Skip to main content


Agnes M. Marshall/American Association of Neuroscience Nurses Papers (AANN)

Identifier: 2022-089

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

Scope and Content: The American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) collection is comprised of 13 archival boxes. The Board of Directors papers in boxes 1 - 4 contain meeting minutes, correspondence, reports from the Board of Directors and from members, chapter reports and projects from 1968 - 1997. The Core curriculum for Neurosurgical Nursing publications from 1984 & 1996, history of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a pamphlet on the Neurosurgical Nurses Practice are in Box 5. Box 6 contains packets from AANN Annual Meetings 1979-1997. The content of the 1997 Annual Meeting in Portland Oregon is a well rounded sample of a syllabus. Box 7 contains papers chronicling the history and accreditation of the association. Box 9 has the papers of the Neuroscience Nursing Foundation which includes the Board of Trustee meeting minutes, correspondence, directories, research grant and scholarship applications and recipients, and media press releases. Also represented in this box are Special Focus Groups and Society of Trauma Nurses. Box 10 contains publications of the AANN such as the monthly newsletters, Synapse from 1971-1997 and AANN Press releases, brochures and handouts. Boxes 8 and 11-13 contain photographs of Annual Meetings from 1969 to 1997. The Board of Trustees is represented through four boxes of meeting minutes, reports & correspondence. The Annual Meetings of the AANN are represented in this collection through event syllabuses and four boxes of photographs. This collection contains specific neuroscience nursing education such as core curriculum publications and audio taped instruction sessions including the 1996 Neuroscience Nursing Clinical Symposium on Epilepsy. This collection is mainly comprised of association records, reports, syllabuses, publications, photographs, & audio tapes.


  • 1968-1996

Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

History The American Association of Neuroscience Nursing began in 1967 when Barbara Therrien, a nurse instructor at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis Missouri, discussed the idea of organizing an association for neuroscience nurses with the president of the American Association of Neuroscience Surgeons (AANS), Dr. Henry Schwartz. An associate of his proposed the idea to Agnes M. Marshall who was the program director of neurosurgical nursing at Chicago Wesley Memorial hospital. She not only endorsed the idea but joined ranks with Therrien and began sending letters to directors of neurosurgical residency programs informing them of their intent to form a nursing section of the AANS. A little over 100 nurses attended the first meeting of the AANN held on April 11 in 1968 at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago. The first AANN meetings were scheduled to meet concurrently with the annual meetings of the AANS because the founder’s wanted to be affiliated with that association. Their initial goals were to help nurses deal with the complex problems of neurosurgical nurses, to enlighten health care personnel about neurosurgery and to promote research in neurosurgical nursing. The annual meetings were divided into scientific and business sessions. The business section was devoted to the organization of the Association. The first officers were: Barbara Therrien, President, Agnes M. Marshall, President - elect, Phyllis Raine, Secretary, & Carol Cunningham, Treasurer. The first directors were Nancy Wheaton & Shirley Sawchyn. The first Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing was published in 1969. That same year the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies was founded. In 1970 the AANN applied for membership and was the first nursing society to be accepted. By 1974 the AANN had nine chapters and a membership of 450. In 1971 Mary Craton, president of the AANN, launched the Association newsletter, Synapse. In 1976 the AANN and the ANA approved the Standards of Neurological and Neurosurgical Nursing Practice which was published by the ANA in 1977. Vision and leadership brought the AANN to its 10th anniversary in New Orleans were they celebrated 685 members and 27 local chapters. Some of the significant changes that occurred that year were their first certification examination, the creation of a new by-law that allowed nurses who did not work 75 of their time with neurosurgical patients to be members & two ad hoc committees were developed to lead the way for the AANN to become more active politically and in areas of research. The AANN continued to grow, receiving accreditation in 1981 from the ANA National Accrediting Board for a for year period. The AANN now was free to plan and implement continuing education programs and collaborate with other specialty nursing organizations in carrying out continuing education activities. Other major highlights through the years include a move in 1983 from downtown Chicago to expanded quarters in Park Ridge, Illinois and a name change at the 15th annual meeting to the American Association of Neurosurgical Nurses. By the end of 1988 the membership was over 2800 and by the next year there were 70 active chapters. In 2008 the AANN celebrated the 40th anniversary of its association. It continues to create programs to advance education, leadership, practice and advocacy.


5.5 Cubic Feet


(1934–2010) Marshall was an Associate Professor of Nursing at Northwestern University, Chicago, where she established and directed the graduate program in Neuroscience Nursing. Founder and second president of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, she launched its professional journal ("Journal of Neuroscience Nursing"), and established the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses. The collection includes Marshall's correspondence as well as items related to both professional organizations.
American Association of Neuroscience Nurses Collection
Edited Partial Draft
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry Repository

University of Virginia School of Nursing
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0782 United States