Professional Associations Membership
Professional nursing organizations play a crucial role in advancing the profession and their members’ careers (Roux, 2017). They enable nurses to stay up to date with the recommended practices, which aids in providing high-quality services to patients. They also allow them to network and be recognized by other nurses. Various professional organizations exist of which some are general as they cover different specialties of nursing while others are specific to a single specialty. Professional nursing organizations have been vital in promoting culturally competent care and evidence-based practices, leading to the provision of affordable and high-quality healthcare services. Even though I am a coronary care unit (CCU) nurse, I have always been fascinated by leadership, which is why I have developed a deep interest in the American Nursing Association (ANA). This paper will briefly expound on ANA, how it creates networking opportunities for nurses and ensures its members are up to date. It will also discuss opportunities ANA provided that aid in the continuity of professional development and nurses’ education.
American Nursing Association (ANA)
ANA is a professional organization found in the United States, it was established in 1896 with the main objectives of protecting and progressing the nursing profession and nurses’ interest (ANA, 2021). Currently, its members are millions of registered nurses across the 50 states in the US. The mission of ANA is to use the power of nursing to achieve a healthy world. This will be achieved by engaging all nurses and modifying practices to change people’s perception of health and healthcare. The organization aims to ensure that all nurses’ potential is achieved through:
- Promoting utilization of up to date and top quality nursing practice standards.
- Promoting a safe and ethically sound work environment.
- Promoting the wellness of its members.
- Fighting for pertinent issues that affect the current healthcare set up.
Benefits of Being a Member of ANA
ANA nurtures leadership skills in their members through various leadership programs and forums, enabling their members to easily take up leadership positions and contribute to implementing constructive change in nursing. ANA advocates for providing high-quality services to patients and providing an optimal working environment to nurses, which has improved nurses’ job satisfaction. ANA promotes the education of its members by offering scholarships to nurses with potential but are unable to fund their studies (ANA, 2021). It also trains its members on proper communication skills, which helps them function optimally in a multidisciplinary team in workplaces that promote interprofessional collaboration (Reeves et al., 2017). ANA encourages its members to adhere to the professional code of conduct of nurses, thus fosters professionalism.
Importance of Networking and How ANA Creates Networking Opportunities for Nurses
In the modern-day world, networking is vital for professional success, professional networking for nurses enables them to create a robust support system. Networking allows nurses to easily find job opportunities, explore various specialties, and gain new information. ANA, like any other professional nursing organization, it provides multiple networking opportunities. For instance, ANA has multiple online and offline forums that allow members to interact with each other and discuss various issues affecting them as individuals and nursing as a profession (ANA, 2021). These forums also provide opportunities for learning about evidence-based practices and answers to various questions.
How ANA Keeps Its Members Informed Of Health Care Changes and Changes to Practice
ANA advocates for lifelong learning, it considers education to be a continuous process, and thus its members should strive to acquire more knowledge and skills daily. Members are encouraged to critically analyze every information they come across to minimize bias. Adopting lifelong learning has been associated with improved quality of care provided to patients and better individuals’ career outcomes. ANA provides access to updated nursing guidelines, which promotes excellence in practice as it encourages the adoption of up-to-date evidence-based practices in treating patients. Lavenberg et al. (2019) say that the inclusion of evidence practices in the provision of care has been linked with improved quality of services provided and reduced healthcare costs.
Opportunities ANA Provides For Continuing Education and Professional Development
ANA provides various learning opportunities, for instance, it offers scholarships to some of its members who are interested in furthering their studies but are disadvantaged financially (ANA, 2021). It also provides career guidance to its members by organizing forums where senior nurses can mentor and advise the junior nurses on their career choices. This also enables junior nurses to learn various skills and knowledge that might be useful in their practice. ANA gives its members an opportunity to get involved in projects like policy development projects, which an average nurse would have difficulty being involved in. ANA also provides certification opportunities, and this saves the time and cost of acquiring those certifications.
In summary, professional nursing organizations like ANA are essential for the professional development of an individual. For instance, ANA provides various networking opportunities, keeps members up to date by encouraging the use of evidence-based practices, and provides opportunities for continuing education and developing professionally.