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Professional nursing organizations or bodies are formed to support the field and make it easier for practitioners to achieve their objectives. These are some of the reasons why nurse practitioners (NPs) are encouraged to be part of such associations. Unfortunately, many nurses are yet to join a professional association in the United States. This paper offers a detailed analysis of the significance of professional nursing associations and the reasons why nurses should be willing to join them.
Roles of Professional Organizations
Catallo, Spalding, and Haghiri-Vijeh (2014) acknowledge that professional associations in the field of nursing are important since they generate ideas and share them with community members, government agencies, and practitioners. This means that they generate the required energy and ideas that can inform the nature of nursing practices. For example, they propose various issues or policies that can be examined and implemented to improve the way health and nursing services are offered in a wide range of settings. Such bodies are also known to generate ideas that can be embraced by practitioners to transform their care delivery models. This means that more nurses are empowered to achieve their potential and meet the needs of their respective patients.
Professional organizations engage in proactive work to ensure that nursing remains a healthy field that supports different populations. For instance, such associations design specific regulations, clinical guidelines, and care delivery procedures that inform practice. They also offer powerful codes of conduct to their members, thereby guiding them to act in a professional manner whenever focusing on their patients’ health needs. These associations offer insights, legal protections, and the provision of resources to empower members depending on their demands (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). The society is also a beneficiary since professional bodies implement powerful measures and initiatives that advocate for the needs of both nurses and patients. This argument explains why every improved nursing process will address patients’ health needs, minimize the major diseases affecting them, and improve their livelihoods. These complex roles are, therefore, needed to maintain the status and health of nursing.
Comparison of AACCN and ONS
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACCN) is an organization that brings together many acute and critical care practitioners. The body has over 100,000 members. Interested practitioners should have the right academic qualifications and certifications. They should also be dedicated and willing to support the association’s agenda. Individuals must apply in order to become part of the AACCN fraternity. There are active and affiliate members. Retirees are also encouraged to remain in the organization. Members (affiliate and active) are required to pay 78 USD annually as fees. Retired members pay 52 USD per year. The association organizes a number of events and conferences to educate members and other interested parties (Catallo et al., 2014). Webinars, local campaigns, and national events are used to support the needs of different members.
On the other hand, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) is one of the professional bodies supporting cancer care and oncology nurses. The organization has over 39,000 members. The organization encourages interested nurses to apply using its “membership application” file or form. International nurses can enroll in the tiered membership program. The membership fee is 125 USD every year (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). Retired nurses or those who are above 65 years of age are required to pay 75 USD per year. Those with disabilities pay $63 per year. The organization uses conferences, online forums, and national events to empower different members. Members are also encouraged to engage in advocacy and promote policies that can transform the field and meet the needs of critically ill patients.
Benefits of Professional Organizations
Salmond and Echevarria (2017) believe that professionals who want to achieve their potential must be aware of every available resource. Professional associations can be useful and helpful to members who plan to succeed in their careers. The first benefit or reason why such bodies should be joined is that they offer timely updates and insights that can empower members to develop a wider perspective (Catallo et al., 2014). The second benefit is that such organizations offer adequate education in the field, thereby facilitating continuous learning. Members can also benefit from every networking opportunity associated with such organizations. This goal is achieved through the use of local events, national meetings, and online forums.
Many professionals associations offer career opportunities. New jobs are posted and advertised to different members. This means that members of such organizations will be in a position to pursue their career goals. Newsletters, journal articles, and resources are available to members at discounted prices or even free of charge. Another important benefit is that many professional organizations make it easier for interested individuals to become certified (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). Some also act as advocacy groups. This means that the rights and expectations of different members are supported. These benefits should, therefore, encourage more individuals to join specific professional bodies in an attempt to achieve their career goals.
Registered Nurses and Professional Associations
Many registered nurses (RNs) do not join professional associations in the United States. For instance, statistics show that less than 10 percent of such professionals have joined the American Nurses Association (ANA). Around 20 percent of these nurses have joined at least one specialty organization. These statistics show that there are certain reasons that discourage or make it hard for such practitioners to join these organizations. A study conducted by Catallo et al. (2014) indicated that the costs associated with these organizations such as membership fees deterred RNs from becoming part of them. Salmond and Echevarria (2017) observed that many nurses did not have time to become part of different professional associations.
The absence of adequate development opportunities is another barrier that discourages nurses from joining a professional or specialty organization. This means that there should be appropriate mechanisms to ensure that RNS have access to such opportunities. Many RNs are unaware of some of the benefits associated with these associations. This gap makes it hard for them to focus on them. Instead, many RNs decide to pursue different programs and educational resources that can result in career growth. Finally, Salmond and Echevarria (2017) argue that there are no appropriate mechanisms and strategies to educate and sensitize more nurses about the roles and benefits associated with these professional bodies. This analysis explains why there is a need for appropriate mechanisms to empower and encourage RNs to consider joining different professional nursing associations.
Issues Surrounding the Above Reasons
The above discussion has revealed that increased membership costs and lack of adequate time discourage nurses from joining professional organizations. There are critical issues that can be presented to explain why this happens to be the case. To begin with, nurses do not get competitive remunerations or salaries. This means that they would be unwilling to increase their expenses by joining specific associations that require annual membership fees (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). This barrier continues to discourage more RNs from thinking about any given professional organization. The issue of time arises from the nature of healthcare delivery settings.
Catallo et al. (2014) indicate that the current problem of nursing shortage forces practitioners to work for more hours. Consequently, they are unable to find enough time to engage in conferences or events staged by different professional bodies. These issues also make it hard for nurses to get adequate resources, opportunities, and insights that can encourage them to identify and join specific associations. Due to the nature of these challenges, RNs continue to prefer specialty organizations over broader ones such as the American Nurses Association. This happens to be the case because they have little time to join more than one professional organization. They select specialty organizations based on their goals and qualifications.
This discussion has shown that professional nursing bodies can empower, guide, and support RNs and community members. The current situation is that a small percentage of practitioners have joined these organizations. Problems such as poor remunerations and nursing shortages continue to complicate this issue. In conclusion, there is a need for different agencies to support the needs of nurses and encourage them to join at least one professional association. This decision will empower more nurses and result in improved care delivery processes. Consequently, the healthcare sector will be prepared to meet the needs of every population.
Catallo, C., Spalding, K., & Haghiri-Vijeh, R. (2014). Nursing professional organizations: What are they doing to engage nurses in health policy? Sage Open, 4(1), 1-9. Web.
Chiovotti, R. F. (2015). Professionhood and professionalism as an educational aid for facilitating nursing students’ development and renewal of self and profession. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 5(11), 51-64. Web.
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Salmond, S. W., & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles for nursing. Orthopedic Nursing, 36(1), 12-25. Web.