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This historical study is an analysis of the American Nurses Association's(ANA) Economic Security Program (ESP) from 1946 to 1966. Primary data sources include ANA Biennial Convention proceedings, ANA headquarters files, the ANA Collection at Mugar Memorial Library, and selected nursing journals. The findings indicate that although ANA took a bold step in initiating the ESP and collective bargaining, the ESP was minimally effective for several reason: nurses would not support collective bargaining, hospitals would not negotiate with nurses. ANA would not use coercive tactics, and hospitals were not included under existing labor laws. As a result, ANA resorted to an old tactic, education, to secure its economic goals.