by Jason P. Smith
The Colorado Nurses Association (CNA), a Constituent Member of the American Nurses Association (ANA), recently got together for a special celebration. More than 200 people – many of them nurses – gathered together to celebrate the 100 year Centennial celebration of the CNA with a gala dinner at the Westin Conference Center in Westminster.
The dining hall was adorned with historical nursing memorabilia, including uniforms, photos and a variety of other displays. This was a big celebration not only for CNA but for nurses throughout Colorado.
Included in the celebration was the recent proclamation of Governor Bill Owens to make Sept. 30 Colorado Nurses Association Day and the induction of 15 nurses in the Colorado Nurses Association Hall of Fame.
The recognition of the 15 nurses was proceeded by various role play skits that included nurses such as Julia Ray Work, Louie Croft Boyd and Florence Nightingale. The evening also featured greetings by ANA President Barbara Blakeney.
The 15 nurses who were inducted into the Hall of Fame were Louie Croft Boyd (deceased); Denver, Sylvia Clark (deceased), Monument; Oca Cushman (deceased) Denver; Marilynn Doenges, Colorado Springs; Jo Eleanor Elliott, Boulder, Lola Fehr, Greeley; Deloris Giltner, Pueblo; Ruth M. Harboe, (deceased), Lakewood; Karren Kowalski, Larkspur; Elda Popiel, (deceased), Denver; Gertrude Potts Ragan, (deceased), Loveland; Mary Walker, (deceased), Denver; Jean Watson, Boulder; Althea Williams, Fort Collins; Julia Ray Work, (deceased), Colorado Springs. Virginia S. Paulson (deceased), Denver, former CNA Executive Director, was inducted as an honorary member of the hall of fame.
The selection of the 15 members was a year-long process with a committee that met several times to make the final selections.
These current and past members are being honored for their significant contributions to the nursing profession and to the health of Coloradans since 1904.
The Colorado Nurses Association serves as the professional association for registered nurses in Colorado. Over the past century, CNA has provided direction and a voice for the profession of nursing and nurses as leaders in health care in Colorado.
"The AMA has a hall of fame, and doing some historical research for this celebration, we realized there is a lot of history here in Colorado that we don’t want to get lost," said Paula Stearns, executive director of the Colorado Nurses Association. "You heard them talking all night about standing on the shoulders of giants in nursing, well these people in the hall of fame are those giants."