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 association sponsors a Conference on Nursing History in the Fall of every year. Members receive the AAHN official publication, the annual Nursing History Review.   AAHN also offers four prestigious Awards for completed historical research, and post-doctoral grant and a research grant for students.

AAHN is a network of discovery that advances historical scholarship in nursing and healthcare and promotes the development of historians.

Promote the appreciation and scholarship of the history of nursing to inform and shape nursing's future.

AAHN Logo History


The 21st Century logo replaces the original logo designed by the founding members of AAHN and adopted in 1991. That logo was in the form of a "cipher,” a decorative interwoven presentation of the first letters in the association's name. The use of ciphers was common during the l8th Century.


The 1991 logo stood the test of time honorably. AAHN looks forward to the new logo working as well for AAHN as the original logo did for the Association’s first thirty years.