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New York State Nurses for Political Action

The New York State Nurses for Political Action (NYS-NPA)    NYS-NPA ceased to exist after the NYSNA Voting Body established a political action committee in 1991. NYSNA PAC bylaws provided for initial Board representation from NYS-NPA. Board of Trustees and committee minutes, annual reports, correspondence, speeches, clippings, flyers, and testimonies document the function of New York State Nurses for Political Action as a political action committee. Also included are copies of the organization’s newsletter, Newsbeat, and photographs. Subject files address endorsement of political candidates, lobbying and legislation, liaison activities, and NYS-NPA’s initiatives in educating nurses in the political process. Topics addressed include NYSNA’s 1985 proposal for entry into professional practice, national health insurance and the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. Records on N-CAP, ANA’S political action committee, include information on its formation, flyers, memoranda to state PACs and correspondence.



Index code: MC1

Finding Guide:

Finding Aid for the New York State Nurses for Political Action Records, 1976-1978  

Finding Aid by Carol A. Gallacchi, Archives Coordinator
Compiled by Arlene Roush, Archives Assistant May 31, 2005


VOLUME: 1.7 linear feet (4 document boxes)
ACQUISITION: The records were given to Warren Hawkes, Director of the Center for Nursing Library, by Diane Powell, an organizer and chairman of the NYSNPA from 1976-1978. The records were in turn transferred to the Foundation of the New York State Nurses Association Inc. Archives under terms governing the Foundation and Association’s records management/archives agreement.
ACCESS: This collection is open to the public by appointment.
COPYRIGHT: Please consult the repository for information about duplication or publishing of any materials from this collection.
New York State Nurses for Political Action Records, 1976-1978 (MC1), Bellevue Alumnae Center for Nursing History, Foundation of New York State Nurses, Guilderland, NY

Administrative History

The New York State Nurses for Political Action (NYS-NPA) has its origins in the Nurses for Political Action (NPA), an organization formed in 1971 by a group of nurses from New York City and Long Island “concerned and disenchanted about trends in Health Care and the impact or lack of impact of nursing on these trends.” Shortly thereafter the organization formed a liaison with the American Nurses Association (ANA). In 1974 ANA established its own political action committee, the Nurses Coalition for Action in Politics (N-CAP), and the NPA subsequently went out of existence as an independent organization. NPA’s remaining funds were held by N-CAP and earmarked for assisting the organization of a New York State political action committee (PAC).

In 1975, with N-CAP’s encouragement, the New York State Nurses Association’s Board of Directors endorsed the concept of a New York State PAC. The NYS-NPA was officially organized in May 1976 as an independent PAC and political action arm of NYSNA. Liaison was via the NYSNA Board and the Legislative Program and the NYS-NPA Board of Trustees. NYS-NPA had two functions: (1) to further the political education of nurses, including registration and voting and (2) to raise funds and make contributions to candidates for political office in New York State. NYSNA supplied start-up money and provided mailings lists, office space, and other assistance.

In 1978 the NYSNA Board of Directors, by resolution, determined that it was not in the best interests of either organization that NYSNA have an official political action arm. Although the decision was reversed by the NYSNA House of Delegates, NYSNA and NYS-NPA were not able to resolve their differences and resolutions of the NYSNA House of Delegates and Board were not implemented. NYS-NPA continued as an independent political action committee. The NYSNA continued its liaison activity with NYS-NPA through its Legislative Program and continued to contribute to the NYS-NPA education fund “to the extent consistent with NYSNA policies and resources as well as applicable law.”

Scope and Contents Notes

The records of the New York State Nurses for Political Action (NYS-NPA) document its function as a political action committee and one-time political action arm of the New York State Nurses Association. Records predate formation of the organization in 1976, starting in 1971 with the formation of a group called the Nurses for Political Action. The bulk of the records cover years 1976-1978.

NYS-NPA’s relationship with the New York State Nurses Association is revealed throughout the collection in meeting minutes, correspondence files, records on the organization of the NYS-NPA and N-CAP and files on lobbying legislation financial and personnel matters.

In addition to minutes and correspondence the collection includes copies of the NYS-NPA newsletter NEWSBEAT, flyers and notices of meetings, materials on NYSNA legislation and lobbying strategies (handouts, correspondence with legislators, workshop materials), testimonies, speeches, reprints and photocopies of articles on political action and the role of nurses in the political process, N-CAP communications, endorsement materials (correspondence lists guidelines), bibliographies. Also included are drafts of speeches on the importance of political involvement and handwritten notes of Chairman Diane Powell on organization activities and miscellaneous meetings. A photograph of Marilyn Goldwater nurse legislator from Maryland ca.1978 and a group photograph of NYS-NPA leaders dated October 1979 are the only photographs in the collection.

The following records of the New York State Nurses Association contain additional information on the NYS-NPA: AC 4 – Board of Directors Liaison Activity; A90-28 – Other Nursing Organizations.

Series Descriptions

Series 1: History and Official Organization Records
Box 1, folders 1-16Records on predecessor organizations and origins of the NYS-NPA; Board of Trustees; committees; chairman’s journal entries and handwritten notes of miscellaneous meetings and organization activities; publications; photographs; general correspondence.
Series 2: Subject files
Boxes 2-4, folders 17-46Subject files address endorsement activities and guidelines, lobbying, political education of nurses, liaison activities with various organizations and NYSNA’s District 13.
Housed in the Bellevue Alumnae Center for Nursing History Photograph Collection, Box 1

Box and Folder List

Series 1: History and Official Organization Records

Box 1

  1. Nurses for Political Action, 1972-1974
  2. Nurses for Political Action Bronx Chapter, 1973-1976
  3. Organizing meetings and organization records, 1976-1979
  4. Annual Reports, 1977
  5. Officers and Board of Trustees lists, 1976-1978
  6. Board of Trustees meeting records and correspondence, 1977-1981
  7. Treasurer’s reports and other financial information, 1977-1979
  8. Public Relations Committee, 1976-1979
  9. Voting Records Committee, 1976-1978
  10. Drafts of reports, notes on activities/meetings, of Chairman Diane Powell, 1976-1978
  11. Photographs, 1978, 1979
  12. Publications – NEWSBEAT, 1977-1978
  13. Personnel: administrative assistant position 1978
  14. Correspondence, 1974-1976
  15. Correspondence, 1977
  16. Correspondence, 1978-1980, 1984

Series 2: Subject Files

Box 2

  1. American Nurses’ Association, 1974-1978
  2. Bibliographies, 1976-1978
  3. Carey, Governor Hugh: correspondence, reports, 1974-1978
  4. Carter/Mondale: platform, budget, advisors, 1976
  5. Concerned Nurses Association and the 1985 Proposal, 1978
  6. Endorsements, 1977-1978
  7. ERA: articles clippings
  8. Koch, Edward: correspondence, news releases, clippings, 1976-1978
  9. Legislation, federal, 1976-1977
  10. Legislative Institute, NYSNA District 13, 1978
  11. Lobbying (reprints, flyers, reports, papers), 1976-1978
  12. Lobbying: learn to lobby training kit
Box 3

  1. National Health Council Inc.: Committee on Health Manpower, 1976
  2. National health insurance, 1972-1977
  3. National League for Nursing (NLN): public affairs seminar, 1975
  4. 1985 Proposal (Entry into Practice Bill), 1974-1978
  5. NYSNA convention 1976
  6. NYSNA convention 1977
  7. NYSNA convention, Marilyn Goldwater presentation, 1978
  8. NYSNA District 13, Public Relations Committee, 1977-1978
  9. New York University, School of Education, Division of Nursing: course materials, undated
  10. Nurse Practice Act, 1972
  11. Nurse practitioners and the Nursing Center for Family Health Services, 1978
  12. Nurses Coalition for Action in Politics (N-CAP), 1978
Box 4

  1. Political Action Committees (PACS), 1976-1978
  2. Speaking engagements, 1977-1978
  3. Speeches, drafts – Diane Powell, 1976-1978
  4. Testimonies and position statements, other organizations, 1974-1977
  5. Workshop: “The Political Nurse,” SUNYA, April 1978
  6. Workshops, miscellaneous, 1977-1978


  • Marilyn Goldwater, 1978: 5 x 7″ (black and white)
  • NYS-NPA Leaders, October 1979, 5 x 7″ (black and white)
    • Helen Archer
    • Cathy Idema
    • Cecilia Mulvey
    • Mary Foley
    • Sadie Smalls
    • Diane Powell
    • Sue Talbott

Arlene Roush May 31, 2005

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