Three Historical Stories
The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry located on the University of Virginia’s campus in Charlottesville, VA, preserves the rich history of several professional organizations, including GAPNA.
Our collection is readily available to anyone interested in learning about the creation and sustainment of an organization committed to providing quality care to older adults.
GAPNA’s Collection of Historical Documents - Cynthia Gerstenlauer
by Cynthia Gerstenlauer
The Historical Committee of GAPNA submitted GAPNA’s historical documents for archiving to the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry at the University of Virginia School of Nursing on April 16, 2014.
The process of archiving the records was completed on February 12, 2016. Materials archived were from 1981 to January 2011. Records need to be at least 10 years old to be accepted by the center. Probably only a few of GAPNA’s members have visited the center.
Anyone can visit the center, but why would you want to? What would you find there? How would you go about it?
The Historical Committee is happy to report that two of GAPNAs members recently visited the Center, and graciously agreed to share their experiences. Michelle Longley is a member of the Central Virginia Chapter, and is our liaison between the Center and the Historical Committee.
Natalie Baker is the GAPNA Secretary on the Board of Directors. The Historical Committee would like to encourage you to visit the center and would love to hear about your experience.
Cynthia Gerstenlauer, ANP-BC, GNCS-BC, CDE, CCD
Walking into Another Time - by Michelle Longley
by Michelle Longley
Stepping into the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry (ECBCNHI) at the University of Virginia School of Nursing is like walking into another time.
With soft lighting and peaceful silence, the Center’s large central room contains carefully arranged nursing artifacts and meticulously organized landmark nursing publications and classic nursing reference books.
Surrounded by the thoughts and reflections of nursing’s greatest leaders over the last century, visitors are inspired by the vast evidence of clinical and professional evolution.Committed to the preservation of nursing history, the Center collects historical materials from individuals and organizations to protect evidence of a powerful professional movement.
Three smaller rooms house the Center’s manuscript collections. A room with a large table and comfortable chairs houses manuscript collections from several professional organizations including records of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA).
The GAPNA records are protected in eight archival storage boxes, neatly labeled, and organized by series from 1977-2011:
- Series 1: Board minutes/proposals/notes
- Series 2: Correspondence/manuscripts/clippings/brochures
- Series 3: Chapter papers
- Series 4: Convention papers/photographs
- Series 5: Financial records
- Series 6: Committee reports
- Series 7: Publications
- Series 8: Founding records
Each archival box is filled with carefully labeled files containing administrative papers, certification testing materials, photographs, and manuscripts. Each archived item helps tell the story of geriatric advanced practice nurses’ endeavors to network, advance knowledge of gerontology, and formalize geriatric nursing expertise.
The collection of this powerful evidence is essential for the ongoing preservation of GAPNA’s influential history.
The GAPNA Historical Committee receives a copy each year of the GAPNA Board of Directors minutes, and the annual reports submitted by the GAPNA Committees, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and Chapters.
The Committee also collects information about the two GAPNA conferences each year. Every 5 years, the Historical Committee turns this collective information into an extension of the GAPNA Monograph and is displayed on panels for the GAPNA Conference.
These summaries are only as good as how accurate and complete the annual reports were that we had to work with. Every 10 years, all these documents will be archived.
To ensure your group’s important work is reflected in the GAPNA records:
- Date everything and make dates easily visible.
- Record historic work, who was involved, and an estimated chronologic outline of activities.
- Send annual reports when requested and include active members (even when few) and activities for the year.
- Keep photographs of your events and include dates, names of people photographed, and reason why it is important.
- Do not write on photographs.
- Ensure permission is given to share photographs by everyone included.
C. Michelle Longley, MSN, RN, NP-C
Preserving History - by Natalie R. Baker
by Natalie R. Baker
I would like to encourage anyone living or traveling in the Virginia area to visit GAPNA’s historical archives housed at the University of Virginia.
The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry located on the University of Virginia’s campus in Charlottesville, VA, preserves the rich history of several professional organizations, including GAPNA. Our collection is readily available to anyone interested in learning about the creation and sustainment of an organization committed to providing quality care to older adults.
Visiting our archives requires a small amount of planning but is well worth the effort. To schedule an appointment, contact Center staff via their website. The Center is open weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry is located in McLeod Hall across from the larger and newer Claude Moore Nursing Education Building.
Jefferson Park Avenue is the primary street coming into UVA campus. Linda Hanson is the Project Coordinator for the GAPNA collection and is the best person to answer questions. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. During my recent visit I was warmly welcomed and provided a detailed orientation to the collection.
Left to peruse the collection, I was quickly transported back to the early 1980s when visionary leaders recognized the need for networking among like-minded advanced practice nurses. I was impressed with the detailed documents that have been saved for history!
During my visit I also learned that GAPNA’s history is instrumental in research by past and current nursing students at the University of Virginia. Our collection of documents is being used by doctoral students in their ongoing research and understanding of professional nursing organizations.
Students can better understand concepts such as grassroot principles in shaping health care by reading and researching organizations’ bylaws, notes, and business meeting minutes. If nursing students find our collection interesting, just imagine how interesting GAPNA members will find the archives.
I urge you to spend a few hours in GAPNA’s time capsule, you may find it hard to leave!
Natalie R. Baker, DNP, ANP-BC, GNP-BC, FAANP
Plan your trip to the nation’s capital during GAPNA’s Annual Conference, September 26-29, 2018 by checking out all the things to do, places to eat, and ways to have fun.
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