50th Anniversary

Reflecting on Key Moments in the Academy's History

Presentation from the 2022 Health Policy Conference



50 Years of Academy Leadership

Academy Charter Members


President's Message

Kenneth R. White, American Academy of Nursing President

Excerpt from October 2022 FAAN Mail

As I think about the rich depth of expertise within the Academy, like those who serve on the Academy’s Expert Panels, I am reminded of the organization’s origins. I had a chance to re-read the American Academy of Nursing 25th Anniversary report, Raising the Standard: The Role of the AAN in Transforming the Nursing Profession. The American Academy of Nursing was formed to provide visionary leadership for the nursing profession. While a key impetus for creating the Academy was to formally recognize “personal achievements and superior performance in nursing,” the founders envisioned the structure as a…

 “working body which would operate in a climate in which current systems, ideas and practices may be challenged, new ideas in nursing and other fields explored, and the experimentation and innovation in nursing encouraged.”

Nursing leaders came together to draft a charge and vision for the Academy that still holds true today— challenge, explore, innovate. And yet, the history books tell us more. The initial concept of the Academy can be traced back to 1946 in a report to the American Nurses Association. The idea was revived in 1964 and later the 1966 bylaws of the ANA ratified an Academy. It was not until 1973 that Charter Members began the work. To think, 76 years ago, nursing visionaries knew that a collective body of nursing knowledge would be critical to advancing the health of the public is awe-inspiring. The Academy has not strayed from this direction, but has worked to modernize how it operates in an ever-changing climate.