Since beginning your nursing career, or even while you were still pursuing your nursing degree, you may have been approached by various professional membership organizations seeking your membership — usually for a fee. Is it worth your time, effort, and money to join?

    More often than not, the answer is a resounding yes.

    Professional nursing organizations offer many perks and benefits you won’t have access to unless you become affiliated. The primary benefit of most organizations is likely getting inside information about jobs and networking with fellow nurses. Also, professional organizations’ memberships represent a wide variety of specialties and experiences, giving you an opportunity to learn from peers as well as seek additional professional certification (in many cases).

    Most associations provide members exclusive access to resources not readily available elsewhere. Often, they also offer up-to-date self-study CEU programs that can be real timesavers, while giving you confidence that the material has been thoroughly vetted by experts in the field they represent.

    If you specialize in a particular aspect of nursing, you’ll find most nursing disciplines have formed organizations that offer more in-depth exploration of their areas of interest, so you can keep on top of breaking developments affecting your specialty. You’ll also find membership organizations that focus on diversity issues and provide support, advocacy, and networking opportunities for nurses and other health care personnel from communities of color.  

    Also consider joining the nursing society in your home state, because it can provide assistance with state-specific issues like licensing and regulatory requirements. The American Nurses Association has a handy list of state nursing societies; each determines its own membership requirements, fees, and services offered.

    And don’t overlook the optics of belonging to a professional organization. Your membership or certification, if available, will demonstrate to potential employers, peers, and others that you respect your profession, embody its ethics and values, and seek to maintain the highest professional standards at all times.

    Here are a few professional organizations that may be of interest to you as a travel nurse and as a nursing professional:

    • American Nurses Association — Founded in 1896, ANA the largest, best known, and most powerful nursing organization, represents the interests of the nation’s four million registered nurses. ANA offers a wide array of programs ranging from personal professional development to political advocacy. You can subscribe to daily news feeds on current issues and log in for-up-to date COVID-19 support, including webinars and live chats. ANA also provides a forum where your singular voice can be heard by participating in member-only surveys and feedback sessions. The ANA’s political clout provides an intangible but significant benefit to all nurses.
    • American Association of Critical Care Nursing — If you are or are becoming a critical care nurse, AACN offers over 500 free CEU activities, webinars, practice alerts, journal subscriptions, peer support, and much more.
    • Emergency Nurses Association — The premier professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing. Membership includes a vast array of practice resources and publications, as well as position papers on critical topics like ED workplace violence.
    • Oncology Nursing Society — ONS is committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Membership includes discounts on professional ONCC certification, publications and podcasts, volunteer and leadership opportunities, discounted ONS Congress registration, and optional chapter memberships. Free registration for nursing students.

    The networking opportunities, readily available resources and continuous support from nursing organizations are sure to set you on the right track for a successful nursing career. Contact your Freedom Healthcare Staffing recruiter if you have any questions or concerns about joining a professional nursing association, or are not sure which one is right for you.

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