You are currently an undergraduate student studying nursing. You might be wondering how should I get involved and what benefit is there from my membership?
Here at UConn there is a student run organization many of you are familiar with named the UConn Student Nurses Association (SON). According to their webpage their purpose statement is “The UConn Student Nurses Association (SNA) is a student lead organization that is open to all students of the university and affiliated campuses. The group mentors students in many areas of healthcare such as; preparing for initial licensure as registered nurses, legislation on healthcare reform, healthcare technology, communication technology and healthcare education. The UConn SNA participates in community services events within the general university and local community; represents UCONN-SON students and other fields within the university, and at state and national meetings; sponsors an annual career fair for all healthcare majors; and conducts fundraising events; volunteers in several local and national groups and interest. Its purpose is to convey the standards, ethics, and skills that students will need as responsible and accountable leaders and members of any profession of health interest.”
Similar to the Student Nurses Association, professional associations are a collective group of individuals that have an interest in a specific vocation, promoting or advocating issues in the profession and offer advancement or professional development opportunities for their members. Most professional associations have publications, research and white papers available to their membership. In addition, it is not uncommon for associations to host workshops and host a yearly conference. Many offer student discounted memberships which provides you access to member only resources such as mentor networks and job postings. Associations are also a great way to explore areas of specialty in the nursing field. One of my favorite resources is the American Nurses Association (ANA). ANA provides nursing students a free subscriber account so you can access membership materials. They also have a great resource page for student nurses where you can review career information and ask questions at their nursing community site. For more information, click here. The Connecticut chapter of ANA is called the Connecticut Nurses’ Association (CAN) and you can find more information on their website.
For those of you who are seeking information about a specific specialty area of nursing or want to become a member of an association for a particular nursing specialty, there is a very comprehensive list at Nurse.Org which has a comprehensive list of profession organizations by specialty.