Certified Nurses Day™ occurs every March 19, the birthday of Dr. Margretta "Gretta" Madden Styles, RN, EdD, FAAN, one of the greatest leaders in the field of nursing certification. She recognized the critical importance of credentialing before broad awareness of its value and her work created global impact on the nursing profession.
Dr. Styles architected the first comprehensive study of nurse credentialing in the 1970s. She then pioneered the development and implementation of standards and credentials for nurses.
In the 1980s, she spearheaded the definitive work of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) on nursing regulation. A driving force behind the creation of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Dr. Styles advanced nurse certification services and programs across the US and abroad.
Dr. Styles is the only nurse to serve as president of the ICN, ANCC, and American Nurses Association, and the California Board of Registered Nursing. She was also dean and professor of the University of Texas School of Nursing, San Antonio; Wayne State University, Detroit; and the University of California, San Francisco.
She was a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine, and the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom. In May 2006, ICN recognized her for her worldwide contributions with the award of the Christiane Reimann Prize, the profession's most prestigious international honor.
ANCC sponsors research grants to investigate the relationship of nurse credentialing to quality outcomes in health care. The current award is $25,000.