contract nursing team meeting sitting with laptops
Contract Nursing October 14, 2019

By Jane Anderson

7 Reasons Why You Should Join a Nursing Organization

Are you as a contract nurse part of a nursing organization? Maybe you should be. As a member of a nursing organization, you have almost unlimited resources at your disposal. 

Community forums, formal continuing education, informative publications, and conferences all provide you with the means to increase your knowledge and nursing skills and can be a great way to meet other like-minded individuals.

Nursing organizations rely upon help from their members to affect political change and give back to their communities. 

Types of Professional Nursing Organizations

When choosing a nursing organization or association, take a look at the members and benefits offered. Some organizations are incredibly large and encompass any nursing field.

Others are very specific and focus on specialty skills that apply only to a select set of nurses. There are minority organizations, religious fellowships, and societies for nurses that work in certain types of communities.

Take the necessary steps to apply for membership in a professional nursing organization today. If you are involved in a specialty practice, join that one as well. 

The payoff in terms of educational and human resources is worth any membership dues, and your support helps enrich the profession of nursing for yourself and future nurses.

7 Benefits of Joining a Professional Nursing Organization

Professional nursing organizations help you succeed in your chosen nursing career path in many ways. Learn more about the importance of nursing organizations and how joining can benefit you.

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  • Connect with Peers: Perhaps the greatest reason to join a nursing organization is the ability to share thoughts and ideas about your passion with similar colleagues. Ranging from general organizations such as Alpha Tau Delta (National Fraternity for Professional Nurses) to specific niche affiliations like American Forensic Nurses, these groups all provide a forum in which to ask questions and voice your opinions. This knowledge exchange is an excellent environment for both experienced and new nurses. Online communities provide a non-judgmental place to seek advice on coworker conflicts and question hospital policies.  Seasoned nurses get the opportunity to assist others through personal patient experiences. Everyone enjoys hearing about the latest technologies, and all have opinions on health care reform. In addition, professional nursing organizations often sponsor nurse mentoring programs, which are an excellent way for recent graduates to avoid nurse burnout.
  • Gain Legislative Support: Most professional nursing organizations are involved in political advocacy, and they often join with other associations to strengthen their voice.  For example, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is one organization that is working with others to transform work environments, change palliative care policies and ensure adequate staffing. The American Nurse Association has formed a political action committee to support candidates that represent the goals and ideology of the nursing community. Membership gives you a chance to become involved in the selection and endorsement of government officials.
  • Explore the Latest Advances and Updates in Your Field: Monthly newsletters, magazines, and emails keep professional nursing organizations in touch with their members.  These publications are filled with ways to improve your nursing skills, discover new medical research and keep up-to-date with legislation.
  • Take Advantage of the Career Opportunities Offered by Nursing Organizations: Many organizations provide space for employer-posted job openings. This is especially helpful if you are interested in a specialty field. You may find opportunities for research work and teaching positions at universities and colleges. There are also many ways to give back to your profession. Join a task force, become an ambassador, or contribute material for publication.  A leadership position in an organization provides you a chance to influence the next crop of new nurses and ensure that your chosen career remains a thriving discipline.
  • Experience the Camaraderie of Conventions and Trade Shows: Exciting venues, world-class speakers, and new technology are all part of large national conferences.  Smaller local events provide chances to meet nurses from neighboring hospitals and listen to talks specific to your area and specialty.  Conferences are wonderful opportunities to meet face-to-face colleagues you have only communicated with via LinkedIn and online forums.  Hospitals often encourage their staff to attend yearly conferences to foster an atmosphere of learning and teamwork.
  • Earn Secondary Credentials and Receive Awards: Many nursing organizations have an affiliated certifying board that offers a certificate program. This extra training increases your job marketability.  For example, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses offers a Med-Surg Certification that shows current and prospective employers you have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality patient care. A receipt of an honor or award through your professional nursing organization is further proof that you have taken the necessary steps to distinguish yourself from others in your field.  Scholarships and grants are provided to members to further their education or complete medical research.
  • Satisfy Continuing Education Requirements: Through webinars, online classes, and workshops, nursing organizations provide ways to earn CE credits. These courses are conveniently accessed via the group’s website or offered at events.  Some organizations can designate educational activities offered by your employer or department as CE credit.
  • If you have the knowledge and experience as a contract nurse, consider contributing as a content expert or participate on a panel to discuss passing criteria on tests.  You can help others in your field, enhance your nursing resume and gain valuable writing experience.

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