The Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) recently held its 40th annual conference and celebrated four decades of nursing research in the Midwest. MNRS continues to be one of the largest nursing research societies in the United States. Over the years, a vast majority of programmatic initiatives included education and tangible support for novice and experienced nurse researchers. In this article, the background for development of MNRS is reviewed with examination of driving forces that led to its creation. Three past presidents, Dr. Joyce Fitzpatrick, the first President of MNRS (1980-1981); Dr. Nancy Bergstrom, the eighth President (1993-1995); and Dr. Sally Lusk, the 14th President (2005-2007), discuss challenges, opportunities, and the exceptional progress made toward fostering excellence in nursing research for the Midwest and contributing to nursing science on a national and global scale. Lessons from the past as well as opportunities for the future are addressed.