Have you thought about joining a professional nursing association or are you already a member of one? Nursing associations offer a variety of member benefits including opportunities to network and grow your career through continuing education and conferences. It can be a worthwhile investment – if you make the most of your membership. It will impress your boss a lot more if you can say that you are active in your association versus just listing it on your resume.
Here are a few ways to make the most of your nursing association membership:
Take Continuing Education Courses
As a nurse, you should also be a lifelong learner. Some nursing associations like the American Nurses Association (nursingworld.org) offer continuing education courses at a discounted price for members. Classes offered include Bullying in the Workplace: Reversing a Culture and Why Does Conflict Competence Matter?, among many others.
These continuing education courses offer education in areas probably not covered while in nursing school and can give you guidance and confidence in working in healthcare settings.
Network, Network, Network
This is a given, but you should be networking with other RNs and joining an association is a great way to meet other nurses outside of your current place of employment. Share best-practices and gain a supportive network of other nurses passionate about the field.
If your association offers monthly meetings or other gatherings, be sure to attend. You will broaden your perspective and your network.
Does your association have local chapters, committees or events that need volunteers? Rolling your sleeves up is a great way to get to know other nurses, network and make a difference.
Connect with Other Minority Nurses
As a minority nurse, there are nursing associations targeted to specific ethnicities such as the National Black Nurses Association (nbna.org), the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (nahnnet.org) and the Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association (aapina.org).
Joining a nursing association dedicated to minority nurses offers a gathering place for minority nurses to work together toward providing better patient care and outcomes for diverse patient populations.
For instance, the National Black Nurses Association’s mission is “to represent and provide a forum for Black nurses to advocate and implement strategies to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare for persons of color.”
If you’re a brand new nurse or a veteran nurse, nursing associations have a lot to offer. Consider joining one and getting involved today.
Denene Brox is a Kansas City-based freelance writer.
Image credit: Stuart Miles / freedigitalimages.net