• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: AWE0973

Australasian Trained Nurses’ Association

(From 1899 – )
  • Occupation Trade Union


The Australasian Trained Nurses’ Association (ATNA), Australia’s first nursing association, was formed in New South Wales in 1899, with branches subsequently established in Queensland in 1904, South Australia in 1905, Western Australia in 1907 and Tasmania in 1908. It sought to improve the status of nurses through registration and to develop standards of training in hospital schools of nursing. The Association commenced publication of its journal entitled Australasian Nurses’ Journal, (ANJ) in 1904. The state branches eventually came to form branches of the Australian Nursing Federation, which was established in 1924.


The specific objects of the Australasian Trained Nurses’ Association were:
1. To promote the interests of trained nurses in all matters affecting their work as a class.
2. To establish a system of registration for trained nurses.
3. To afford opportunities for discussing subjects bearing on the work of nursing.
4. To initiate and control schemes that will provide nurses with an allowance ‘during incapacity for work caused by sickness, accident, age or other necessitous circumstances’.

The Association began in the larger training hospitals on the initiative of senior medical practitioners and nurses. It comprised an annually elected Council of seventeen members, including five qualified medical practitioners, five matrons or superintendents of nurses, five sisters and nurses, with two honorary members.


Published resources

  • Book
    • In pursuit of nursing excellence: a history of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia 1949-99, Smith, Russell G, 1999
    • Labour of love: the history of the Nurses' Association in Queensland, 1860-1950, Strachan, Glenda, 1996
  • Resource

Archival resources

  • Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection
    • Australasian Trained Nurses' Association records, 1899-1976↵↵↵↵↵Title Australasian Trained Nurses' Association records, 1899-1976
  • The University of Adelaide Archives
    • Royal Victorian College of Nursing

Related entries

  • Foundation Member
    • Farquharson, Martha Durward (1847 - 1929)
    • Bell, Jane (1873 - 1959)
  • Member
    • Healy, Mary (Mother Gertrude) (1865 - 1952)
  • Affiliated
    • Victorian Trained Nurses Association (VTNA) (1901 - 1904)
    • Royal Victorian Trained Nurses Assocation (1904 - 1934)
    • Royal Victorian College of Nursing (1934 - 1975)
  • Founder
    • Bell, Jane (1873 - 1959)
  • Membership
    • Wilson, Grace Margaret (1879 - 1957)