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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GREATER CLEVELAND NURSES ASSN.

GREATER CLEVELAND NURSES ASSN.

The GREATER CLEVELAND NURSES ASSN. (GCNA), District #4 of the Ohio Nurses Assn., has continuously promoted the profession of NURSING in Cleveland under various names since its founding on May 28, 1900 (incorporated in 1909). A group of nurses created the GCNA to raise the profession's standards, to improve conditions for practicing nurses, to help furnish nurses to persons unable to pay, "to stimulate an interest in nursing affairs and to conduct a central registry." The group soon became known as the Graduate Nurses' Association Of initial importance was the central registry, which provided both hospitals and private patients with trained nurses until it closed in 1974. Fifty-five nurses were on the registry after the first year. The early association received financial aid from the ISABEL HAMPTON ROBB Memorial Committee. (Robb was a national leader in the nursing profession and a member of the Graduate Nurses' Assn. until her death in 1910.)

In June 1918 the association merged with the newly formed (November 1917) District #4 of the Ohio State Graduate Nurses' Association, which included the Cleveland area. Another group, the Visiting Nurse Club, also joined District #4 at this time. In 1921 the district filed new articles of incorporation, emphasizing education and increased efficiency in nursing care. During the 1930s the association called for the establishment of a nursing division in the State Department of Health and worked for proper salary and position recognition of nurses in PUBLIC HEALTH, and for an eight-hour day for private nurses working in hospitals (See HOSPITALS AND HEALTH PLANNING). During World War II, the GCNA worked with agencies such as the American Red Cross and the Ohio Council of Defense. After the war, and into the 1970s, the association established committees for nurses working in specialized areas such as industrial nursing, nurse practitioners, cardiovascular nursing, and public health, and created a Psychiatric-Mental Health Practice Division (1971). In the 1970s and 1980s, the association increased its public-health awareness programs and advocated the rights of nurses in the workplace. As an example, in 1969 the GCNA passed a resolution supporting collective bargaining by nurses at ST. VINCENT CHARITY HOSPITAL. The association has also supported legal action against employers who discriminate against nurses as WOMEN. In 1995 the Greater Cleveland Nurses Association had 1,061 members.


Greater Cleveland Nurses Assn. Records, WRHS.

See also MEDICINE.


Finding aid for the Greater Cleveland Nurses Association Records, Series III. WRHS.