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Oklahoma League for Nursing History 

By P. Eileen Stephens RN MS

OLN History:

There are many new challenges and opportunities for the Oklahoma League for Nursing (OLN) in our great state of Oklahoma. Knowing where we came from as an organization is important to direct where we will be going in the future. The OLN history is somewhat elusive as records have traveled from location to location over the many years. In 2015, the OLN has 75 members which has grown since 2008 with only 50 members. A past OLN president, Thea Clark, reported that “OLN was a huge organization in the past that put on a spring OLN convention in OKC and a fall workshop in Tulsa on a yearly basis." The OLN has always had a yearly meeting and frequent OLN board meetings. The spring and fall workshops have been off and on over the years but in recent years have been revived and OLN offers excellent spring and fall workshops with CEU's for nurse educators, RN's, LPN and nursing students.

Most nursing education faculty and administration are very familiar with the National League for Nursing (NLN), but since many nurses may not be as familiar, I thought some review from NLN web pages would be helpful. The NLN was founded in 1893 and underwent changes over the years while remaining focused on nursing education. The NLN’s mission states, " The National League for Nursing promotes excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of our nation and the global community." ( ​

The NLN is dedicated to excellence in nursing education and is the preferred membership organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. Members of NLN include nurse educators, education agencies, health care agencies, and interested members of the public. The NLN offers faculty development programs, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 28,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. (

Oklahoma League for Nursing became an ‘Affiliated Constituent League’ member of the NLN in late 1970’s. The purpose of being a Constituent League (CL) is to support and implement the mission of the NLN to promote nursing education excellence and their mission. The CL provides for local collaboration and a link between the members within the CL and between the CL and the national office.  In order for Oklahoma to become a CL, we had to have a minimum of eight interested members to form a board of directors that would represent at least 2 areas of Oklahoma. The areas represented at the time were OKC and Tulsa. These members had to also be NLN members as well. Some of the early activities were spring conventions and fall workshops, where educational offerings for faculty and nurses were provided.



            NLN Web page:




            NLN Web page: