Joining the American Nurses Association (ANA) and other nursing organizations is a wise way to boost your career as a nurse. While participating in a nursing association requires extra time and resources, the professional benefits you receive in return are definitely worth it.
5 Reasons Why You Should Join Nursing Organizations
A nursing organization is an official group of nurses and health care professionals that support and advance the nursing profession together to improve health care. Here are some important reasons why you should join the ANA or another nursing organization, or even a specialty association.
Nursing is a complex job that calls for cooperation and coordination with other nurses and health care workers. In the medical field, a group of nurses can accomplish more than a single nurse can on his or her own. One of the best ways to connect with nurses beyond your workplace is to become a member of a nursing organization.
A nursing association gives you the chance to become a part of a community of Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), Nurse Practitioners (NPs), etc. It will grant you opportunities to network, interact, and collaborate with colleagues through live events, online forums, mentorship programs, member directories, and local chapters.
Some organizations are meant for nurses in general, like ANA which represents the interests of around 4 million nurses in the US. Other groups – like the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) and the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) – have been created for nurses with specific specializations. Some organizations have a membership base across various states in the U.S., while others have expanded to include international members.
There are nursing organizations that also welcome members aside from nurses, such as health care professionals, nursing students, and individuals and companies who wish to support the mission of an association.
2. Career Growth
While belonging to a community of nurses will open doors to new career paths, nursing organizations also provide you with other ways to enhance your professional development.
Members of nursing associations typically have access to a career center. If you are interested in new work opportunities, you can create a profile, post your resume, and apply to the latest job openings in your area. Employers can also fill available positions in health care facilities by browsing through a selection of potential candidates in the career center.
You can also develop your leadership potential and hone your nursing skills via volunteer activities, committee projects, seminars, and workshops.
3. Educational Resources
Your education as a nurse doesn’t end in school. Nursing organizations can help you increase your knowledge through educational resources and materials.
You can level up your nursing proficiency by enrolling in continuing education courses and certification training programs. You can learn more about health care topics through webinars, podcasts, and national and regional conferences hosted by your nursing association.
Most nursing organizations send publications to their members. You can stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends in the nursing world by reading the journals and newsletters. Some organizations even give you the chance to earn contact hours through journal subscriptions.
You already make a difference in the lives of your patients through your work as a nurse, but you can also make an impact on a wider scale in the health care industry by joining a nursing association. Nursing organizations serve as the advocate of nurses and health care professionals on both the state and federal levels. These associations provide important input on health issues affecting the well-being of nurses and patients.
You can contribute to the development of health policies by participating in a nursing association. By becoming a proactive member of an organization, you can play a role in the advancement of the nursing profession to improve the overall quality of health care.
Last but not least, becoming a part of a nursing association is a great way to maximize the hard-earned cash that you are willing to invest in your professional growth as a nurse. While you do need to pay membership dues on a regular basis, the benefits you receive from a professional organization are likely to outweigh the cost.
As a member of a nursing organization, you will likely receive free journal subscriptions and full access to exclusive member sections in the website. You may also take advantage of reduced rates for registration fees to conferences, seminars, and other events.
In addition to free subscriptions and reduced rates, you can also get discounts on certification exams, educational courses, books, and other products and services. Some organizations even offer you complimentary or discounted affiliate memberships to partner associations.
How to Join a Nursing Organization
While the exact requirements for aspiring members may vary with each nursing association, there is a typical application process that most organizations recommend for candidates.
If you plan to apply for membership with the association of your choice, you need to fill an application form. Some organizations have online forms that you can complete on their official website, while others have downloadable forms that you must print, answer, and mail along with other required documents. Make sure to note the type of membership that you are interested in.
You should also send the payment for the membership dues that match your membership category. Many associations give you the option to pay via check or credit card. Membership dues are commonly paid on a yearly basis, but some organizations also give you the choice to pay the fees for two or more years (or even a one-time amount for a lifetime membership).