Professional nursing associations play a vital role in nursing practice and development. Aligning with professional nursing associations enables nurses to be at the frontline of nursing practice changes (Echevarria,2018). This paper will focus on evaluating the American Nurses Association (ANA). The paper will also highlight the importance of professional networking in nursing. Furthermore, this paper will identify how the American Nurses Association keeps its members informed on the changes that directly and indirectly impact their specialty. Moreover, the analysis will evaluate opportunities for continuing education and professional development.
Description of the Association
The American Nurses Association is the largest nursing professional association representing the interests of over four million nurses. The association was established in 1896 and has members all over the United States. The association’s mission is to lead nurses in shaping the future of nursing and healthcare (ANA,2022). The vision of the American Nurses Association is to create a healthy world through the power of nursing. The purpose of the American Nurses Association is to advance and promote the improvement of health standards through the establishment of evidence-based practice guidelines for nurses and advocating for patients’ interests (ANA,2022). The association also establishes professional standards of conduct for nurses that guide nurses’ conduct during practice. Furthermore, the association is involved in promoting the rights of registered nurses in their workplaces by advocating for nurses’ safety and conducive work environments for nurses. Moreover, the association focuses on promoting and facilitating the professional development of nurses and advancing the economic and social well-being of registered nurses in the United States.
There are several benefits associated with being a member of the American Nurses Association. Firstly, the association provides a networking platform for its members, which enables a nurse to connect and network with other professional nurses. Furthermore, membership in the association provides an opportunity for registered nurses to advance their careers through continuing education, certification opportunities, educational conferences, and webinars (Echevarria,2018). The association also provides a platform where nurses can collectively advocate and have a common voice in policy-making processes. Professional nursing associations play a vital role in influencing state and federal health policies by having their members give relevant policymakers testimonials on health issues (Chiu et al.,2021). In addition, membership in American Nurses Association enables registered nurses to develop their leadership skills. The American Nurses Association has developed a leadership program to facilitate and improve the leadership abilities of its members.
Importance of Professional Networking for Registered Nurses
Networking provides a support system to create and grow productive relationships between like-minded individuals. While the nursing profession is unique, nurses can significantly benefit from professional networking. Networking provides access to resources. Networking also allows nurses to interact and collaborate with other nursing professionals in order to improve nursing practice and patient care outcomes. Professional networking can help nurses have access to increased employment opportunities through personal connections and referrals. Most healthcare organizations use referral programs to incentivize their employees to refer potential employees to the organization; hence nurses can get referrals to new job opportunities through networking. Notably, networking can help nurses to understand and be informed on the current trends in nursing. Moreover, networking can help nurses form mentor relationships with experienced nurses and nurse leaders who can help nurses grow in their personal and professional lives. Additionally, networking with other registered nurses can help nurses to build support for their advocacy goals and initiatives. American Nurses Association creates networking opportunities for nurses through its programs, meetings, webinars, workshops, and social media platforms.
How American Nurses Association Keeps Its Members Informed and Updated
The American Nurses Association keeps its members through various strategies. Firstly, the association has an e-newsletter that is designed to regularly update members on the latest news and trends in the healthcare arena. The association also utilizes its social media platforms to update its members on the current changes in nursing practice and health policies. Furthermore, the association provides training for its members in order to keep its members updated with the current changes in the healthcare environment.
Opportunities For Continuing Education and Professional Development
Continuing education and professional development not only enable nurses to improve their critical care skills but also helps to enhance their leadership skills (Dickerson & Graebe,2020). Opportunities for continuing education include enrollment in formal degree, master’s, and Ph.D. programs in accredited institutions and pursuing accreditations and certificates through nursing education programs. Notably, various opportunities exist for professional development in nursing. The first professional development opportunity is through attending meetings, conferences, and workshops sponsored by professional associations. The other professional development opportunity is by attending leadership development programs in order to develop and improve leadership competencies and skills. Furthermore, registered nurses and nurse practitioners can pursue professional development by serving as boards, task forces, and committee members. Notably, skill training programs are also useful professional development programs that nurses can pursue.
In conclusion, membership in professional nursing associations is beneficial to nurses as it can result in personal development, professional growth, knowledge development, and collective support for change.
ANA (2022). About ANA. Retrieved at: https://www.nursingworld.org/ana/about-ana/
Chiu, P., Cummings, G. G., Thorne, S., & Schick-Makaroff, K. (2021). Policy Advocacy and Nursing Organizations: A Scoping Review. Policy, politics & nursing practice, 22(4), 271–291. https://doi.org/10.1177/15271544211050611
Dickerson, P., & Graebe, J. (2020). Nursing Continuing Professional Development-A Paradigm Shift. Journal of continuing education in nursing, 51(7), 297–299. https://doi.org/10.3928/00220124-20200611-02
Echevarria I. M. (2018). Make Connections by Joining a Professional Nursing Organization. Nursing, 48(12), 35–38. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NURSE.0000547721.84857.cb