing and pervasive concern for and involvement in nursing practice and services issues. Throughout the early years, various committees were established to examine specific issues, and later Sections were established. In 1959 the Special Committee on Professional Nursing Practice was established to consider "improper nursing practice" and recommend action. The functions of the committee expanded to include working toward the understanding and acceptance of nursing as a professional practice; evaluating trends; and examining ethical, legal and professional standards. Made a standing committee in 1961, it later became the Council on Nursing Practice. The first staff position was created in 1968, and later two Associate Directors were added. Implementation of the Nursing Practice and Services Program has involved staffing numerous organizational units, collaborating with professional and community groups, representing NYSNA on statewide task forces and committees, publishing educational materials, providing testimony, and sponsoring seminars, conferences and workshops. Accomplishments of the program include ongoing examination of ethical issues and the establishment of a procedure for handling alleged violations of the Code of Ethics, implementation of the legal definition of nursing practice, and creation of a peer review model. Meeting records, correspondence, reports, publications, subject files and workshop and conference materials contain information on nursing's response to a variety of clinical issues such as hospice care, mental health, home care, AIDS, and childhood immunization, as well as professional issues such as the nursing shortage, legal and ethical issues, and nursing specialties. Minutes and other meeting records of the Council on Nursing Practice, Council on Ethical Practice, numerous organizational units ( sections, conference groups, functional units, clinical practice units, task forces, and committees) staffed by the Program document the Association's initiatives in all aspects of nursing practice. Committee records from the 1940s provide information on the profession's extensive activities during World War II. Also of interest are the Counseling, Placement and Professional Registries Program records which provide information on employment and nursing registries, and records of the Men's Section.
Economic and General Welfare Program Records, 1953-1990
509.75 linear feet
The Economic and General Welfare Program plays a vital role in the Association's struggle to upgrade the profession and the quality of health care available. The Program's beginnings can be traced to the Employment Conditions Program of the 1930s, which recorded and tried to improve the working conditions of nurses. A 1942 committee surveyed employment conditions, conducted institutes on personnel administration, and promoted sound personnel practices. In 1957 a House of Delegates resolution man- dated an aggressive Economic Security Program and by 1960 NYSNA was the exclusive collective bargaining representative for the New York City Department of Health and Hospitals, and rep- resented a total of sixteen bargaining units. In the 1970s NYSNA became the largest collective bargaining agent for registered nurses in the United States, with bargaining units throughout the state in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, visiting nurse and public health agencies. These bargaining units, entitled NYSNA Councils of Nursing Practitioners, became strong voices in establishing standards for nursing practice in their own health care facilities. Established in 1971 to advise the Board of Directors and the staff, the Council on Economic and General Welfare was dissolved in 1985 in response to court and the National Labor Relations Board decisions. In 1987 a Delegate Assembly was established to advance NYSNA's mission, provide an opportunity for mutual assistance to NYSNA Councils of Nursing Practitioners and assist the Councils' members and staff in fulfilling the mandate of the Program. Facility files contain information on organizing, negotiation, and contract administration at over 200 public and private health care facilities across New York, and document staff activities aimed at improving practice and employment conditions of nurses and upgrading the quality of health care through the collective bargaining process. Extensive information is included on salaries, working conditions, staffing, and grievance issues as well as on health care facilities, the health care industry in New York and NYSNA's relations with other labor organizations. Types of records include correspondence, minutes and meeting records, contracts, negotiation notes, clippings, arbitration and grievance files, newsletters, position descriptions, and reference materials. Also included are National Labor Relations Board briefs, correspondence and transcripts of proceedings, and Pension Plan and Benefits Fund records.
Research and Support Services Records, 1931-1992
53 linear feet, plus 358 microfiche and 12 videocassettes
NYSNA departments provide support services to programs, the Executive Director, and Deputy Executive Director. Departments include Membership Services, Organization Services, Planning and Research, Library and Records Management and Communications, Publications and Public Relations. Beginning with NYSNA's organizational meeting in 1901, committees com- posed of members were formed to plan and coordinate activities in response to specific needs. As the membership and complexity of the Association increased, these activities were assigned to staff or consultants. Eventually separate departments evolved. Membership Services processes all membership applications and renewals, and updates and maintains member profiles. Organization Services facilitates workshops, conventions and other special events, and promotes the Association and its benefits to potential members. Records Management and the Library jointly respond to the information needs of members, staff and the public. NYSNA's Planning and Research arm stimulates and facilitates nursing research, and assesses current and future needs of members and the nursing profession.
Membership Department records include membership cards and printouts; minutes and meeting records for various membership committees; membership processing policies and procedures, and records on special projects and demographics. Library and Records Management records include correspondence, memoranda, library guides, policy statements, bibliographies, records on staff participation in the Capital District Library Council and records on the development of a records management program. Organization Services records include correspondence, resource and planning materials utilized to coordinate exhibits, trips and other special projects; flyers produced for use in organizing health care facilities; and packets assembled for attendees of NYSNA's annual conventions. Planning and Research records provide information on research activities and efforts to promote nursing research. Included are correspondence and meeting materials for the Council on Nursing Research and records on special projects such as the oral history project. Communications, Publications and Public Relations Department records include correspondence, reports, press releases, flyers, public relations manuals, clippings, posters and photographs. Press releases, posters and flyers were prepared for specific NYSNA activities such as strikes, negotiations and special events. Photographs are of state and national nursing leaders, NYSNA conventions and meetings, conferences and receptions, and other activities such as rallies and strikes. Of particular note are photographs of the 1971 March on Albany and the 1972 signing of the Nurse Practice Act. Topics covered include Nurses Day and Nurses Week, nursing's image and the nursing shortage.
|Ann Archivist||May 1, 2000|
|S. Claus||Dec 25, 2005|
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