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NLN Creates Nursing Education Archive at Penn Nursing’s Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing

The National League for Nursing (NLN) and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing are joining forces to preserve the NLN’s rich history in an archival repository for scholarly historical research.

Once complete, the full archive will be housed at the Bates Center. The Philadelphia-based Independence Foundation is supporting this effort with a $100,000, four-year matching grant.

“The NLN’s history comprises a vital resource for scholars investigating nursing, nursing education, and nursing accreditation in the United States,” noted NLN president Anne Bavier, PhD, RN, FAAN. “It will tell a story of growth, expansion, and success that reflects the League’s longstanding role as the national and international voice of nursing education.”

The oldest nursing organization in the United States, founded in 1893, the NLN works across the spectrum of nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community.

The Archives Project began in 2013 with an extensive survey of NLN holdings. In February 2016, the project’s current phase began: processing and developing an archival repository of NLN significant paper records and documents, publications, educational material and statistical data, multi-media, biographical information about nurse leaders, and video recordings of annual proceedings.

“Through its matching grant with the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education, the Independence Foundation has created an exciting opportunity for NLN members to help fund the project,” said NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN. “League leadership, nursing school deans, directors, and faculty, and others among the NLN’s 40,000 individual and more than 1,200 institutional members met the $25,000 matching grant challenge in 2016.”

Added NLN Foundation Chair Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, FAAN “It is gratifying to see so many individuals and organizations eager to continue to match the dollars coming from the Independence Foundation of $25,000 a year through 2020 to honor this great organization and to preserve a rich and vibrant history. NLN scholarship and grant recipients since 2002, in particular, will continue to be encouraged to contribute to the preservation of the archive—a source they may use in their future research.”

“As the preeminent center for scholarship in nursing history, it is fitting that the Bates Center is home to these important historical materials from the NLN, so that the next generation of researchers will be able to access them,” said Patricia D’Antonio, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of the Bates Center. “The collection contains a vast trove of valuable information about the League; the history of nursing organizations and their leaders; and correspondence detailing trends and milestones.”

“The Independence Foundation is pleased to support this valuable work and excited about its potential to capture the rich nursing history of the NLN,” said foundation president and CEO, Susan Sherman, MA, RN, FAAN, and a fellow in the NLN’s Academy of Nursing Education. “We considered this an essential project to fund.”