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Kansas State Nurses' Association Records

Kansas State Nurses AssociationManuscript Collection No. 162



The initial donation of the Kansas State Nurses’ Association Records came into the possession of the Manuscripts Department on 17 July 1984. Several additions have followed and are noted on the primary entry card. The Manuscripts Department, Kansas State historical Society, has been delegated the official repository of the archives for this organization and more additions to this collection are expected.

The material within this collection depicts the history of KSNA from its fledgling organization, the Kansas Association of Graduate Nurses, up to 1981. Its purpose has been to promote the general welfare of all nurses and to work for the advancement of educational standards of the nursing profession in Kansas. This history is documented in the correspondence, membership manuals, minutes of meetings, reports and other related material saved by the Association over the last seventy-two years.


The Kansas State Nurses’ Association was organized in 1912 in an effort to persuade the Kansas Legislature to enact a Nurse’s Registration Law. This legislation was necessary to protect the nursing profession in Kansas from an influx of unqualified nurses from states that had a registration act. In this case a graduate nurse meant someone who had undergone training for two years at a school of nursing.

The Kansas Association of Graduate Nurses first met at Philharmony Hall in Wichita, Kansas on 8 February 1912 (the name was changed to the Kansas State Nurses’ Association in 1917). The attendants created a constitution and by-laws that stated their intention to create a more professional atmosphere and standard curriculum for nurses statewide. However, the primary objective of this first meeting was to organize a lobby to promote the Nurse's Registration Bill. Over the years KSNA has continued its active role in lobbying the state legislature when conditions have warranted such action.

In their efforts to improve professional and educational standards, the Association has supported the creation of a nurses training school at the University of Kansas, the modification of statewide salary structures, and numerous committee reports on the improvement of nursing methods.

Scope and Content

The records of the Kansas State Nurses' Association present the recorded history of the KSNA from its inception in 1912 to 1981. Notable activities include early battles for acceptance with nurses across the state, lobbying the Kansas Legislature to enact a Nurse's Registration Law, standardizing educational requirements for nursing students, and an effort to raise Kansas salaries to the national averages. This history is recorded in such items as the Association 's constitution, by-laws, membership lists and manuals, minutes of annual meetings, and scattered correspondence. Through these sources it is possible to trace the existence of KSNA from its local beginnings in Wichita to its statewide influence over the last seven decades.

In addition to the history of nursing in Kansas, these records also portray KSNA's affiliation with the American Nursing Federation and American Nurses’ Association through reports, manuals, and correspondence from these two organizations.

These records are also an important source for the study of the history of women during the twentieth century, as women dominated the nursing profession. Documentation of early nursing methods, apparel and hospital conditions provide information on the working conditions endured by women as nurses. The KSNA collection also represents an organization that was founded and run predominately by women.

Contents List

Series Description

This collection consists of nine series: correspondence, manuals, membership lists, minutes, miscellaneous, publications, receipts, reports, and scrapbooks. The different types of material includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, manuals, receipts, minutes of board meetings, by-laws, programs and invitations to annual meetings, reports, and proclamations. The majority of the material is in its original form with photocopies used in place of originals when the poor condition of the latter was beyond preservation. Material was kept in its original order when possible. The organization is as follows:

The correspondence series can be found in boxes 1 and 2 with the inclusive dates 1959-1977, and is divided into two subseries. The first subseries pertains to correspondence concerning the American Nurses’ Foundation. This material is in chronological order and includes some clippings, pamphlets, and forms from ANF received as enclosures. The second subseries is composed of material collected by Florence Nelson from 1969-1977. Nelson served as editor of The Kansas Nurse from 1964-1971 and much of the material in this subseries pertains to her work in this position. In both cases the correspondence is filed in chronological order with unattached material arranged by type and date at the end of each subseries. Correspondence relating to KSNA prior to 1954 can be found in Volume 1 in the scrapbook series with additional correspondence spread throughout scrapbook volumes 2-7. This series is described in more detail below. The absence of a comprehensive correspondence file is one of the few weaknesses of this collection.

The second series consists of a group of manuals located in boxes 2 and 3 with inclusive dates 1948-1968. These manuals pertain primarily to the American Nurses’ Association and the Kansas State Nurses’ Association as one of its tributary organizations. The manuals outline the organizational structure of KSNA and explain its relationship to ANA. The series is divided into three subseries: membership, miscellaneous, and education. The membership manuals are arranged by organization (i.e. ANA and KSNA). Included in this subseries is an ANA manual for committee chairmen and vice-chairmen, registry manual, and membership manual, while for KSNA there is a membership manual for 1947. Miscellaneous manuals like membership materials are divided by ANA and KSNA. In both cases these manuals deal with situations like organizing district and local associations, recruitment of volunteers, model forms, budget keeping procedures, and other related functions of both organizations. The final folder of this series comprises the subseries for education. Included in this folder is a nursing curriculum manual that outlines teaching theories and practices for schools of nursing.

The smallest series in this collection is the one folder of material in box 3 labeled"Membership List." This list is a roster of the founding KSNA members. The list also provides a useful source to plot the early growth of the Association and the significance of any geographic patterns of the membership. Other information includes the member's place of employment and the school from which they graduated. Only new members are listed after 1916.

The meeting minutes of the KSNA Board of Directors for 1912-1972 constitute the largest series of the collection. This material is in boxes 4 through 8. Aside from being the largest part of the collection, this material is probably the most important. The minute books record the primary activities of the Association from 1912 to 1972, through which it is possible to trace the growth of KSNA and its standing in the medical community. Included in this series is the constitution, by-laws and member names for 1912, which is followed by the meeting minutes for the Board of Directors through 1972. The material is in chronological order with a gap of four years from 1928-1931. In folder 162.4.4 there is material on the history of the Association up to 1927.

The "Miscellaneous" series begins with box 8 and continues in box 9 and includes materials unlike those forming the other series. Included are copies of by-laws and constitutions from KSNA and other nursing associations, programs and invitations to annual meetings and special honorary dinners, and other miscellaneous items.

As with the other series in this collection, the miscellaneous series is divided into subseries. The four subseries are by-laws, history, programs and invitations, and miscellaneous. The subseries on by-laws is arranged with copies of KSNA by-laws first, followed by by-laws from other nursing organizations, and the registration of nurse's pamphlets.

The history subseries contains several papers on KSNA prepared at different times over the last several decades. The programs and invitations subseries ranges from 1912-1970. The miscellaneous subseries is composed of clippings, several notes concerning recognition dinners, some graduation photos, and a newsletter contest. Oversize miscellaneous follows the scrapbook series in box 15, which includes presidential and gubernatorial proclamations from the 1970s.

The sixth series is composed of publications. Represented in this series are the Bulletin, 1927-1940; Convention News, 1959-1961; Legislative Update, 1984; and miscellaneous KSNA pamphlets. Additional publications are available in the “scrapbook” series from 1912-1954. The KSHS reference library holds many KSNA publications including a complete set of The Kansas Nurse.

The “Receipts” series is composed of two volumes of KSNA general business receipts during 1974 and 1975. These receipts provide a clear picture of the fiscal responsibilities of the Association .

The "Reports" series consists of studies done in partnership with KSNA on such topics as nursing needs in small Kansas towns, nursing needs in Kansas, salary structure of the nursing profession in the state, and a few committee annual reports. The reports begin in 1953 and proceed through 1972. These studies provide a useful source for identifying the quality of the nursing profession in Kansas and statistics on the numbers of nurses throughout the state. All reports are filed in chronological order and a complete list is available in the container list at the conclusion of this note.

The final series consists of nine scrapbook volumes from 1941-1958 in boxes 12 through 15. In addition to newspaper clippings, the scrapbooks for 1941-1953 also include correspondence and publications and other related material on the history of the Association . Volumes 1-8 consist of material compiled by a KSNA member for the years 1941-1958, excluding the years 1942-1946 and 1954. The first seven volumes include correspondence, pamphlets, programs, clippings and other related material for the years 1941-1953. Volume 8 includes only clippings for the years 1955-1958. The ninth volume consists of brochures, correspondence, and applications for graduate schools of nursing for 1953 from across the country. A table of contents is available on page three of this volume.

Following the scrapbooks is one folder of “Miscellaneous Oversize” which has been described in the portion of this note pertaining to the “Miscellaneous” series.

Box and Folder List

Box/Folder Description
162.1.1        Correspondence, American Nurses' Foundation, 1959-1960
162.1.2        Correspondence, ANF, 1961
162.1.3        Correspondence, ANF, 1961
162.1.4        Correspondence, ANF, 1961
162.1.5        Correspondence, ANF, 1962
162.1.6        Correspondence, ANF, 1962
162.1.7        Correspondence, ANF, 1962
162.1.8        Correspondence, ANF, 1962
162.1.9        Correspondence, ANF, 1963
162.1.10    Correspondence, ANF, 1964
162.1.11    Correspondence, ANF, Fragments
162.2.1        Correspondence, ANF, Clippings, 1960-1961
162.2.2        Correspondence, ANF, Pamphlets, 1961-1964
162.2.3        Correspondence, ANF, Forms, n.d.
162.2.4        Correspondence, Florence Nelson, 1969, 1974-1976
162.2.5        Correspondence, F. Nelson, Writings, 1976, n.d.
162.2.6        Correspondence, F. Nelson, Biographies, c. 1977
162.2.7        Correspondence, F. Nelson, Photographs, 1962-1977
162.2.8        Manuals, Membership, American Nurses' Association - Kansas
  Nurses' Association Committee Chairman Manual, 1948-1950
162.2.9        Manuals, Membership, ANA-KSNA Committee Chairman
  Manual, 1948-1950
162.2.10    Manuals, Membership, ANA-KSNA Committee Chairman
  Manual, 1948-1950
162.2.11    Manuals, Membership, ANA-KSNA Committee Chairman
  Manual, 1948-1950
162.2.12    Manuals, Membership, ANA-KSNA Committee Chairman
  Manual, 1948-1950
162.3.1        Manuals, Membership, ANA-KSNA Committee Vice-
  Chairman Manual, 1951
162.3.2        Manuals, Membership, ANA-KSNA Committee Vice-
  Chairman Manual, 1951
162.3.3        Manuals, Membership, American Nurses' Association
  Registry Manual, 1966
162.3.1                    Manuals, Membership, American Nurses' Association -Kansas
  State Nurses' Association Membership Manual, 1967
162.3.2                    Manuals, Membership, Kansas State Nurses' Association , 1967
162.3.3                    Manuals, Membership, Analysis of Kansas State Nurses'
  Association Membership, 1960-1962
162.3.4                    Manuals, Miscellaneous, American Nurses' Association ,
162.3.5                    Manuals, Miscellaneous, ANA, 1950s-1960s
162.3.6                    Manuals, Miscellaneous, Kansas State Nurses' Association ,
162.3.7                    Miscellaneous, Education, Nursing SPELL Manual, n.d.
162.3.8                    Membership Lists, 1916-1920
162.4.1                    Minutes, Kansas State Nurses' Association , 1912-1919
162.4.2                    Minutes, KSNA, 1919-1921
162.4.3                    Minutes, KSNA, 1922-1927
162.4.4                    Minutes, KSNA, 1927 (revised)
162.4.5                    Minutes, Kansas State Nurses' Association , 1932-1946
162.5.1                    Minutes, KSNA, 1947-1958
162.5.2                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1958
162.5.3                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1959
162.5.4                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1960
162.5.5                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1961
162.5.6                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1962
162.6.1                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1963
162.6.2                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1964
162.6.3                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1965
162.6.4                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1966
162.6.5                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1967
162.6.6                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1967
162.7.1                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1968
162.7.2                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1968
162.7.3                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1969
162.7.4                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1969
162.7.5                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1970
162.7.6                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1970
162.7.7                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1971
162.7.8                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1971
162.8.1                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1972
162.8.2                    Minutes, KSNA, Board of Director's, 1972
162.8.1                          Miscellaneous, By-Laws, Kansas State Nurses Association ,
  1912-1953; Miscellaneous By-Laws, 1924-1938;
  Registration of Nurses, 1916-1947
162.8.2                          Miscellaneous, History
162.8.3                          Miscellaneous, Programs and Invitations, 1912-1929
162.8.4                          Miscellaneous, Programs and Invitations, 1930-1939
162.8.5                          Miscellaneous, Programs and Invitations, 1940-1949
162.8.6                          Miscellaneous, Programs and Invitations, 1940-1949
162.8.7                          Miscellaneous, Programs and Invitations, Miscellaneous
162.9.1                          Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous, Newsletter Contest, 1958-1960
162.9.2                          Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous, Graduation Material, 1958-1960
162.9.3                          Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous, Steg Recognition Dinner, 1971
162.9.4                          Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous, Clippings
162.9.5                          Miscellaneous, Miscellaneous
162.9.6                          Publications, Bulletin, 1927-1928
162.9.7                          Publications, Bulletin, 1927-1928
162.9.8                          Publications, Bulletin, 1927-1933
162.9.9                          Publications, Bulletin, 1934-1940
162.10.1                      Publications, Convention News, 1959-1961
162.10.2                      Publications, Legislative Update, 1984
162.10.3                      Publications, Pamphlets
162.10.4                      Receipts, 1974
162.10.5                      Receipts, 1975
162.10.6                      Reports, "Study of.Professional Nurses in Small Kansas
  Towns," 1953
162.10.7                      Reports, "Kansas State Nurses' Association Report of
  Committee., " 1959
162.10.8                      Reports, "Survey Report.Nursing Needs. in Kansas," 1958
162.10.9                      Reports, "Committee to Study Nursing Needs and Resources
  in Kansas," 1961
162.11.1                      Reports, "Report of Implementation Committee," 1963
162.11.2                      Reports, "Annual Reports from Kansas State Nurses'
  Association Committees," 1968
162.11.3                      Reports, "Annual Reports from KSNA Committees," 1969
162.11.4                      Reports, "Annual Reports from KSNA Committees," 1970
162.11.5                      Reports, "Kansas Consortium for Health Education, Inc., 1972
162.12 v.1 Scrapbooks, 1941
  v. 2 Scrapbooks, 1947
  v. 3 Scrapbooks, 1947-1948
162.13 v.4 Scrapbooks, 1948-1949
  v.5 Scrapbooks, 1950-1951
  v.6 Scrapbooks, 1952
162.14 v.7 Scrapbooks, 1952-1953
  v.8 Scrapbooks, 1955-1958
162.15 v.9 Scrapbooks, 1953
  Miscellaneous, Oversize, Proclamations, 1971-1979