One of the most important parts of securing and excelling at your job is networking. This is becoming ever more important in the field of Nursing. Whether you’ve been a nurse for many years or you’re just starting out, joining a professional nursing association can be a fantastic way to connect with other nursing professionals and boost your career. With many different options out there, it can be difficult to decide which organization to join, and why. Here are just a few of the great professional organizations that we recommend you research further if you are looking for ways to keep yourself knowledgeable and actively engaged in the field of Nursing.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the national voice for academic nursing. AACN serves as the catalyst for excellence and innovation in nursing education, research, and practice. AACN works to establish quality standards for nursing education, assists schools in implementing those standards, influences nursing professionals to improve healthcare, and promotes public support for professional nursing education, research, and practice. AACN represents 825 member schools of nursing at public and private universities nationwide, including the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. AACN is a primary advocate for advancing diversity and inclusivity within academic nursing. AACN members have exclusive access to valuable content designed to benefit deans, faculty, staff, and students. As an AACN member, you can learn and network with fellow professionals at their nationwide conferences, earn free Continuing Education (CE) credits by attending a webinar, learn to advance the profession and your career as an academic nursing leader in one of AACN’s professional development programs, and much more.
The American Nurses Association campaigns to improve patient care by supporting both individuals and organizations to advance the nursing profession. From advocating directly to decision-makers in the Halls of Congress to setting the bar for credentialing worldwide, the ANA exists to give every nurse the best chance of success and fosters political engagement among nurses. ANA offers the information, tools, and resources that nurses need to become effective advocates. Through championing the nursing profession, nurses give a voice to the essential role that they play in advancing access to high-quality, affordable care. As an ANA member, you can explore the foundations of what makes nursing the most trusted profession in the U.S., with information from nursing practice and policy, to nursing positions on ethics and innovation. You can also earn various nursing certifications to validate the fact that you have the skills needed to succeed in this ever-changing profession. You can earn the credentials as an expert in your specialty, and become the nurse you want to be. ANA also updates its members on the very latest developments in nursing and healthcare.
The American Society of Registered Nurses was founded for the purpose of bringing together professional nurses interested in creating a nursing “society”. This new Society brings together nurses from all fields of inquiry, regions, and specializations both inside and outside academia in order to expand the study and practice of nursing, and offer support, resources, education, and distinction to its members. The Society serves nurses in all 50 states as well as across the globe. ASRN represents a community for all nursing voices. They invite registered nurses, international professionals, and new graduates to discover ASRN and its goal of advancing nursing as both a science and a profession. ASRN promotes the highest standards of professional nursing ethics and excellence. By establishing a social platform to engage in discourse and career development, ASRN hopes to enhance nurses’ lives both personally and professionally, so that they might positively influence the delivery of healthcare on a global basis. ASRN offers virtual meetings and conferences, virtual job fairs, interview opportunities for local or national hiring, a Career Expo accessible 24/7, and much more to its members. By providing access to these opportunities, ASRN hopes to help you become part of a vital force of registered nurses who believe that health professionals and patients are partners in the management and maintenance of health.
The National Student Nurses’ Association is a nonprofit organization that brings together and mentors students preparing for initial licensure as registered nurses, as well as those enrolled in baccalaureate completion programs. With a membership of 60,000 nationwide, NSNA strives to convey the standards and ethics of the nursing profession and promote the development of the skills that students will need as responsible and accountable members of the nursing profession. They also advocate for high quality, evidence-based, affordable, and accessible healthcare, as well as advances in nursing education. NSNA offers its members career planning opportunities, a subscription to Imprint, a professional magazine for student nurses, discounts on study tools and health & malpractice insurance, leadership development, and community outreach opportunities, scholarship opportunities, and much more. NSNA offers networking events through its Annual Convention and its MidYear Conference to help nursing students and professionals connect with like-minded individuals and enhance their professional development experiences. These opportunities also give students a path to connecting with employers with entry-level positions nationwide.
Hopefully, this list has shown you some of the differences between the many organizations and opportunities available to nursing professionals and help you choose an organization that’s right for you. Please note that these organizations have various membership fees, so be sure to check out their website to find out more information about how to join. Remember, in addition to this list, there are also many local chapters to consider. Local groups tend to provide information tailored to your location. Between access to resources, connecting with other experienced professionals, and continuing your education, joining a nursing organization should definitely be at the top of your list for furthering your professional development. If you want to find out more about any of these great organizations, we recommend following their profiles on LinkedIn. Creating a LinkedIn profile is essential to professional networking and career development. If you have any questions about creating and maintaining your own LinkedIn profile, feel free to schedule an appointment for a LinkedIn consultation with a Career Coach at the Center for Career Development.