NC Student Nurse Association

70th Anniversary of the Student Nurse Association of North Carolina

The upcoming 2019 NCNA Annual Convention marks 70 years since delegates to the 42nd Convention, held in High Point in 1949 voted to sponsor a state-wide Student Nurse Association.   Four months later, on February 8, 1950, 136 student nurses and 15 faculty members gathered in High Point for an organizational meeting of the Student Nurse Association of North Carolina (SNANC).  Twenty-seven schools of nursing were represented.  Dorothy Inscore, a white student at N. C. Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem was elected President and Alberta Leeper, an African American student at Good Samaritan Hospital in Charlotte was elected first Vice-President. The group’s purposes included  promoting interest and participation in the professional nursing organizations;  providing  opportunities for social  contact among student nurses; encouraging student government in schools of nursing; preparing student and new graduate nurses to work on problems affecting nursing and community affairs; providing leadership opportunities at the local, state and national levels; and recruiting young women into the nursing profession. 

SNANC promoted the annual Miss North Carolina Student Nurse pageant for several years in the late 1940s.  The winner went on a two-week speaking/recruiting tour of high schools across the state.  Each Miss North Carolina Student Nurse won an all-expenses-paid week at Wrightsville Beach including a new beach wardrobe in addition to a $150 scholarship.

The first Annual Business Meeting of the SNANC was held on Wednesday 25th, 1950 in conjunction with the 43rd NCSNA Annual Convention in Winston-Salem. Three hundred and nine students attended. The Duke University student nurse glee club opened the meeting and were followed by a keynote address by Dr. Elizabeth Kemble, the new Dean of the new UNC School of Nursing.  

The organization grew and prospered.   In 1951, SNANC celebrated the first “Student Nurses Week” from May 6-13.  In addition to a proclamation from the governor, student nurses across the state were interviewed on radio shows, wrote newspaper articles, spoke in high school classrooms and gave tours of their schools.  In 1952 their first publication, The Hypodermic was sent to every member. 

Today the organization is thriving and known as the North Carolina Association of Student Nurses (NCANS).  Over 100 students representing 14 nursing programs attended the 2019 conference.  The Hypodermic is published quarterly.  Continuing in the traditions of the last 70 years, student nurses continue to recruit new nursing students, assume leadership positions in the profession and advocate  political changes benefiting  the nursing profession and the health of all North Carolinians.




Miss NC Student Nurse Competition, circa 1948 and 1949. From the North Carolina Good Health Association Records, #3550, Southern Historical Collection.

1947 winner was Alice Maxwell of Raeford.

1948 is Ann McSwain Harrell, a 1948 Duke University graduate

1949 is Juanita Lee

1949 Miss Student Nurse was Juanita Lee