History

History

The Minnesota Nurses Association has a long and proud history of advocating for patients, public health, and the nursing profession. Nurses have been at the forefront of every health, social justice, and nursing profession movement since the 1800s.

MNA traces its roots to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when many nurses were private duty nurses and not required to have proper training and qualifications. Deplorable working conditions and the need to protect the public from those who claimed to be trained nurses propelled nursing leaders to form a professional organization to establish a code of ethics, elevate standards of nursing, and promote the interests of nurses.

Nursing school graduates 1884
Nursing school graduates 1884

MNA began life as the Minnesota State Graduate Nurses Association in 1905, leading the movement for licensing and the standardization of nursing education. Just two years later, MSGNA secured the first law for the state registration licensing of nurses.

Minnesota nurses have never looked back, continuing that proud tradition of leading the way on critical issues like public health, nursing education standards, women’s right to vote, civil rights, the 40-hour work week, Medicare and Medicaid, workplace safety, single-payer healthcare, women’s rights, and the creation of MinnesotaCare – and many more.

To learn more about MNA’s history, check out highlights from the past 100+ years.