Professional organizations and associations in nursing are important for generating the energy, flow of ideas, and proactive work needed to keep a healthy profession that looks out for the needs of its clients, nurses, and the trust of society. Early on, some people in each society started taking care of and feeding people who couldn’t take care of themselves. As these people became “care experts,” they started telling others what worked for them and training apprentices who would eventually take over their jobs.
Professional development is a key part of lifelong learning in which nurses engage to develop and maintain competence, enhance professional nursing practice, and promote the accomplishment of career goals,” according to the American Nurses Association (ANA) (2010).
Alumni of nursing schools got together and made a national group to raise the standards of nursing education, set up a code of ethics, and promote the interests of nursing. This group used to be called the Associated Alumnae of Trained Nurses of the United States and Canada. In 1911, they changed their name to the American Nurses Association (ANA) (ANA, 2009). So, the formal groundwork was set for the nursing profession and the good of nurses and everyone else in society.
Professional nursing organizations offer their members benefits such as ongoing education, certification, role-specific skills, and access to educational conferences. It seems like every day brings new developments in healthcare. To be at the forefront of practice developments, nurses should join an organization that promotes their specialty or population of practice. The use of the evidence-based practice is encouraged and promoted by nursing organizations. Nursing organizations that certify nurses in certain fields often provide members with access to continuing education courses that are directly applicable to their work. Nursing conferences are held annually by a variety of nursing groups. All around the country, and sometimes the world, nurses will gather for these conferences to network and learn from one another. You can meet other nurses from all over the world and build professional relationships.
With ANA, the nurse is safeguarded and represented, and they receive the training and information they need to preserve their license by staying within their area of expertise. The nursing process is a critical-thinking concept used in the standards of practice to explain competent nursing care.
Passing the NCLEX is the first step in a lifetime of professional growth as a nurse. Career development is an ongoing process that calls for active engagement throughout your working life. As you work toward becoming a nurse professional, joining a nursing organization is only one option among several.
American Nurses Association [ANA]. (2010). Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice. https://www.rn.com/nursing-organizations-the-role-they-play-in-professional-development/
American Nurses Association. (2009). Historical review of nursing and the ANA. Retrieved June 19, 2011, from www.nursingworld.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/AboutANA/History.
2)A nursing association is an organization dedicated to the professional and personal development of its members and to the general advancement of the profession. People tend to get together, talk to each other, and speak up for their cause. This is certainly happening in nursing, as evidenced by the breadth and depth of various nursing groups striving to improve the work of nurses in general and their profession. Nursing organizations can help nurses stay up to date on current practices, read what leaders in the field are saying, and gain insight into what other hospitals across the country are doing to innovate and advance patient care (Gaines, 2019).
Membership in professional nursing organizations provides nurses with continuing education, certification opportunities, role-based competencies, and educational conferences. Changes in healthcare happen almost every day but by partnering with a nursing organization that supports your specialty or practice population, nurses can be at the forefront of practice change. Nursing organizations promote and encourage the use of evidence-based practice among their members. Professionally certified nurses also benefit by finding professional nursing organizations offering continuing education relevant to their practice. Many nursing organizations hold annual nursing conferences that bring together nurses from all over the country and sometimes the world to share training and best practices. It also provides an opportunity to network with fellow caregivers around the world. Furthermore, these nursing organizations lend a collective and unified voice for nurses while speaking for their interests in high places e.g government.
More than 100 nursing organizations each represent nurses with a mission and vision statement tailored to their interests, goals, and objectives. The American Association of Nurses (ANA), which is a national organization, and the International Council of Nurses (ICN), an international organization, address and advocate for the needs of all nurses and the nursing profession, regardless of specialty. Professional activism is the engagement of qualified and competent professionals using strategic campaigns to achieve goals (Goode,2020). In nursing, nurses come together to determine a need, identify a problem, design and implement a plan to address the problem, evaluate, and go over that plan until the problem is disposed of. The primary approaches used by nursing organizations while advocating for patient care are the documentation and analysis of patient outcomes compiled by their nurses in different healthcare settings together with the promotion of accreditation and certification of institutions of learning. Both are done for patient safety. Also, they see to the development and dissemination of authorizing documents, lobbying for laws and regulations that protect and serve users of nursing services, and patient care which impacts the ability of nurses to provide safe care.
Gaines, K. (2019). You should join a nursing organization. Here’s why. https://nurse.org/articles/benefits-of-nursing-organizations/
Goode, T. (2020). What does professional activism look like? https://www.wsna.org/news/2020/what-does-professional-activism-look-like
3)Professional nursing organizations support and advocate for nurses by helping make changes at a union and state legislative level. Organizations like the American Nurses association support nurses in pursuing practice law changes. Some offer education classes on how to bring political law into identified practice issues (“The Building Blocks of Advocacy,” 2021). Professional nursing organizations indirectly support patient care by supporting nurses. Any time someone is supporting the cause of another it is advocacy (Green, 2018). By being a voice to advocate safer work environments, codes of ethic, practice guidelines or reasonable patient ratios, nursing organization are in turn supporting better, safer patient care.
The Building Blocks of Advocacy. (2021, April). The New Mexico Nurse. https://web-s-ebscohost-com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=bde013b5-4fb8-46e8-8acf-5258570c3350%40redi