In 1968, acknowledging the need for an organization that represents the interests of nurses working in the emergency department, Anita Dorr, RN and Judith Kelleher, RN MSN, founded what is known today as the National Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). It was their vision to unite emergency nurses, set standards and improve methods of emergency nursing practice. Today, ENA is an international organization representing over 35 countries and is recognized as the voice of emergency nursing globally.
During the 1970’s, Mae Webb, RN served as the Director of the Emergency Department at East Jefferson Hospital in New Orleans. She is considered the pioneer behind the initiation of the Louisiana Council of the Emergency Nursing Association (LENA). - In 1971, when the National ENA held their first meeting in Buffalo, NY, Mae attended and represented the state. She returned to her home state with a mission to gather emergency nurses to form an ENA chapter. Around 1973-74 New Orleans formed a chapter and partnered with the Baton Rouge chapter led by Brenda Brown, RN. At that time, Brenda was the manager of the Emergency Department at Baton Rouge General Medical Center.
By the late 70’s Louisiana had grown into an active State Chapter with approximately 200 emergency nurses as members of the National ENA. Mae served as the Louisiana State Council President for almost 18 years. During these early years of development, the state chapter worked to expand its membership and improve emergency nursing. Brenda Brown has continued to be an active member serving on the LENA Board of the Directors.
Today, the LENA board of directors comprises a total of 20 members representing various regions from across the state. LENA membership has grown to include a total of over 500 Louisiana emergency nurses and has developed a common voice for a common cause. The Louisiana chapter collaborates with National association in its mission to advocate for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practice.
About the National Emergency Nurses Association