There may be no such thing as a typical day in nursing, but you can guarantee that nurses will be busy. It can be a challenge just to keep up with the daily activities of a shift, let alone take a break to catch up on the latest healthcare news.
Still, nurses have an obligation to stay current in their profession. This is a major benefit of joining a nursing organization. Most RNs are familiar with the American Nurses Association. But there are many others to consider.
What Are Some Advantages of Membership?
RNs join professional nursing organizations for many reasons:
- Professional organizations can be an efficient way to stay up to date with the latest topics in healthcare.
- Educational conferences hosted by nursing organizations are a great way to network, learn about innovations and current research, and just recharge.
- Nursing organizations often offer career resources, such as employer-posted openings.
- Organizations that offer webinars and online courses can help RNs meet continuing education requirements.
- Membership in a nursing organization unites nurses around a common interest or cause. This gives them a stronger voice on issues that affect the profession and healthcare.
Joining a nursing organization is a sign of commitment to the profession. It may also help RNs land a job. Resumes that include professional memberships let employers know that an applicant is active and up to date in nursing.
Which Organization Is for You?
There are so many nursing organizations, it may be difficult to decide which to join. RNs often join a comprehensive nursing organization such as the American Nurses Association. RNs may also join an organization for a nursing specialty.
Nursing organizations can be a helpful way to get the inside scoop on an area of interest. Ever wonder what it would be like to be a critical care transport nurse? Does being a camp nurse sound like bliss? Maybe you want to help an entrepreneurial nursing venture get off the ground. There is a professional organization for each of these nursing interests and more.
The following overview of a few nursing organizations can help answer the question, "Why join a nursing organization?"
American Nurses Association (ANA): There is a reason most RNs are encouraged to join the ANA. Don't have time to lobby Congress? The ANA is doing that. Looking for professional development on using data in day-to-day decision-making? There is a webinar for that. Members can save on hundreds of online independent study modules, keep current with peer reviewed journals, access essential nursing tools such as CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) and so much more.
National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA): Over 60,000 nursing students belong to this organization dedicated to fostering professional development. The NSNA Foundation also awards over $250,000 annually in scholarship funding.
Emergency Nurses Association (ENA): The ENA has more than 42,000 members worldwide. ENA podcasts keep members current in emergency nursing. Members can access wide-ranging free and discounted education opportunities (with CE credit), resources on timely topics such as the opioid crisis and emerging infectious diseases, and more. Members are invited to share their experiences by video, adding a global perspective to emergency care.
Nursing organizations offer a wealth of benefits to nurses. There are almost too many options to choose from, but getting involved in a professional nursing organization can be a great way to stay energized and active in nursing.
Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can help RNs discover new areas of professional interest. For example, the CCNE-accredited online RN to BSN program at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) includes coursework in the fast-growing field of pharmacogenomics. Joining a nursing organization can help RNs continue to expand their professional development beyond graduation.
Learn more about Eastern Illinois University's online RN to BSN program.
Sources:Emergency Nurses Association
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