What is the AAHN about?

The American Association for the History of Nursing (AAHN) is a professional organization open to everyone interested in the history of nursing. Originally founded in 1978 as a historical methodology group, the association was briefly named the International History of Nursing Society. The purpose of the Association shall be to foster the importance of history as relevant to understanding the past, defining the present, and influencing the future of nursing by:

  • Stimulating national and international interest and collaboration in the history of nursing;
  • Educating nurses and the public regarding the history and heritage of the nursing profession;
  • Encouraging and supporting research in the history of nursing and recognizing outstanding scholarly achievement in nursing history;
  • Encouraging the collection, preservation, and use of materials of historical importance to nursing;
  • Serving as a resource for information about nursing history;
  • Producing and distributing educational materials related to the history and heritage of the nursing profession;
  • Promoting the inclusion of nursing history in nursing curricula;
  • Fostering interdisciplinary collaboration in history.

The Benefits of Membership

History provides current nurses with the same intellectual and political tools that determined nursing pioneers applied to shape nursing values and beliefs to the social context of their times. Nursing history is not an ornament to be displayed on anniversary days, nor does it consist of only happy stories to be recalled and retold on special occasions. Nursing history is a vivid testimony, meant to incite, instruct and inspire today's nurses as they bravely tread the winding path of a reinvented health care system.

To find out about these nursing pioneers and their efforts, join the American Association for the History of Nursing

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What's Happening?

The 2018 Call for Abstracts

35th Annual Nursing & Health Care History Conference 
San Diego, California 
September 13-15, 2018

The American Association for the History of Nursing and co-hosts Samuel Merritt University School of Nursing & San Diego State University School of Nursing are co-sponsoring the Association's 35th annual conference to be held in San Diego, CA. The conference provides a forum for researchers interested in sharing new research that addresses events, issues, and topics in any area of nursing and healthcare history, broadly construed to encompass the history of nursing, global nursing history, nursing practice, healthcare institutions, caring, illness, healing work and public health. Submissions pertaining to all areas and regions of the world are welcome. Papers and posters that expand the horizons of nursing and healthcare history and engage related fields such as women's labor, technology, economic history, and race and gender studies are encouraged.

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