Guide to the Iowa Nurses Association, Fifth District records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1922-2000
Creator: Iowa Nurses Association, Fifth District
Extent: 2.25 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0015
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Local chapter of the Iowa Nurses Association.

Administrative Information

Access: The records are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The records (donor no. 16) were donated by the Iowa Nurses Association, Fifth District, in 1980, 1995, 2001, and 2004.

Preferred Citation: Iowa Nurses Association, Fifth District records, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Biographical Note

The Iowa Nurses Association was organized in 1904. In 1918 the Association divided the state into ten districts. The Fifth District was comprised of Tama, Benton, Linn, Poweshiek, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, and Cedar counties. Ella McDannel, an alumna of St. Luke Hospital in Cedar Rapids, called a meeting on January 8, 1918, preparatory to organizing the district. Registered nurses from the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area responded enthusiastically and a committee was formed to draw up a constitution and bylaws. These were approved and adopted on January 25, 1918. The first president of the Fifth District was Bessie Milliard.

The purpose of the Fifth District of the Iowa Nurses Association is to "foster high standards of nursing practice, promote the professional and educational advancement of nurses, and promote the welfare of nurses to the end that all people shall have better nursing care." Functions and activities of the district organization include establishment of continuing education opportunities for nurses, informational programs addressing legislative issues significant to nursing, promotion of high ethical and professional standards for nurses, and representation in state and national nursing associations. Sponsorship of Nurses Week and other activities provide opportunities for social contact between professional and student nurses. In 1990 the membership reached 370 members. Upon the request of the Fifth District an annual Nursing Week was declared in Cedar Rapids by Mayor Lee Clancey in 2000. The Fifth District of the Iowa Nurses Association dissolved in June 2001 when the INA was restructured from 13 districts to 5 regions.

Content Description

The Fifth District of the Iowa Nurses Association records date from 1922 to 2000 and measure 2 linear feet. The records are arranged in the following series, By-laws, Correspondence, District Meeting Minutes, Board of Directors, Financial Records, Manuals, Membership Information, Newsletters, President's Report, Programs, and Photographs. The collection is strongest in its documentation of Fifth District activities from 1965 to 1991.

The By-laws series consists of the present constitution and by-laws and any revisions or deletions. Correspondence is of a routine nature and covers only the years 1968 to 1979. District Meeting Minutes document election results and motions made and carried. The 1999-2000 meeting minutes are a more specific collection of materials from the president's binder including program flyers, treasurer reports, and e-mail correspondence. General Assembly minutes provide the only documentation of the first decade of the organization's existence.

The Manuals series consists of a 1990 convention manual and three orientation manuals designed to assist the leadership in organizing; policy making; planning; communication; and running meetings. Membership Information is incomplete, covering only scattered years between 1959 and 1975. Included are the results of a questionnaire that was distributed by membership-public relations committees at the 1970 INA Convention, asking for suggestions on how to make the Iowa Nurse's Association more effective.

Issues of the Fifth District newsletter, The Fifth Column (1960) and Vital Signs (1965-1994) are contained in the Newsletters series. From 1997-1999, the organization collected issues of Legislative Connection, a weekly newsletter that reported the action in the Iowa legislature regarding health issues and followed bills of interest through the legislative process.

The President's Report series provides a good overview of the Fifth District activities for the years 1985 to 1991. Included are actions taken by the board, budget reports, program-committee reports, goals and objectives and an annual narrative by the president. Photographs date primarily from the 1950s. They depict state and national convention activities, state executive officers, banquets, and speakers. The Board of Directors series includes minutes from board of directors meetings dating from 1990 to 1994. The board of directors' binder includes information from the board of directors meetings from 1999-2000. Also in this binder is a collection of issues and points of business addressed during these meetings. Some of these include INA stance on the 2000 presidential candidates, recent health related federal and state legislation, and INA position statements on specific healthcare issues. E-mail correspondence between board members is also included.

Related Materials

Iowa Nurses Association

Researchers may wish to consult Historical Outline of the Iowa State Association of Registered Nurses and Related Organizations by Emma C. Wilson, Historian for the State Association, 1932. This is located in Box 71 of the Iowa Nurses Association.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Browse by Series:


This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
Iowa Nurses' Association, Fifth District
Iowa Nurses' Association

20th century

Professional associations
Women in medicine
Women in education


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Administrative records

Nurses and Nursing Education
Women's Clubs and Organizations