TNA LogoTennessee nurses associatiON

The mission of the Tennessee Nurses Association shall be to promote and protect the registered nurse and to advance the practice of nursing in order to assure a healthier Tennessee.

TNA History

The formation of TNA in 1905 began with the drive to develop and pass a law to regulate nursing practice. The first bill was introduced in 1907 but was defeated. In 1909, a second attempt was made to pass a bill and it was once again defeated. But, on February 14, 1911, after much tenacious lobbying by TNA members across Tennessee, the first nurse practice act became law.

Today, the nurse practice act regulates nursing and protects the public from unsafe nursing practice. The law includes a clear definition of professional nursing practice and necessary educational qualifications a registered nurse must have in order to practice. It also outlines the criteria schools of nursing must meet in order to gain approval by the Board of Nursing to educate registered nurses. TNA continually updates the nurse practice act to reflect the changing role of the registered nurse.


TNA is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the TNA membership and a Membership Assembly open to all TNA members. The TNA Board consists of 11 officers and directors elected by the TNA membership. TNA is a constituent of the American Nurses Association (ANA) which represents the nation's 2.7 million RNs. TNA is represented in the ANA Membership Assembly by representatives elected by the TNA membership biennially.

The Strength of Nursing

More than a decade of research demonstrates that when there are more registered nurses working in hospitals, there are lower mortality rates, shorter lengths of stay, fewer complications, and even lower costs. 

TNA will continue to work for professional nurses to help ensure that consumers receive quality, cost-effective health care and that nursing continues to speak with one strong voice.

Copyright 2012 Tennessee Nurses Association