If you are currently a nurse or studying to become one, are you aware of the benefits that come from joining a professional nursing association? Do you know what kind of opportunities await you?
Nursing is one of the most specialized professions that requires years of experience and education to advance in the field, especially if you want to pursue a niche sub-profession like critical care or emergency room nurse.
Professional nursing associations are the perfect place for dedicated nursing professionals to advance their careers and continue their education surrounded by like-minded individuals that share the same passion for nursing. These associations offer many benefits that will support your desire to become an influential presence in the field of nursing.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you should consider joining a professional nursing association:
- Networking & Leadership Opportunities
- Continuing Education Opportunities
- Access to Mentor Programs
- Make Your Mark on Health Policy & Practice
- Niche Job Boards
Networking & Leadership Opportunities
One of the many perks nursing association members receive are the exclusive networking and leadership opportunities. As a member, you gain access to virtual, in-person, and hybrid networking events that can help grow your network. Building a network can help you solve challenges in your local healthcare setting, discover new best practices, and connect to job opportunities you may not have otherwise known about.
Networking events are great places for sharing ideas and information with colleagues to learn about their perspectives and experiences. Virtual networking can make this a little more challenging, but many associations and members have seen great success using LinkedIn pages or other online community platforms to connect with colleagues. When you make a connection with peers in your field, you have the opportunity to advance your career. This happens once a connection is established and a professional relationship starts to build. The more effort you put into your professional relationships, the more you’ll get out of it.
Becoming actively involved within your association not only opens up networking opportunities, but it can also help you develop valuable leadership skills. Many professional organizations, such as the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, are dedicated to leadership or even offer leadership educational opportunities. When you do become a member, you might also be eligible for tuition discounts or educational scholarships offered by the association as a high value benefit.
Continuing Education Opportunities
Another reason to join a professional nursing association is the access to continuing education opportunities like certifications and courses. Earning certifications is critical for continuing competency in the nursing profession – which leads to improved patient care, systems and personal career outcomes. Not to mention, this is an essential step in advancing the profession.
In the era of virtual learning, nursing associations give you access to online certifications, which makes achieving these certifications less complicated for working nurses. Some associations even offer discounted rates for certifications and other educational courses!
What is also great about joining a professional nursing association is the access to speciality journals, magazines, professional or peer-reviewed publications and newsletters with practice-related information. Having this kind of information at your fingertips will help you stay up-to-date and knowledgeable about all things nursing-related, making you a well-informed candidate or practitioner.
Access to Mentor Programs
Associations are the perfect place to find experts who can help you advance your knowledge and skill set to grow professionally. Each mentor’s range of expertise and years of experience can provide you with a plethora of resources to get you to the next level in your career.
They can give you tips and advice on which certifications or courses to take, which programs to enroll in, hospitals or facilities to apply to that are looking for candidates like you and much more. Mentors have a wealth of knowledge that can guide you through your career path and help you when you hit a bump in the road. They have been through and seen it all, so learning from a mentor will be extremely rewarding and beneficial for your career development.
Make Your Mark on Health Policy & Practice
Most associations have comprehensive advocacy efforts at a local, regional and national level that offers the opportunity for you to make a positive impact on health policy and meet other individuals in the nursing profession. Being a part of an association that has these kinds of relationships within health policy can help make influential decisions that can dramatically improve health professions.
Associations are also the source of professional standards and are often connected to certifying bodies. They provide the best access and guidelines to your specific area of interest within the nursing profession, making it that much easier for you to learn all you need to know to be a successful nurse. You also have the option to join specialized nursing associations, like the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses or the Emergency Nurses Association, where you can take a deeper dive into those specialties and hone in on those practices professional standards.
These associations have a responsibility that they take very seriously to promote the best practices and educate nurses on what is new and what is changing in the profession.
Niche Job Boards
A nursing associations job board is more effective for job search than a massive job board because they only focus on posting jobs that are relevant to nursing, whereas massive job boards have hundreds of industries they serve. When you are searching for a nursing job on an association’s job board, you confidently know you are exposed to high quality employers and career options.
Additional benefits include the option to create a job seeker profile where you can upload your resume, cover letter, recommendation letters, display certifications and manage your applications all in one platform. This makes it much easier for employers to find you, assess your qualifications and quickly contact you to set up interviews. You, as the job seeker, can sign up for job alert email notifications that send relevant job opportunities directly to your inbox when an employer posts a job that meets your preferred criteria.
When you join a specialized nursing association, you’ll be able to access jobs that are specific to your specialty without the headache of searching through massive job boards to find those types of jobs. These associations will understand the market on an intricate level, giving you top employers and job opportunities on a regular basis.
Professional nursing associations provide many benefits for nursing professionals looking to advance their careers and continue their education. They are a centralized location for all things nursing and provide members with unlimited opportunities and options to grow into the nursing professional they have always dreamed of.