As one of the three components of our motto, "Preserving the Past," suggests, one of the principal missions of the Army Nurse Corps Association is to serve as a repository and conservator of the Army Nurse Corps' rich history. This section of our website is a key implementation of that mission, incorporating historical writings and photographs about the Corps, references, and some of the association's own history.
History of the Army Nurse Corps Association
In 1976, a group of retired Army Nurse Corps (ANC) officers who wanted to continue in retired life the camaraderie and close ties of their ANC service met in San Antonio, marking the beginning of the Retired Army Nurse Corps Association (RANCA). As the organization grew in scope and mission, in the year 2000 the membership voted to expand membership to all ANC components – active, retired, and former – and the name was changed accordingly, dropping the “Retired.” The membership of today's Army Nurse Corps Association (ANCA) encompasses not only retired but current and previous Army nurses of all Army components: Active, Reserve, and National Guard.
For our definitive history, read From RANCA to ANCA: Thirty Years of Camaraderie and Service, a pamphlet written by the distinguished Army nursing historian Colonel (Retired) Mary T. Sarnecky, DNSc, RN, FNP, in 2010.
The succession of strong, competent leaders on RANCA's and now ANCA's Boards of Directors has kept the organization sound and moving forward throughout its more than thirty years of existence. The ANCA Officers page lists those who have served in these vital roles.
The Army Nurse Corps has been blessed with excellent leadership from its beginning in 1901. For brief biographies of twenty-two of these great leaders, written by noted ANC historian Dr. Mary Sarnecky, visit our Superintendents and Chiefs pages.
ANCA's Newsletter, The Connection, has since 2009 included a regular column entitled "ANC History," written by the ANCA Historian, Colonel (Retired) Constance J. Moore. We share here these accounts of some of the many fascinating events and people in the Army Nurse Corps' past, along with other selected historical writings.
As part of the Army Nurse Corps Association's participation in the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, we acknowledge our members who served during the Vietnam War era, 1955 to 1975. Over 350 ANCA members were either assigned to medical treatment facilities in the theater of operations or served in other locations around the world during the period.
The story of the service of Army nurses in the defense of our nation can be roughly divided into six "chapters," spanning the time from the Corps' origins as far back as the American Revolution to today's deployments to combat zones and in humanitarian missions. Summaries of each of these eras, as represented pictorially on our home page, are in the Eras of the ANC Section.
Issues of ANCA's newsletter, The Connection, have contained many references to and reviews of books about the Army Nurse Corps and books written by ANCA members. Our Bibliography Page is a listing of all those publications.