Joining a Professional Nursing Association

by Howard Gerber on January 2, 2015

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join-nursing-associationWhether you are a recent graduate of a nursing program or a seasoned nurse, there are many options when it comes to joining nursing associations. A nursing association is a professional organization aimed at supporting and advancing the nursing profession.

Benefits of Joining a Nursing Association

Before deciding which nursing association is right for you, it is helpful to get an idea of the benefits of joining. Consider some of the following benefits:

Educational Opportunities:

Professional organizations often offer continuing education classes on a variety of nursing topics. Continued education is important in any field, but medicine changes rapidly and staying up to date on the latest information is a critical part of the job. Nursing associations may also offer specialty certifications, which can increase your marketability and knowledge.

Conventions:

Nursing conventions are often organized and sponsored by professional nursing associations. Conventions provide opportunities for education and making professional contacts in the field.  Attending conferences is also a way to become involved in topics in nursing you are passionate about.

Networking:

It can be beneficial to meet other medical professionals in your field. Networking can lead to job prospects and opportunities, which you may not otherwise have.

Job Assistance:

Some professional nursing associations have a listing of employment opportunities posted on their website, which can help you with your job search.

Nursing Association Opportunities

There are many different types of nursing associations.

State Nursing Associations:

Most states have a professional nursing association. Joining a state organization allows you to keep up to speed on local nursing issues, which may affect you.

Specialty Organizations:

Nursing organizations are available for nurses who work in specialties, such as trauma, intensive care, and emergency medicine.Examples of specialty nursing associations include the Academy of Neonatal Nurses, Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses, and Emergency Nurses Association.

How to Get the Most Out of a Nursing Association

In order to join a professional nursing association, you need to fill out an application and pay a fee. After joining the organization, there are several things you can do in order to get the most from your membership.

  • Visit their website: Most professional nursing associations have a website, which may have information on conventions, continuing education opportunities and upcoming meetings. Exploring the websites is an easy way to learn more about the association.
  • Attend meetings: Depending on the nursing association you join, you may be able to attend local meetings. Attending meetings gives you the opportunity to meet others in the field and get involved in aspects of the nursing professional, which you feel strongly about.
  • Run for office: Although running for office may not be for everyone, some nurses may find they want to take a leadership role in their organization. State nursing associations may present the best opportunities for nurses to run for office.
  • Read the organization’s newsletter or journal: Some professional nursing associations publish newsletters or journals, which can be a great way to advance your knowledge about issues concerning the nursing profession.
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