The Polish Nurses’ Association

The Polish authorities has not allowed for reactivation of the Polish Association of Professional Nurses after the war. The Nurses’ and Midwives’ Section at the new Health Care Workers’ Union was seen as a sufficient representation. The International Council of Nurses, despite lacking official Polish national nursing association, did not deprive Poland of its membership. Sister Wanda Żurawska was invited to chair the ICN Ethics Department.

Former PAPN members – Jadwiga Suffczyńska (last President), Jadwiga Kaniewska-Iżycka (replacing Wanda Lankajtes, who was refused a passport), sister Wanda Żurawska from the Daughters of Charity, Lunia Wachowska-Kaplińska nad Nona Łyżwańska took part in the ICN Congress in Atlantic City, 1947.

Political changes in Poland in 1956 were conducive for next trials of establishing an association. Thanks to the Minister of Health assistance, the Organizational Committee of the Polish Nurses’ Association was set up, with the initiators: Zofia Konderska, Jadwiga Kaniewska-Iżycka, Anna Biernacka-Setnikowa, Rachela Hutner, Halina Stefańska, Zofia Żołędziowska, Helena Rabowska-Witkiewicz and the others.

Protokół z posiedzenia Komitetu Założycielskiego Polskiego Towarzystwa Pielęgniarskiego,

The Polish Nurses’ Association (PNA) was established durigh the first National Assembly in Warsaw, on January 8-9, 1957. Halina Stefańska was elected as the first President of the Management Board.

Political circumstances determined range and methods of its activity. Trade unions took over material and social problems of nurses and midwives, leaving opinion forming and advocacy to the PNA.

The PNA continues ideas of the PAPN. It aims in permanent increase of the profession’s status.

The PNA’s tasks included:

  • unification of methods of entering the profession (18 possibilities),
  • finalization of state exams,
  • reactivation of the ICN membership,
  • novelization of the Act on nursing profession,
  • establishing the special unit within the Ministry of Health responsible for nursing policy,
  • nursing higher education,
  • professional ethics

Elaborated by Krystyna Wolska-Lipiec




PNA Folder