Mission Statement

To promote and provide programs for professional and educational advancement of nursing so that better nursing care may be provided to all people.


The Golden State Nursing Foundation through its scholarships and programs plans to help:

  • Prepare nurses for the roles emerging from the changes in the delivery of health care.
  • Preserve the local history of nursing.
  • Support innovative practice in nursing.
  • Develop a fundraising plan to assure that activities can be planned to carry out the mission.


The Golden State Nursing Foundation-GSNF is uniquely California. Golden State Nursing Foundation (GSNF) was created by Nurses for Nurses. The foundation was formed in 1994 with the purposes of granting scholarships to qualifying nurses and to create a Nurse Museum to honor the profession.

Started by a group of nurses in Northern California the foundation was specifically created to offer scholarships to nurses and to receive grants from outside donations to conduct and pursue activities consistent with the mission of GSNF.

In 1929 a physician Morris Herzstein invested $10,000 for the specific purpose of generating monies to be used by the then San Francisco Nurse Association. Over the course of many years that money grew and the organization changed its name to Golden Gate Nurses Association. In 1994, Golden Gate became the Golden State Nursing Foundation and they incorporated into a non-profit organization. The founding Board of Directors became the keepers of this investment and use it today to further the objectives of the foundation.

Founding Board Members: Stan Walker, President; Elaine McKenna, Secretary/Chief Financial Officer; Jo Anne Saxe, and Tony Leone Board Members. Jo Anne Powell was Special Project Coordinator and provided staff support for the board.

  • GSNF works to receive grants with several target areas of interest. These Grant Money Targets are:
  • Projects dedicated to the preservation of nursing history
  • Nursing Scholarships for graduate school and other career enhancement
  • Educational program support grants for nursing faculty
  • Special projects support of nurse-managed clinics and/or demonstration projects


Jo Anne Powell, RN, a founding member of the GSNF Board, collected nursing books, paraphernalia, and documents for a permanent record of nursing in our state. Other nurses have contributed uniforms, caps and pins as well as pictures and other paraphernalia.

If nursing history is your interest the GSNF is looking for nurses to participate on a committee to work on a virtual museum and locations to house our nursing artifacts. This committee would meet primarily by email and conference calls. If you are interested in this endeavor please notify us at: gsnfoundation@gmail.com

Board of Directors

President: Elissa Brown, MSN, APRN, BC, CNS

Treasurer: Cathy Melter, RN, MSN, CWOCN

Board Members: Dr. Liz Dietz, EdD, RN, CS-NP; Jane Vincent Corbett RN, EdD; Cathy Melter, RN, MSN, CWOCN; Robyn Nelson, PhD, MS, RN