Highlights of Nursing in Virginia
About This Resource
"Highlights of Nursing in Virginia" was originally compiled by Mabel E. Montgomery, RN, Katherine R. Gary, RN and Marie Schmidt, RN, members of the Special Anniversary Observances Committee of the Virginia Nurses' Association and published in 1975. Under the guidance of Evelyn C. Bacon, Chair of the VNA History Committee, revisions were begun to the "Highlights" in the 1990s. This edition was completed by the Joint History Committee of the Virginia Nurses' Association and the Virginia League of Nursing, under the leadership of Corinne F. Dorsey in November of 2000.
The Nurses Settlement of Richmond, the forerunner of the Instructive Visiting Nurses Association, was established in fall of 1900 at 108 North 7th Street, Richmond, by Sadie Heath Cabaniss. The Nurses Settlement was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide a home for trained nurses, free instruction classes in home nursing and medical and surgical services to the poor without cost.
Under the leadership Sadie Heath Cabaniss, a group of nurses met on June 13, 1901, at the Nurses Settlement in Richmond "to organize the Virginia State Association of Nurses with the purpose in view of elevating the standard of the nursing profession, strengthening their power and usefulness by cooperating and mutual interest, and obtaining legal recognition as a professional body."
On May 14, 1903 Governor Andrew Jackson Montague signed the bill enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia to provide for the registration of nurses. At the Third Annual Meeting of the Virginia State Association of Nurses held in Charlottesville four days later the association elected twelve nurses whose names were presented to the Governor for possible appointment to the first Board of Nursing. From this list, the Governor appointed Sadie Heath Cabaniss, Nannie Minor, Leah deLancey, Jean Glasgow and Margaret Watkins. The State Board of Examiners of Graduate Nurses met for the first time on October 14, 1903 at the Nurses Settlement and developed a form for application for a certificate and adopted rules and regulations.
At the Annual Convention on May 24-26, 1904, at St. Vincent's Hospital, Norfolk, the state association voted to affiliate with the Nurses' Associated Alumnae of the United States (later the American Nurses Association). Leah deLancey Hanger was appointed as a delegate to the National Convention to be held in the District of Columbia in 1905.
The first written examination, held on December 15, 1904, at Memorial Hospital, Richmond, was conducted by Sadie Heath Cabaniss and Leah deLancey Hanger. Ten nurses wrote on the following subjects: Materia Medica, Urinalysis, Practical Nursing, Surgery, Gynecology, Dietetics, Contagious Diseases, Obstetrics and Infants and Children. Nine candidates passed.
Rosa Van Vort presented a paper on a sick benefit fund for nurses at the annual meeting of the Virginia State Association of Nurses (VSAN). A committee was appointed to "take charge of this matter."
The VSAN changed its name to the Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV).
The Board of Examiners of Nurses developed the first criteria to be used when members of the Board inspected the training schools.
The annual dues of Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia were raised to two dollars with one dollar to go to the Sick Benefit Fund making each member of Association a potential beneficiary of the Fund.
The Nurses' Associated Alumnae of the United States held its tenth annual convention in Richmond, May 14-16, 1907.
Catawba Sanatorium, outside Roanoke, established a two year program to train tuberculosis nurses in 1910.
Julia Mellichamp, a member of the Board since 1913, was elected Secretary-Treasurer and was paid $65 a month to file the records of the Board of Examiners of Nurses during the summer months.
The first charter of the Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) was issued March 19, 1914.
Stuart Circle Hospital, Richmond, hired the first full-time nursing instructor for a school of nursing in Virginia.
Catawba Cottage opened in July 1915. The cottage was to accept student or graduate nurses, nurses in good or ill repute, any women who had been occupied with nursing and who were now sick with tuberculosis. The Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) established an endowment fund to support the cost of one of the six beds in the nursing cottage.
District associations were organized along the lines suggested by the American Nurses' Association.
To help meet the shortage of nurses due to World War I, the Virginia General Assembly authorized a one year course for training and licensing nurse attendants. Training programs were eventually established throughout the state.
The organizational meeting of the Virginia State League of Nursing Education (VSLNE) was held in January 1918.
Ethel Smith, a member of the Board of Examiners of Nurses, was elected to the positions of Secretary-Treasurer and Inspector of Training Schools at a salary of $100 per month. Her home at Craigsville served as the headquarters for the Board and all records were retained there during her tenure as Secretary-Treasurer.
The Nurse Practice Act was revised to provide for annual renewal of nurses' licenses to "distinguish them from undergraduates and untrained women." The law which authorized the licensure of attendants through July 1, 1922 was reenacted and provided for improved training programs.
At the 1922 GNAV convention concern was expressed regarding the relationship of Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) to the Virginia State League of Nursing Education (VSLNE). It was thought by many that the two organizations had conflicting aims. The VSLNE was disbanded in 1923.
During this five-year period the Association raised $50,000 to establish a Chair of Nursing at the University of Virginia to honor Sadie Heath Cabaniss.
A five year combined academic and nursing course for students in Richmond leading to a baccalaureate degree was offered at Richmond Professional Institute-College of William and Mary. Stuart Circle Hospital School of Nursing participated in this program until it was discontinued in 1956.
Nina Gage directed the amalgamation of the Hampton Training School of Nurses at Dixie Hospital with Hampton Institute and attempted to establish the first baccalaureate nursing education program in Virginia. No evidence of any graduates with B.S. degrees has been located to date.
The Board of Examiners of Nurses set high school graduation as a requirement for admission to all schools of nursing in Virginia.
Jessie Wetzel Faris was appointed part-time Executive Secretary of the Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) with an office in her home on Church Hill in Richmond.
The Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) first published "Bits of News" in January 1933.
The Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists (VANA) was organized in 1935. VANA was the 8 state association to become a constituent of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
Dr. Julian Woodson, State Senator from Amherst and Nelson Counties, introduced legislation to abolish the Board of Nurse Examiners as it existed and to create a six member board comprised of three registered nurses and three registered physicians. Nurses united to oppose the bill and it was defeated by the General Assembly.
The Education Section of Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) voted to become the Virginia League of Nursing Education in November 1937. This organization was accepted as a constituent of the National League of Nursing Education in May 1938.
Many Virginia nurses who were enrolled as American Red Cross nurses were called to military nursing service as World War II began.
Dr. Ennion G. Williams, Virginia's first State Health Commissioner, presented a five star pearl studded pin to Nancy Vance in recognition of her development of the Five Point Health Program for children in Virginia schools. After her death in 1942, Ellen Smith, a close friend of Nancy Vance, presented the pin to Richmond Professional Institute to be awarded annually to an outstanding public health nurse. When the public health course at RPI was discontinued the pin was given to the Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) to present as an award to a nurse who had rendered valuable service to nursing in Virginia.
National Councils for War Service were organized in all districts. As a result of the large numbers of nurses entering military service, the recruitment of nursing students was intensified and refresher courses for inactive nurses were initiated. Extra State Board examinations were scheduled so that nurses could enter the military service sooner. Courses for lay groups were developed.
Frances Payne Bolton, congresswoman from Ohio, sponsored a bill creating the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps on July 1, 1943. The U.S. Cadet Corps became the Student War Nursing Reserve and was administered by the Surgeon General with Lucille Petry, RN, as Director. Virginia schools of nursing participated in this program which terminated on October 15, 1945.
The first four year baccalaureate nursing program in Virginia was established at Hampton Institute.
The changes in the nursing law authorized the Board of Nurse Examiners to license practical nurses and to approve the educational programs preparing individuals to become licensed practical nurses for the first time definitions of nursing appeared in the law. Other amendments deleted the category of licenses attendant and, for the first time in law, authorized the licensure of certified tuberculosis nurses. The Board of Nurse Examiners had been licensing CTNs since 1926 by regulation. Membership in the Board was expanded to six with the addition of a licensed practical nurse, Alice Nelson.
The Norfolk City Schools and Leigh Memorial Hospital School of practical nursing, cosponsored by a community hospital and a local school division, admitted students in 1946. There were students studying practical nursing at Manassas High School, but those students transferred to the program in Norfolk to complete their education. Later in the year, a school of practical nursing was established in Richmond cosponsored by the public schools and the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals.
Licensed practical nurses from Virginia met at the Hotel John Marshall in Richmond on April 19, 1947 to establish the Licensed Practical Nurses Association of Virginia (LPNAV). Two days later, African-American licensed practical nurses met at Hood Temple Methodist Church in Richmond to organize the Virginia Colored Practical Nurses Association (VCPNA).
The Southern Division of the ANA met in Richmond at the John Marshall Hotel May 6-8, 1947.
The Board of Examiners of Nurses first used the national standardized State Board Test Pool Examination for all candidates for licensure as registered nurses in October 1948.
At the request of the Legislative Committee of the Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) a bill to provide scholarship funds for nursing was passed by the General Assembly in 1948. Legislation passed in 1950 authorized funds for nursing students in schools of nursing connected with non-profit hospitals in Virginia.
The GNAV established a scholarship fund in honor of two past Secretary-Treasurers of the Virginia State Board of Examiners of Nurses to be awarded to registered nurses wishing to continue their education. One dollar per capita from the annual membership dues was used to maintain the fund.
The name of the VLNE was changed to the Virginia League for Nursing (VLN) when five national nursing organizations were restructured to create the National League for Nursing.
On October 11, 1952, one hundred and four student nurses from twenty-four of the schools of nursing in Virginia met in Richmond and organized the Student Nurse Association of Virginia.
On January 1, 1953, the Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) became the 45th state nurses association to integrate its membership.
Virginia Intermont College in Bristol and the Norfolk State College in Norfolk were pilot associate degree nursing programs in the United States.
The Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) changed the name of its official journal to the Virginia Nurse Quarterly
At the recommendations of the GNAV District Presidents the name of the association was changed to the Virginia State Nurses Association (VSNA).
The Appropriation Act of 1958 provided for five scholarships of $1,000 each for registered nurses. These scholarships were to be used for preparation for teaching and supervision in schools of nursing.
The Virginia League for Nursing (VLN) initiated a scholarship program for nursing students in 1960 by awarding two to four scholarships annually.
The Board of Directors of Virginia State Nurses Association (VSNA) on January 26, 1962, voted to support the American Nurses Association Goal III and encouraged district nurses associations to discuss the issue. Goal III was "To insure that within the next 20 to 30 years the education basic to the professional practice of nursing, for those who enter the profession, shall be secured in a program that provides for intellectual, technical and cultural components of both a professional and liberal education. Toward this end the ANA shall promote the Baccalaureate Program so that in due course it becomes the basic educational foundation for professional nursing."
The name of the association was changed from Virginia State Nurses' Association to the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA).
At the 1963 convention, the members of the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) voted to adopt an Economic Security Program. A standing committee on economic and general welfare was established.
The Federal Vocational Education Act of 1963 made money available for the construction of local and regional vocational centers to offer education in various occupations for high school students. One of the occupations included in many of these centers was practical nursing and within five years seventeen new practical nursing programs were opened.
The Virginia General Assembly revised the Medical Practice Act to make legal provisions for registered nurses to do intravenous injections.
The University of Virginia Board of Visitors in February 1966 established the Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professorship of Nursing. Mary M. Lohr, Dean of the School of Nursing, was the first to hold this professorship.
Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr., appointed the Governor's Committee on Nursing in 1966. Six nurses served on the committee which was to study the number of nurses needed in the state at that time and over a ten year period. Other committee charges included the identification of types of educational programs needed, methods of recruitment of students into the educational programs and ways of attracting inactive nurses back into the profession. The report was published in 1969. One of the significant results of this study was an unprecedented opportunity for nurses and nursing to be involved in health care planning.
The General Assembly established Virginia's Community College System in 1966. A master plan for associate degree nursing education programs was developed and the first of these opened at Northern Virginia Community College in that year.
The Medical College of Virginia on March 20, 1967, received approval from the Virginia State Council of Higher Education to initiate a masters program in Nursing. The first programs offered were the masters in medical-surgical and public health nursing beginning in 1968.
This project was made possible by a contract between the U.S. Public Health Service, Bureau of Health Manpower and the Virginia Nurses' Association. The overall plan was to increase the supply of health manpower by locating, recruiting and expanding educational programs for inactive health personnel.
The Allstate Foundation provided $2,000 a year to support the Virginia League for Nursing (VLN) Scholarship Program from 1968 through 1984. The VLN continued the program after the funds were no longer available from Allstate.
The Continuing Education Program of the Medical College of Virginia offered educational television programs of special interest to nurses in Norfolk, Richmond, and Roanoke.
From the onset of establishing the Regional Medial Programs, the main purpose was to stimulate, expedite and assist in the education of health care personnel. Nursing became involved with the appointment by Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr. of Donna S. Baber, RN to the VRMP Advisory Board. VNA sponsored a proposal for "Continuing Education for Nursing Personnel" through VRMP.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) dissolved the Agnes D. Randolph Fund and the Josephine McLeod and Ethel Smith Memorial Award Fund. The bylaws of the VNA were amended to establish the Smith-McLeod-Montgomery Fund, Inc. The newly created fund honored the three nurses who served a total of 50 years as secretary-treasurer of the Virginia State Board of Examiners of Nurses--Ethel Smith, Josephine McLeod and Mabel Montgomery.
At last Virginia joined the other states having mandatory nursing laws. The new nurse practice act specified that all who nurse for compensation must have a current license. The position of Executive Secretary, an employee of the Board of Nursing was created eliminating the need of having a board member serve as paid secretary-treasurer. Mabel Montgomery resigned her membership on the board to become the first Executive Secretary of the Virginia State Board of Nursing.
The Virginia Regional Medical Program (VRMP) received a federal grant in the amount of $88, 296 to fund a statewide program of continued education for nursing personnel from June 10, 1970, through December 30, 1970. The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) administered the project, and nurse coordinators were responsible for the local programs on heart disease, cancer, stroke, and related diseases.
The Board of Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) approved the recommendation of the Nursing Practice Committee that the Association initiate the establishment of an Interdisciplinary Practice Council comprised of representatives from the VNA, the Virginia Hospital Association, Virginia Pharmaceutical Association and the Medical Society of Virginia and that the Council make recommendations concerning the congruent roles of physicians and nurses in providing quality health care. The group first met at VNA Headquarters on March 15, 1971.
The Virginia Section of the Nurses' Association of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (NAACOG) was established in Virginia.
The Licensed Practical Nurses Association of Virginia and the Virginia Colored Practical Nurses Association merged following a joint session at the Hotel Roanoke to form the Virginia Licensed Practical Nurse Association (VLPNA).
At the 1972 Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) convention, the membership adopted a resolution calling for nurses to be appointed to various commissions and boards of state government involved in the delivery of health care.
The University of Virginia received funding from the Virginia Regional Medical Program (VRMP) to support the establishment of a family nurse practitioner program within the School of Medicine. The University of Virginia School of Nursing prepared the first nurse practitioners with masters degrees when, in 1972, the students enrolled in the pediatric track of the masters program parcticipated in courses in the Pedicatric Nurse Clinician Program that was subsequently known as the Nurse Practitioner Program.
Fostine G. Riddick, Director, Division of Nursing, Hampton Institute became the first nurse to serve on the State Board of Health.
At the direction of the General Assembly, the Health Department conducted a Study of Assistants to Physicians and Dentists. The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) and the Virginia State Board of Nursing were represented on the study group. A major recommendation resulted in an amendment to the Medical Practice Act in 1973, which authorized a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse to render medical or health services "under the supervision of a duly licensed physician" when the services were authorized by regulations jointly promulgated and implemented by the Virginia State Board of Medicine and Virginia State Board of Nursing.
Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) and the Medical Society of Virginia agreed to form a joint practice committee comprised of eight members of each for the discussion of issues related to overlapping practice.
The Virginia Organization of Nurse Executives was established to give nursing administrators an opportunity for closer interaction with their peers.
The Virginia State Boards of Nursing and Medicine adopted regulations governing the certification of nurse practitioners. The initial regulations included certification for nurse practitioners in several categories and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. Certified Nurse-Midwives were added in 1976.
Virginia nurses looking for assistance from Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) in collective bargaining sponsored a resolution to explore the organization of the Virginia Nurses Economic Security Council (VNESCO). VNA also revised its bylaws to separate the collective bargaining process from the overall program of VNA. This separation occurred because of changes in the National Labor Relations Act eliminated the exemption of non-profit hospitals.
Last issue of the official Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) publication under the name Virginia Nurse Quarterly was published in the winter of 1975.
VNA established VNESCO as a structural unit within the organization with an elected representative from each district. Local units would assist with the development and administration of the collective bargaining process.
The spring issue of the official publication of the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) was issued with the new name Virginia Nurse. A newsletter, VNA News, was published between issues of the journal.
The Richmond Consortium on Patient Education (RCOPE) was organized in 1976. This was the first consortium for patient education in the United States.
The Department of Health Regulatory Boards was created by the General Assembly in 1977. This action was sought by six independent boards: Dentistry; Funeral Directors and Embalmers; Medicine; Nursing; Optometry; and Pharmacy; and by the Board of Veterinary Medicine which previously was located within the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Licensure.
Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr. declared the first Salute to Nursing Week for May 1-7 beginning the annual practice of recognition of nursing in the Commonwealth in the spring.
Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) sold its headquarters building in 1978 and moved to rented quarters in a building owned by the Virginia Pharmaceutical Association.
Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) adopted a resolution in opposition to the marketing of Chelsea, a soft drink that resembled beer bottled by Anheuser Busch. VNA and its Districts issued news releases for the media showing their concern for advertising directed at children and teenagers. In response to a letter to the President of Anheuser Busch, the company suspended its promotional campaign and indicated it would take steps to alter the product so that it would not resemble an alcoholic beverage.
The teachers and supervisors in health occupations in the public schools of Virginia joined together to form the Virginia Health Occupations Educators Association in 1978. Formerly a part of the Trade and Industrial Education Division of the Virginia Vocational Association, the organizers believed the goals of the group could be better met within a division separate from the other trade and industrial offerings within vocational education Its purpose was to promote the development and advancement of health occupations education, to encourage the growth and development of those engaged in the field, and to support the programs and objectives of the Virginia Vocational Association.
Through bylaw changes Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) eliminated the Economic and General Welfare Committee in an effort to clarify their role in collective bargaining.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) was on the inactive list of labor organizations with the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Labor but not with the United States Department of Labor. C. Hobson Goddin, counsel for the VNA was notified that the VNA must file with the U.S. Department of Labor. Under the threat of possible criminal and civil action, VNA filed under "dire protest" because it was not involved in collective bargaining.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) Task Force to Study Structural Alternatives report was published. The report supported the "federation model" for the restructure of the American Nurses Association. The Board of Directors of VNA recommended that the association go on record endorsing the federation model of membership and endorsed termination of all economic and general welfare activities from the professional activities of the ANA.
Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) adopted a new structure that moved it away from its previous practice-based organization. The new structure established commissioners on professional practice, nursing education, government relations, and resources and policies. All standing and special committees communicated with the Board of Directors through the appropriate commissioners.
The Report of a Task Force to Study the Nursing Shortage was released. The Task Force, chaired by Ruth Bear, President of the VNA, included representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, the Board of Nursing, Virginia Hospital Association and the Virginia Nurses' Association.
Early in 1980 the Virginia Council of Associate Degree Nurse Educators organized to provide a forum for associate degree nursing educators to meet for mutual support and continuing education programs.
At a special called meeting on May 2, 1981, the Delegate Assembly of the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) in an attempt to increase membership voted to amend the bylaws to provide for a membership at state and district levels only.
A resolution to increase the awareness of the need to address the problem of substance abuse among health professionals was adopted by the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA).
The VACN came into existence in 1982 and was patterned after a newly organized national group, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Its purposes included improving the practice of professional nursing through enhancing the quality of baccalaureate and higher degree nursing programs, providing leadership for statewide planning and coordination for nursing education in Virginia and providing a network of support for academic nursing leaders in Virginia.
The United States Congress designated May 6th as National Recognition Day for Nurses.
In 1982, the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) received accreditation from the American Nurses' Association for the Continuing Education Approval and Recognition Program and as a provider of continuing education.
The University of Virginia was the first university in Virginia to initiate a Ph.D. program in nursing.
On August 28, 1982, Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) President Priscilla Jobe and Congressman Thomas Bliley held a press conference to announce that the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) was no longer certified as a labor union with the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) Delegate Assembly adopted a resolution to establish a Commission on Human Rights.
The American Nurses' Association amended its bylaws to change the membership structure from individual membership of nurses to a federation model where the state association is a member of the ANA and the individual belongs to the state association. The state and district only membership option of the VNA had to be eliminated since the dues to ANA were based on the number of members of the VNA.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) established a special committee on Nurses' Health and Effectiveness in July, 1983. Jay Douglas was the first Chairman of the committee. This special committee later became a standing committee and the name was changed to the Peer Assistance for Chemically Dependent Nurses (PACDN) Committee.
The Virginia Association of Colleges of Nursing appointed an ad hoc Advisory Group on Establishment of a Professional Society in 1982. As a result, an autonomous organization was chartered in November, 1983 as the Virginia Society of Professional Nurses. Membership was limited to those nurses with a minimum of a BS degree and the purpose of the VSPN was to provide a forum for these nurses to focus on autonomy, education and professional development.
The Virginia Chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, Region 4, Chapter 9, was founded in 1984. The purpose of the organization was to speak for its members on issues affecting the education practice, recognition, legislation and economics of nurse-midwifery.
The Virginia Association of School Nurses, Inc. was formed on December 4, 1984 in Richmond with Betty Barr as its first president.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) adopted a resolution authorizing the Commission on Resources and Policies to investigate the feasibility of establishing a Foundation with the primary goal of fund raising.
The Alliance of Nursing Organizations and Specialty Groups of Virginia (The Alliance) was established in 1985. The purposes of the Alliance are to provide a mechanism for communication, consultation, and collaboration among nursing organizations in Virginia and to further the common interests of member organization.
The name of the Department of Health Regulatory Boards was changed to the Department of Health Professions in 1986. Five additional boards were added including Audiology and Speech Pathology, Clinical Psychologists, Nursing Home Administrators, Professional Counselors and Social Work. The Board of Health Professions was expanded to twelve members representing their respective Boards and five citizen members.
Two Citizen members (non-nurses) were added to the Board of Nursing increasing the total number of members from seven to nine. The first two citizen members were Linda A. Moore and William H. Griffith.
Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) and Virginia Commonwealth University (MCV) School of Nursing cosponsored a nurses' day at the General Assembly. The program focused on legislative issues and processes. Nurses attending the program visited their legislators as part of the day's activities. VNA has continued to sponsor this annual event.
At the request of Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA), Delegate Mary A. Marshall sponsored a bill to amend the definition of nursing in the Nurse Practice Act. Controversy ensued and Marshall withdrew the bill and introduced a House joint resolution directing the Department of Health Professions to study the need to redefine nursing. Bernard L. Henderson, Director of the Department of Health Professions, appointed a Task Force for the Study of the Definitions of Professional and Licensed Practical Nursing.
The Regulations Governing the Certification of Nurse Practitioners were revised extensively in 1988 following a two-year comprehensive review. A major new rule adopted by the Virginia Boards of Nursing and Medicine was the addition of a requirement that in addition to specified education all new nurse practitioner applicants must present evidence of professional certification achieved through an examination offered by an approved national agency.
As a result of recodification of Title 54 of the Code of Virginia by the Virginia Code Commission in 1988, the Medical Practice Act was changed and, for the first time, the wording licensed nurse practitioner was used. By this action, the level of regulation was changed from that of certification as used in the regulations of the two Boards to licensure.
The report of the Task Force was published and Delegate Mary A. Marshall offered a bill to amend the definitions of nursing and practical nursing in the Nurse Practice Act. With minor amendments the bill was adopted.
The first of two major amendments to the Nurse Practice Act in 1989 authorized the Board of Nursing to promulgate regulations to register clinical nurse specialists. The second amendment required the Board to establish a certification program for nurse aides employed in facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds. The action was to comply with federal legislation aimed at improving the quality of care in nursing homes.
An amendment to the law expanded reimbursement for services for health insurance policies and plans to include "a clinical nurse specialist who renders mental health services." This amendment was the first provision in Virginia law to address reimbursement for advanced practice registered nurses.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA), the Virginia Department of Health Professions and the Virginia Board of Nursing signed a memorandum of understanding which provided an opportunity for an eligible registered nurse to continue to practice without action by the Board of Nursing as long as the individual was compliant with the requirements of the PACDN contract.
At the Sixth Annual Nurses Day at the Legislature over 800 nurses walked as a group the six blocks from the meeting site in Richmond to the Capitol. Governor L. Douglas Wilder and Delegate Mary A. Marshall greeted the group. The purpose of the walk was to meet with members of the General Assembly and to urge them to support the bill to grant prescriptive authority to nurse practitioners.
For over twenty years, nurses and nursing organizations in Virginia had honored the profession at various times with day and week-long recognitions. Following the lead of the American Nurses Association, Virginia nurses adopted the week of May 6-12 as the "Week of the Nurse in Virginia."
An amendment to the Nursing Practice Act in 1991 created a Nursing Scholarship Fund to be administered by the Board of Health. The Board of Nursing was authorized to charge a fee of $1 for licensure of every LPN and RN to be deposited in this fund. For the first time, scholarship money was made available to practical nursing students in the Commonwealth. Delegate Mary A. Marshall sponsored the bill establishing this fund. Following her death in 1992, the Boards of Health, Health Professions and Nursing voted to honor Marshall by naming the scholarship in her memory.
The Virginia Council of Associate Degree Nursing Program Heads was organized in Charlottesville, Virginia in October of 1991.
The volume 60, issue #1, spring 1992 issue of the Virginia Nurse was the last official publication of the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) to appear with that name and in a magazine format. Virginia Nurses Today, in newsletter format, became the official publication of the VNA.
As a result of amendments to the Medical and Pharmacy Acts, the Boards of Medicine and Nursing adopted regulations granting prescriptive authority to licensed nurse practitioners which became effective in August, 1992.
Virginia law was amended to pave the way for certified nurse midwives to obtain clinical privileges in hospitals.
Four members were added to the Board of Nursing including two registered nurses, one licensed practical nurse and one citizen member for a total of thirteen members.
At the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) Annual convention, the Delegate Assembly voted to change from annual conventions to biennial conventions beginning in 1995. The Delegate Assembly would continue to meet annually.
Diane Hanna, member of the Board of Health from 1989-1997, was elected Chair of the Board of Health for 1993-1995. She was the first nurse to hold this office.
After years of recovery from deficit spending in the 1970s and early 1980s, the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) was finally on a firm financial footing when the VNA bookkeeper was convicted on charges of grand larceny for her embezzlement of VNA funds. Under the strong leadership of the Board of Directors, careful management by the Executive Director and a critical assistance loan from the ANA, all debts were paid and the Association had a balanced budget.
The VSPN was terminated in 1993 when a letter was sent to the remaining members advising that there was not a sufficient level of support to sustain the organization and it was disbanded.
Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) became a reality when the National Council Licensing Examinations for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses were administered on a daily basis nationwide.
The Student Nurses Association of Virginia (SNAV) became the Virginia Nursing Students' Association.
Since 1911 the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) has provided respite care, educational loans and research grants under several different names. The most recent is the Smith-McLeod-Montgomery Fund. On October 6, the VNA inaugurated the Virginia Nurses Foundation, consisting of a similar purpose and mission, with a fund raising gala at Richmond's Jefferson Hotel.
An amendment to Virginia law required the Board of Education to monitor progress of local school boards to employ or contract with nurses at specific ratios. The legislation did not mandate the hiring of school nurses.
Shenandoah University first offered the Ecumenical Parish Nursing Institute offered in Winchester in July of 1995. ANA initiated the standards for practice of parish nursing in 1998.
The authority of the Board of Nursing was expanded to include the regulation of massage therapists.
The VNA received a grant from the American Nurses Association to initiate the Nursing Report Card Quality Indicator Project with matching funds and in-kind services provided by Winchester Medical Center, VNA, Virginia Nurses Foundation and Epsilon Zeta Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International. The project is a pilot study to identify the feasibility of collecting specific types of outcome data for hospitals in rural areas of Virginia, with eventual extension of the model plan to both rural and urban areas of the state.
The Legislative Coalition of Virginia Nurses was formed when The Alliance of Nursing Organizations and Specialty Nursing Groups in Virginia met to discuss their legislative issues and determined that working collectively would enhance the achievement of common legislative goals. The purposes of the Coalition are to create and implement a legislative agenda for Virginia Nurses, to educate nurses on legislative issues, and to promote inclusion of nurses on policy making bodies such as boards and commissions.
The official publication of the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) was issued in a new tabloid or newspaper format and was distributed to all registered nurses in Virginia for the first time.
At the request of the Board of Nursing following a recommendation made by the Virginia Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Nurse Practice Act was amended to exempt from licensure a registered nurse who holds an equivalent credential in a foreign country in order for the individual to participate in the clinical component of an advanced professional nursing education program. In the same year the medical Practice Act was changed to authorize a registered nurse to pronounce death under certain circumstances.
Shenandoah University started a two-year program leading to a Masters of Science in Nursing/Midwifery in September 1997.
Legislation in 1997 established a Health Practitioners' Intervention Program (HPIP) for all persons licensed, registered or certified by the twelve boards with the Department of Health Professions. The program began operation on January 1, 1998. The monitoring function of the (PACDN) was no longer necessary. With a strong commitment to continue helping nurses with substance abuse problems, a new group called the Virginia Peer Assistance Network (VPAN) was created to replace PACDN. The members of the VPAN advocate and support recovering nurses to retain the basic purpose of the PACDN while relinquishing the activities now available through HPIP.
The president of the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) appointed a Centennial 2000 Committee to plan for the VNA Centennial, a Celebration of Nursing in Virginia to educate, invigorate and increase the visibility of the profession in Virginia.
The Nurse Practice Act was amended to allow the registered nurse to delegate selected tasks and procedures to appropriately trained unlicensed person under regulations promulgated by the Virginia Board of Nursing. The change was made following several years of study and in response to concern for public protection at a time of increased use of unlicensed persons in the care of patients in Virginia.
The Virginia League for Nursing (VLN) Scholarship Program over the last forty years has assisted 233 students with scholarships totaling more than $50,000.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) and the Virginia Nurses Foundation sponsored a gala dinner on May 7, 1999 to honor 99 Outstanding Nurses. These nurses were recognized for unusual contributions to nursing and to the health and welfare of Virginians.
Annual Meeting Patricia Donahue, Nursing Educator and Author of Nursing: The Finest Art, was keynote speaker at the 1999 VNA Convention. Other speakers, posters, movies and displays carried out the Convention theme - "Celebrating the Past: Looking Back Into the Future."
The Virginia Partnership for Strategic Planning in Nursing (VA Partnership), an outgrowth of more than 20 years of nursing collaboration through the Alliance of Nursing Organizations and Specialty Nursing Groups, was organized in 1999. This expanded partnership includes consumers, health care industry and business leaders. The project goal was to develop a nursing workforce to meet the needs of Virginia in the 21st century.
The Delegate Assembly at the Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) Convention in 1999 adopted a resolution that authorized the VNA to inaugurate and induct the first honorees in the Virginia Nursing Hall of Fame during the Week of the Nurse Celebration in 2001.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) honored its 51 charter members with a Centennial Celebration Dinner on May 3, 2000 when 51 nurses were presented as recipients of the Virginia Pioneer Nurse Awards. These recipients have made original contributions to nursing in Virginia or the nation by being "the first", trail blazers, or by making cutting-edge contributions to nursing practice, education, and/or health care.
Individual nurse practitioners, other nurses and physicians secured amendments to Virginia law to expand the prescriptive authority for licensed nurse practitioners. By 2003 nurse practitioners will have the authority to prescribe all drugs except those with the highest potential for abuse.
The Legislative Coalition of Virginia Nurses successfully lobbied for the passage of legislation in 2000 to add a duty to those of the Virginia Board of Nursing to collect, store and make available nursing workforce information regarding the various categories of nurses certified, licensed or registered in Virginia as described in another section of the Nurse Practice Act that defines the required information to be collected and authorizes the Board to promulgate regulations to accomplish the duty.
The Virginia Nurses' Association (VNA) Delegate Assembly adopted two resolutions that related to its goals of advocating for nurses in the workplace, improving patient care and building partnerships with organizations and consumers. The resolutions call for cooperation and representation in policy and legislative forums in the areas of appropriate staffing for optimal care and the prevention of errors in patient care.
During the Virginia Nurses Association Centennial Celebration the Virginia Nursing Hall of Fame was inaugurated on May 2, 2001. The initial inductees were: Sadie Heath Cabaniss, Nora Spencer Hamner, Virginia Avenel Henderson, Nannie Jacquelin Minor, Agnes Dillon Randolph, Carrie Marie Sharp, Ethel Mary Smith, Adah Belle Samuels Thoms, Nancy Vance and Phyllis Jean Verhonick.
The Virginia Nurses Association's Political Action Committee expended to involve all Virginia Nurses in the political process and changed its name to Virginia Nurses Political Action Committee, N-PAC.
The Virginia Board of Nursing appointed Corinne F. Dorsey to chair a Committee to plan for appropriate observances of the 100th anniversary of the Virginia Nurse Practice Act and Board. The Centennial Planning Committee was comprised of former and current members and staff of the Board of Nursing, representatives from the VLN, VLPNA and VNA. The Committee planned the events held in 2002 and 2003 and was successful in soliciting substantial donations from organizations and hospitals to offset the cost of the events. The theme for the Centennial year was "Virginia Board of Nursing, 1903-2003 – Regulating Nursing – Protecting the Public."
The VLN hosted an educational conference at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond on March 22, 2002 to begin a yearlong observance of the Centennial of the Virginia Nurse Practice Act and the Virginia Board of Nursing.
The Virginia General Assembly adopted a resolution commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Virginia Nurse Practice Act and Governor Mark Warner issued a Resolution to mark the occasion. A representative from the Planing Committee presented “Centennial Minutes” at Board of Nursing meetings in 2003. VNA joined the North Carolina, New Jersey and New York Nurses Associations to provide refreshments during the meeting of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing meeting in Alexandria as part of the recognition of the first four states to enact licensing laws in 1903. The VNA hosted a Gala Dinner in Richmond on May 14, 2003, exactly 100 years from the date when the original nurse practice act was signed. This Gala paid tribute to the 100 members who have served on the Board in Nursing in its first 100 years and to those who have served as members of the staff to the Board.
The ANA House of Delegates amended the bylaws to create new categories to facilitate alternative membership routes for organizations and individuals at its Convention in 2003. The traditional path of membership through the ANA's 54 constituent member associations remains in place. New categories include associate organizational members (AOMs), individual members and individual affiliates.
The United American Nurses (UAN) and the Commission on Workplace Advocacy (renamed the Center for American Nurses became the first AOMs of the ANA under its new structure effective on July, 1, 2003. The continued connection between the ANA and both the UAN and CAN provides for the representation of the interests of the nurses of the United States. The ANA will focus on the basic issues of the profession while the independent UAN (an affiliate of both the ANA and the AFL-CIO) and CAN will provide workplace services for individual nurses by enabling the collective bargaining as well as the workplace advocacy aims of the ANA.
The Delegate Assembly of the VNA, at its convention in October 2003 adopted a resolution to affirm the decision of the Board of Directors to be a member of the CAN and amended the Bylaws where necessary to implement the resolution. The VNA continues to be a constituent member association of the ANA.
The Virginia General Assembly in 2003 enacted legislation to provide for a nurse licensure compact that became effective on January 1, 2005 and can be compared to the driver's license that allows drivers to operate automobiles in other states without obtaining a license in each additional state. Virginia was the 19th state to pass such legislation. As a result, nurses will be licensed only in their home state, but will be allowed to practice on a multi-state privilege in any other state that has adopted the legislation.
The Virginia Partnership for Nurses (VPN, formerly the Virginia Partnership for Strategic Planning in Nursing in Virginia) finalized the Virginia Educational Mobility Plan for LPN/RN and RN/BS. Under the aegis of the VPN, a LPN to RN Articulation Model was approved by all but one of the associate degree programs and by a majority of the diploma and baccalaureate programs in Virginia. LPNs enrolled in the RN programs will receive advanced standing based on 12 to 20 credits for courses taken in their PN education program. The RN to BS Model has been approved by almost all of the baccalaureate programs and the requirements vary by school.