5 Reasons to Join a Nursing Association
NOTE: HIM Connections is proud to announce the addition of clinical recruitment to our service offering! As part of this new service line, we will add healthcare-related blog topics to our traditional HIM blog posts.
Agnes L., a part-time California-based RN for more than 15 years, likes to completely disconnect when she leaves her neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nursing job each day. Agnes faces emotional and mental demands as an NICU nurse. For days when trauma is involved, rest is what gets her recharged for her next shift. Naturally, Agnes likes to set work aside when she’s not at the hospital. Other than continuing education credits, she isn’t involved in her state nursing association.
Agnes is not alone. Most people want to go home and decompress after a long day at the office and this is no different for nurses. From beginning to end of each shift and everywhere in between, patient demands are constant. Even on slow days, being in charge of someone’s physical and mental well-being is nothing to be taken lightly. When nurses leave work, they really want to leave work. That often means no after-hours events or networking obligations, just some R&R until they have to be completely focused again.
Many nurses do not participate in their local or national nursing associations for a number of reasons. Burnout is a contributor, along with a lack of understanding of true membership benefits. Sometimes nurses don’t get involved because of a cost misperception. Nurses who work part time like Agnes, or who are nearing retirement, may not see immediate value from association benefits.
Regardless of the reason, choosing not to join a nursing association can be a mistake for nurses who are beginning their careers, or for nurses who are experienced but seeking a change. If you want to find a new nursing job, networking is the best approach.
This blog covers five reasons to join a nursing association. For nurses looking to grow personally and professionally, consider this list of benefits.
Networking events hosted by nursing associations are an excellent way to meet like-minded people. These venues provide an opportunity to be in the same room with people who have similar interests, but without patient distractions or code blues to worry about. Not sure what’s in your area? The Nursing Network lets you search for events by location or keyword on its website. Also, networking articles for nurses are a source for great tips. You never know what’s in your area.
Cost of Membership
Membership fees are relatively low compared to those in other industries. When you join, the costs are dispersed down to the state level so members receive benefits and resources from their state and national associations. In Alabama, a Registered Nurse (RN) can join the Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) and American Nurses Association (ANA) for only $15 per month. State association benefits vary but usually give members access to additional services and resources that are valuable to continued professional development. Click here for an overview of the ASNA/ANA member benefits.
Memberships offer access to tools that often are unavailable to the public. Examples include the American Nurses Association (ANA) professional nursing journal, American Nurse Today. Regional nursing newsletters are often available on a quarterly or monthly basis. There are also online communications that keep nurses informed about their profession and raise awareness about opportunities to engage and volunteer with the association. Finally, ANA members pursuing higher education may also use association resources for assistance with research projects as a benefit of membership. Non-members have to pay for this service.
Aside from a standard job board, ANA gives members premier access to new job opportunities. Early notifications can make a big difference for highly competitive positions or desirable areas in the country.
Along the same vein as resources, associations help you stay up to date on what’s new, including hospitals doing progressive things, new or emerging nursing specialties and nursing trends on the horizon. Expanding your knowledge beyond your hospital’s walls can be a great asset when it’s time for a career shift.
Not sure where to start your search for a nursing association?
Take some time to check out the American Nurses Association and this helpful link for new nursing grads. From here, you can easily locate your state chapter to find details about the benefits listed above. Please note that HIM Connections is not affiliated with any associations listed.
Are you a member of a local or national association? Please leave a comment to share your experience. Insights are always welcome!