Margretta Madden Styles was a pioneering and innovative thinker who transformed the nursing profession. Her unwavering dedication and focus on advancing both nurse certification programs and services around the globe forever changed the certified nursing industry. Today, we celebrate Certified Nurses Day on Dr. Styles birthday, March 19, to commemorate the extraordinary ways she changed the credentialing of the industry.

Dedicated Educational Path

Dr. Styles’ long and illustrious career spanned the nursing and education fields and began when she obtained undergraduate degrees in chemistry and biology from Juniata College. She then earned her master’s degree in nursing from Yale University before attending the University of Florida for her doctorate in education.

A Career Reflective of Strong Nursing Foundation

Duke University was the site of Dr. Styles’ first teaching job as an associate professor. She later moved on to secure the title of dean of nursing at numerous, prestigious universities across the country.

A Legacy of Pioneering Innovations

It was during the 1970s, Dr. Styles conducted the first thorough study of nurse credentialing. This lead to a comprehensive set of certified nurse standards. The following decade, she spearheaded the field of nursing regulation through her work with the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and was instrumental in creating the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

An Inspiration to All Nurses

Dr. Styles is the only nurse to have served as president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the ANCC, the ICN and the California Board of Registered Nurses.

Each year, on March 19th, Certified Nurses Day is celebrated to coincide with Dr. Styles’ birthday. It is a way to honor a pioneering and visionary woman who forever changed the landscape of nursing and nursing certification to become known as the “Mother of Nursing.” Read more about influential nurses on the Ohio Association of Advanced Practices Nurses blog.