Membership in a professional nursing association isn’t simply another item to check off the list, something you can put off without consequence indefinitely. There are real benefits to membership in a well-organized local, regional, or national nursing association; today, we’ve put together a list of seven of them you may be interested in.
If you want to see your career grow in the right direction, to see doors open up and opportunities arise, you’ll want to take advantage of these seven benefits as soon as possible.
1. Resume and Employment Benefits
The simplest benefit of joining professional nursing associations with name recognition and good reputations is the ability to put that membership on your resume. You could also bring it up when the time comes to negotiate a raise or promotion.
2. Resources and Discounts
It’s common for membership in a nursing association to be a prerequisite for access to resources you’ll need to advance in your career, such as learning materials, tools and equipment, and databases. Resources which would prove prohibitively expensive to acquire elsewhere may be provided free or at remarkably low costs to member nurses. You may get invitations to industry conventions, often with discounted ticket prices and airfare, too.
3. Education and Professional Development
Looking for training? A nursing association will either be able to provide you with the training you require, or be able to direct you to your best option—likely with a discount or deal on costs. This isn’t just about medical training or specializations; nursing associations can help you acquire training in leadership, technology, IT, administration, and more.
4. Career Advancement
Want to climb the ladder at your job? Being a member of the right professional organizations can catch the eye of supervisors who are members of the same organizations, or others in management familiar with those groups. Many nursing associations also assist their members in determining viable paths for career advancement, including tips on shoring up weaknesses and developing your skills in the right direction for your dream job or industry.
Need certification or accreditation in a specialized skill set? Being a member of the right professional nursing associations is often the easiest way to get the training required to receive official recognition of your skills. And even if a particular association can’t help you directly, it will be able to point you in the right direction.
Networking matters to anyone interested in advancing their career—nurses are no exception. The opportunity to interact with people within your industry without being on the clock is an opportunity you can’t ignore if you dream of bigger things. If you and a colleague put up resumes with identical qualifications, the one who’s networked better will come out ahead every time.
It’s easy to get locked into a bubble about what it means to be a nurse and where your skills can take you. Membership in nursing associations help you understand the broader applicability of your nursing skills, giving you insight into careers you didn’t even know existed. You might be happy climbing the ladder where you currently work—but what if there’s a dream job you’ve never even heard of that you’re already qualified for?
There may not, strictly speaking, be a true need to join professional nursing associations—but perhaps now you can understand why all career-conscious nurses belong to at least one. The chance to maintain and improve your education, forge connections within your specialization or interest area, and acquire materials, education, and professional guidance as necessary makes association membership a worthwhile investment of your time.
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