Examine the importance of professional associations in nursing. Choose a professional nursing organization that relates to a specialty area of interest. In a 750‐1,000-word paper, provide a detailed overview of the organization and its advantages for members. Include the following:
- Describe the organization and its significance to nurses in the specialty area. Include its purpose, mission, and vision. Describe the overall benefits, or “perks,” of being a member.
- Explain why networking is important for a nurse in this specialty field. Discuss how this organization creates networking opportunities for members.
- Discuss how the organization keeps its members informed of health care changes and changes to practice that affect the specialty area.
- Discuss opportunities the organization provides for continuing education and professional development.
You are required to cite a minimum of three sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be appropriate for the assignment and relevant to nursing practice.
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Importance of professional associations in nursing:Solution
Professional Association Membership: Examine the Importance of Professional Associations in Nursing
As a healthcare professional, a professional association membership offers a wide range of benefits, such as opportunities to pursue personal and professional development. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the significance of professional associations based on the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is one of the largest non-profit specialty organizations in the United States. AACN is an outstanding community of critical and acute care nurses. The purpose of AACN is to offer personal and professional support for members’ pursuit of excellent critical care support services, including certification, continuing education, and networking (AACN, 2022a). With over 130,000 members drawn from the USA and internationally, the AACN’s mission is to drive excellence by providing influence and expert knowledge to critical and acute care nurses to help them accomplish their obligations to patients and their families. The AACN’s vision is to establish a healthcare system based on the patient’s needs and that of their families and promote their contribution to their care.(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
The AACN’s visions are founded on various values rooted in its traditions, rich history, and culture. These values include integrity, transformation, inclusion, leadership, and relationships. The AACN members are obliged to uphold sound ethical actions and judgments, be accountable, and promote equitable culture, change, and innovation. Moreover, members are called upon to advocate and influence optimal patient outcomes, collaborate, and promote partnerships to strengthen each other and collectively. The AACN offers its members various benefits, including access to continuing education activities, free subscriptions to specific journals, discounts and free shipping of products ordered, access to clinical resources, peer support community, personalized collection of AACN resources, eligibility for scholarships, grants, and awards, and discount on insurance benefits and journal subscriptions (AACN, 2022b).(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
Importance of Networking in Critical Care
Critical care focuses on providing care for unstable and critically ill patients. Critical care nurses work in diverse fields, including intensive care units and emergency departments, which are challenging, require critical decisions, and present numerous ethical dilemmas and stressful events (Scholtz et al., 2016). Moreover, critical care is associated with various serious, multifaceted, and complex clinical conditions. Therefore, personnel working in critical care settings should intensively focus on every aspect of basic life support and nursing care, including insightfulness, intuitive analysis and immediate reaction to changes in vital signs, and nursing with observation. In this regard, networking among critical care nurses is crucial in promoting many aspects of critical care, including progression and intent to remain in the profession.(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
Nurses in critical care can pursue opportunities to improve patient outcomes in many ways. According to Abu-Laban et al. (2022), addressing challenges in emergency settings requires improvements at the level of healthcare personnel and the department. Therefore, it is upon the healthcare personnel and collectively as a department to promote clinical guidance, education, sharing of experiences, and advocacy. Teamwork in critical care is traditionally crucial in effective caregiving. Networking elements such as consistent coordination of care teams, appropriate communication, and support play a crucial role in mitigating poor health outcomes associated with the over 500,000 patients admitted to critical care in the United States, increasing medical errors, high mortality rates, and clinical complications (Pun et al., 2022). Besides, networking is central to healthy work environments because of shared values and consequently promotes the appropriate implementation of clinical guidelines, establishment of critical care protocols, interpersonal relationships, patient safety, and staff satisfaction.(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
AACN and Networking Opportunities
The AACN provides various opportunities for nurses in the critical care specialty to interact with like-minded nurses. The AACN offers both in-person and virtual platforms where nurses in the critical care specialty can tell their stories, pursue growth, and mentor each other (AACN, 2022c). These platforms allow nurses to pursue excellence in critical care, gain knowledge, and collaborate. The AACN promotes networking through online nursing community programs, local chapters, and annual conferences and events.(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
The online nursing community forums allow nurses to meet other like-minded nurses in a safe and welcoming environment. Through these communities, nurses share opinions, ideas, and concerns (AACN, 2022c). The communities are unique from each other and facilitate interactions and discussion among critical care nurses of common topics and their influence on critical and acute care practice in terms of health and progression of the working environment and progression(Importance of professional associations in nursing). Significantly, members discuss best care practices and available community resources, and share knowledge, inspirations, and challenges to find solutions for effective and safe practice. Examples of online communities include clinical practice and peer support communities. The clinical support community members discuss best and evidence-based practices, clinical policies, protocols, procedures, and various clinical practice topics. The clinical practice community members discuss clinical burnout, self-care, posttraumatic stress disorder, and moral distress associated with critical and acute care.(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
The local chapters constitute members devoted to providing high-quality care and personal advancement. Local chapters promote the AACN’s vision and mission in communities by carrying out AACN’s initiatives (AACN, 2022c). Besides networking with other nurses, local chapters also provide ideal opportunities for continuing education, connection to a professional organization, and sharing evidence-based and best practices. The AACN members connect with other local nurses through the local chapters, address local issues, collaborate with other nurses, uphold critical care standards through certification, promote care excellence, leadership, and professional development, and support nursing peers.(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
How AACN Keeps Members Informed
AACN keeps members informed on changes in healthcare practice in various ways. The AACN organizes annual local and national conferences and events with various themes based on the trajectory of critical care nursing (AACN, 2022d). Moreover, the AACN ensures its members stay current with the current critical and acute care practice through publications, newsletters, and clinical resources. The AACN publishes the latest evidence-based clinical information on critical care in various reputable journals, including Critical Care Nurse, American Journal of Critical Care, and Advanced Critical Care (AACN, 2022e). The AACN creates practice alerts and runs various critical care projects. Practices alerts constitute directives on best and evidence-based nursing practices (AACN, 2022f).(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
AACN projects such as Defeat Delirium: Yes We Can and Wake Me Up! It’s Time to Breathe with the ABCs are engaged in innovative activities promoting effective health care. For instance, the Defeat Delirium: Yes We Can aim to promote nurses’ compliance and accuracy when using the Confusion Assessment Methods among Delirium patients in the ICU, provide delirium education, and promote early identification (AACN, 2022e). On the other hand, the Can and Wake Me Up! It’s Time to Breathe with the ABCs aims to standardize nursing practices of carrying out a spontaneous awakening trial, incorporate spontaneous breathing trial, educate nurses on Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale, and minimize ventilator-associated (AACN, 2022e).(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
Opportunities for Professional Development and Continuing Education
The AACN provides various opportunities for members to develop professionally and pursue further education. The AACN provides free access to continuing clinical education activities for its members to stay relevant to current research and practices (AACN, 2022g). These activities offer tools and knowledge to allow nurses to provide optimal care. Moreover, the AACN scholarship programs promote personal reflection, lifelong learning, and growth (AACN, 2022h). These provisions allow members to chart their career paths within critical and acute care nursing(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
Abu-Laban, R. B., Christenson, J., Lindstrom, R. R., & Lang, E. (2022). Emergency care clinical networks. Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, 24(6), 574-577. https://doi.org/10.1007/s43678-022-00348-3
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). (2022a). About AACN. Available at: https://www.aacn.org/about-aacn (Accessed 7 November 2022)(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). (2022b). Membership Benefits. Available at: https://www.aacn.org/membership/membership-benefits (Accessed 7 November)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). (2022c). Direct Care Nurse Resource Center: Networking. Available at: https://www.aacn.org/direct-care-nurse-resources?#networking (Accessed 7 November 2022)(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). (2022d). Conferences & Events. https://www.aacn.org/conferences-and-events (Accessed 7 November 2022)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). (2022e). AACN Publications. Available at: https://www.aacn.org/education/publications (Accessed 7 November 2022)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). (2022f). Clinical Resources. Available at: https://www.aacn.org/clinical-resources (Accessed 7 November 20222)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). (2022g). Continuing Education Activities. Available at: https://www.aacn.org/education/ce-activities (Accessed 7 November 2022)(Importance of professional associations in nursing)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). (2022h). AACN Continuing Professional Development Scholarships. Available at: https://www.aacn.org/education/scholarship (Accessed 7 November 2022)
Pun, B. T., Jun, J., Tan, A., Byrum, D., Mion, L., Vasilevskis, E. E., … & Balas, M. (2022). Interprofessional Team Collaboration and Work Environment Health in 68 US Intensive Care Units. American Journal of Critical Care, 31(6), 443-451. https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2022546
Scholtz, S., Nel, E. W., Poggenpoel, M., & Myburgh, C. P. (2016). The culture of nurses in a critical care unit. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 3, 2333393615625996. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2333393615625996