The following excerpt from an executive summary in the September/October 1996 issue of The Missouri Nurse reflects on the early history of MONA:
It was like stepping back in time reading the minutes of the committee planning the first annual meeting of the Missouri Nurses Association. It was to be held in St. Louis in 1906 in the "auditorium of the St. Louis Medical Society...(if it) could be secured..." A two day agenda was planned that included an "automobile ride for visiting delegates complements of Jewish Hospital."
Our long rich history as advocates for patients and quality nursing care was firmly established in the early beginnings of the Association. Documentation of meetings in 1908 evidenced the members' concern about the "conditions and managements of the almshouses in Missouri." A call for volunteers to investigate the almshouses was made by the Association, thus taking our first official actions in improving the quality of nursing care.
By 1911, "the representative almshouse officials were visited and the reports for the great need for better nursing care was opened for discussion." The Executive Board appointed an inspector of the almshouses who would make recommendations to the Governor. They also met with the legislators and began working with the state charities for the improvement of the quality of nursing care.
The following excerpts were from The Missouri Nurse and its predecessor, The Bulletin of the Missouri State Nurses' Association. Many of these statements are still true today.
"The needs for a larger, stronger organization have never been greater. There are many vexing problems facing us today and they will have to be met by a unified profession and much wisdom. And that means a greater and more interested membership."
--The Bulletin, March 1945.
"Nurses must be prepared to control their own conditions of work and life. When nurses defend their own interests, patients also gain. Conditions for nurses are closely linked to nursing practice. The practice of nursing is influenced by the climate in which nurses work, their status, and how the public and other health professionals view them."
--The Bulletin, April-May 1978.
"The first Annual Nurse Advocacy Day was March 19, 1986 with ninety-three nurses from around the state attending."
--The Missouri Nurse, May-June 1986. (More than 650 attended in 2006)