In 1968, Anita M. Dorr, RN and Judith C. Kelleher, RN, working at opposite sides of the United States, perceived a need for nurses involved in emergency health care to pool their resources in order to set standards and develop improved methods of effective emergency nursing practice. In addition, they wished to provide continuing education programs for emergency nurses as well as a united voice for nurses involved in emergency care.
By 1970, Ms. Dorr had formed the Emergency Room Nurses Organization on the east coast and Ms. Kelleher had formed the Emergency Department Nurses Association on the west coast. The two groups joined forces and the Association was initially incorporated as the Emergency Department Nurses Association (EDNA) in Rochester, New York on December 1, 1970. The first National Association meeting was held in New York in 1971.
In 1985, the Association name was changed to Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), recognizing the practice of emergency nursing as role-specific rather than site-specific.
In 2005, the Association donated material documenting the history of the organization to the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry at the University of Virginia. A descriptive summary of the ENA Collection is available online at: http://www.nursing.virginia.edu. Part of the collection, including correspondence between the co-founders and early leaders, has been digitized and is available for online viewing.
Originally aimed at teaching and networking, the organization has evolved into an authority, advocate, lobbyist, and voice for emergency nursing. ENA has 40,000+ members and continues to grow, with members representing over 35 countries around the world.
ENA's Vision and Mission Statement
ENA's Vision Statement
ENA is indispensable to the global emergency nursing community.
ENA's Mission Statement
The mission of the Emergency Nurses Association is to advocate for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practice.
ENA 2012-2014 Strategic Plan and Beyond