7 Nursing Associations To Join Today

7 Nursing Associations To Join Today

By Elizabeth Marcant, Contributor

Do you belong to one or more nursing associations? Whether you're a student currently in nursing school or an RN years into his or her career, it's never too early or late to join an association.

Some benefits of joining an official nursing organization include:

  1. Access to extra resources when looking for a job
  2. Ability to attend networking, conference and education events
  3. Access to CEU opportunities
  4. Online forums and groups where you can interact with professionals dealing with some of the same things you face daily
  5. Opportunities to find mentors or build your career support system
  6. Access to some of the most up-to-date literature in your specialty

While patient care is the primary job of most nurses, spending time engaging in nurse networking can make you a better clinician and help you provide enhanced care for your patients. Here are seven organizations or types of organizations you may want to consider joining.

And after you complete the membership application for one or more of these organizations, consider visiting Travel Nursing and completing an application for a travel nursing job. Being open to different kinds of opportunities is another way to advance your career.

Nursing Associations to Become a Member of

1.The American Nurses Association

The ANA is a national organization that provides members a number of benefits, including the ability to stay current with national nursing news, save money via a wide variety of membership discounts and network and connect with other RNs.

You can join ANA via several membership levels, including an option to join only the ANA or to join the ANA plus the related state-level organization. The ANA also offers opportunities for nursing students or healthcare professionals who have not obtained their RN license.

2. National Student Nurses Association

For new grad nursing students, nurse networking may be the first opportunity for advancing the early steps of their career. But you don't have to wait until you graduate and earn your license to join a nursing association and begin networking. The NSNA provides benefits targeted to students and new nurses, including career planning assistance, discounts on study tools, coaching and development outreach and scholarship programs. 

RELATED6 Career Networking Tips for New Grad Nurses

3. International Council of Nurses

For travel nurses with a global worldview, the ICN may be an ideal match. This nursing organization pulls more than 130 national associations together under a single umbrella, expanding the networking opportunities across borders and cultures.

4. Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

You don't have to work in hospice to join the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. Many nurses working in hospital environments deal with end-of-life care issues on a regular basis, which can be a stressful and difficult position for RNs. Joining an association that specializes in these matters lets you network with other professionals, where you can talk openly about your struggles and find support and education.

5. Diversity nursing associations

Minority men and women in nursing may want to join a nursing association that celebrates or specializes in diversity or the concerns of specific minorities. Many of these organizations also take non-minority members who are seeking to create friendly healthcare workplaces for all. Some options to consider include:

6. State nursing associations

Some nursing associations operate at the state level only and others include state chapters you can join. For example, the ANA provides a searchable list of state-level associations, and you can choose to join only the state chapter. State nursing associations typically provide more opportunities for regional networking and mentorship because all events are located with a day's drive (or potentially two days, in the case of the largest states). These organizations may also be better equipped to help you handle state-specific nursing issues, as they are able to concentrate solely on the laws, requirements and culture within the state.

7. Specialty nursing associations

Nurses who specialize or want to specialize should always consider specialty associations. These organizations promote education, nurse networking and other opportunities within a specific discipline and allow you to meet with RNs and other healthcare professionals who face the same types of challenges and questions you do on a daily basis. If you can specialize in it as a nurse, chances are there's an organization to join. Here are just a few:

Nursing associations aren't the only way you can network. The internet also provides some valuable opportunities for nurse networking. But joining an association provides you with an official connection to like-minded professionals, and it can look great on your resume.

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