AMSN History

Our Story

In 1990, the American Nurses Association conducted a survey regarding attitudes of nurses working in adult health areas toward membership in professional organizations.

The survey respondents said:
86% - there was no representative for medical-surgical nurses
82% - they were interested in exploring a membership organization for medical-surgical nurses

A proposal was created to develop an organization that would meet the rapidly changing needs of the medical-surgical nurse and be able to support education of the latest clinical trends. AMSN was born! This specialty group, formed by medical-surgical nurses, is a committed to achieving the highest level of clinical and professional performance that assures the public of the highest level of cost-effective, quality patient care by our membership.

AMSN Steering Committee (Philadelphia, PA 1991)-Annette Levitt, MSN, RN, Beverly Ann McGuffin, MS, RN, Alice Poyss, PhD, RN, Cecelia Gatson Grindel, PhD, RN, Peggy Miller,  AMSN, RN, CS, Sally Brozenec, PhD, RN.


AMSN was formed to reach the "hidden and silent" heroes of tertiary care facilities – you!

Nursing has a rich past,and every nurse has a 'spark' that brought them to nursing. Look back on some of the sparks that got us to where we are as a profession, and learn about our AMSN founders' spark for a national association dedicated to medical-surgical nursing.


We’re proud of our history and are pleased to share a few selected highlights:




    The AMSN Steering Committee is formed



    Co-Founder, Alice Poyss is inducted as the first president of AMSN during the First Annual Convention



    MEDSURG Nursing Journal is created; Marilyn Fetter serves as first editor



    Co-Founder, Cecelia Gatson Grindel, assumes the presidency – for the first time



    The AMSN Web Site, is unveiled



    November 1 is established as "Med-Surg Nurses Day"



    Nurses Nurturing NursesTM Mentoring Program is introduced



    A med-surg nursing certification exam task force was formed and a blueprint was designed
    AMSN News is renamed MedSurg Matters!



    The first Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) exam is given  and 702 nurses earn the credential



    The AMSN Research & Scholarship Fund of the Nursing Economic$ Foundation is established



    Cecelia Gatson Grindel, AMSN's second president, begins a second term as President of the association – she is the only President to be elected to second term



    The AMSN Foundation kicks off fund-raising activities to match a $10,000 gift from Mike & Cece Grindel



    Medical-Surgical Nurses Week, November 1-7, is established



    Compassion. Commitment. Connection. is introduced as the AMSN tagline



    MSNCB FailSafe certification program is introduced



    Collaborated with Dr. Marlene Kramer to recognize healthy practice environments in medical-surgical nursing units



    Developed the Clinical Leadership Development Program (CDLP) for clinical nurses at the bedside. Launched the CCCTM exam, the first certification for registered nurses primarily in a CCTM role.



    Happy 25th Anniversary!



    AMSN PRISM Award®️ is established



    Launched the AMSN Legislative Advocacy program



    Updated the AMSN brand and created a new logo