ANA membership?


I'm a student graduating in a couple months. Do you think I should join the ANA or the IL Nursing Association (my area) or both? What are the benefits and are these memberships really seen as beneficial on a resume? Thank you in advance for your advice!


237 Posts

:spbox:Forgive me for mounting a soapbox for a minute and hijacking your thread but your post is a good chance to get this point out there:

Would a new attorney not join the American Bar Association? Would a new doctor not join the AMA? No, these lobbying groups have virtually 100% membership. Yet only about 10% of nurses join the ANA. It is our strongest and largest representing (& lobbying) organization and yet 9 out of 10 nurses don't join. Read this thread.

Again, sorry for the hijack! We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

subee, MSN, CRNA

4,580 Posts

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 51 years experience.

You're going to get a lot of anti- ANA and INA replies but my two cents is that for better or worse, these are the groups that represent RN's at the national and state level. You won't agree with all their platforms. They only exist because of YOUR dues and we are our voice concerning the big issues. Also when any nurse in the state has a serious work issue, who do they call first? Bingo, their nursing association who will help them whether they are a member or not. So yes, yes , yes - join and become a voice and don't let others bad-mouth you out of joining. As far as having memberships on a resume, your commitment to paying dues implies your interest in the profession as a whole. A lot of people are too angry or too cheap to join their professional associations - neither reason in a good one.


3,362 Posts

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

Hasn't anyone noticed that many state nursing associations are defecting from the ANA. ANA doesn't represent me since my home state is one of the many states that has defected from the ANA. There are many threads regarding why. The ANA isn't getting ANY of my money. The only organization that I would join is AACN but I cannot afford the dues. Oh yeah, I forgot that they also look down upon diploma nurses and nurses with ADNs. Doesn't sound very "unifying" to me. It may look pretty on your resume but it would not be a deciding factor in obtaining a job.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

165 Articles; 21,214 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

In IL, the dues are >$500/year and sorry, but I get nothing from this! And...even as an APN, I don't have extra $$$$$ lying around. For my money, I belong to the Emergency Nurses Association and the IL Society of Advanced Practice Nurses.

Few nurses in IL outside of Chicago are union and yes, there is an IL outside of Chicago!


3,362 Posts

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

june 27, 2008

for immediate release

mna withdraws from ana

okemos, mi in order to pursue the most effective course of action for its members, the michigan nurses association (mna) announced today that it is withdrawing immediately as a constituent member of the american nurses association (ana). the decision was announced at the ana house of delegates in washington d.c. mna had been a constituent member association of ana since 1905 and was the third largest affiliate of the ana.

"the health care industry is changing, and ana's stance on issues does little or nothing to address the crisis that nurses and the profession face," stated john karebian, mna executive director of labor and government relations. "mna will continue to champion the critical issues facing the bedside nurse at the state level and work through our national affiliation with the united american nurses and the afl-cio to influence the crisis in nursing at the national level. this has not been an easy step to take, but we are unafraid to stand strong and committed to our purpose and goals."

mna, the strongest union for nurses in michigan, has seen a significant and disturbing change in the goals and mission of ana in regard to supporting bedside nurses. bylaw changes passed this week at the ana house of delegates have served to reinforce mna's concerns with the ana leadership in other areas as well as collective bargaining. in april 2008, mna held a special house of delegates to discuss its national affiliation with ana. concerns were raised by the delegates that ana had ceased to be relevant to its constituency in michigan. members raised concern that ana was not positioned to address the challenges faced by registered nurses and its stagnant membership base over the past thirty years represented a lack of vision and direction.

"it's clear that ana has no interest in supporting in a meaningful way the staff nurse performing essential bedside care," stated diane goddeeris, rn, mna president. "for instance, in direct opposition to legislation that would mandate minimum staffing ratios, ana chose to support a bill that we know from experience has little chance of addressing the need for safe patient care in the nation."

"ana states that 73 percent of the nation's nurses identify short staffing as affecting their patient care. ana's bill creates shared governance staffing committees to address staffing levels. nurses have been trying this for years, and the results are the current unsafe system of mandatory overtime and inadequate staffing levels."

"we are currently within a nurse shortage and must implement multiple strategies to stop the worsening spiral," said tom bissonnette, mna executive director of nursing practice and operations. "collective bargaining can ensure a work environment that is safe for ourselves and our patients. the ana leadership has lost touch with its membership, the state nurses associations. we are convinced this action allows us to refocus on the issues that matter to our members and our commitment to work with nursing organizations that share our goals remains unchanged."

"ana claims they support staff nurses but their actions are not living up to that claim," goddeeris stated. "we are proud of what we have accomplished in michigan, and our legislative, professional nurse practice, and labor programs have become a standard for excellence. this is a significant moment in our history, and this decision symbolizes a powerful signal that we are on the right course."

read mna president diane goddeeris' statement to the ana house of delegates

(.pdf file) (msword file)

Jolie, BSN

6,375 Posts

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 37 years experience.

I joined the ANA/INA as a new grad and quickly became disgusted with the way the organizations were using my money to support causes that I strongly disagreed with.

I have not belonged to these organizations for several years now, and no longer live in IL, although I am still licensed there.

I regularly receive INA mailings. I guess they are trying to recruit me. Based up on the most recent newsletter, there is not a snowball's chance that will happen. The most recent newsletter I received outlined the efforts of an organization in IL (I think it was the IL Hospital Assoc.) to pass legislation approving a new category of CNA who would, after a brief training period, be able to pass meds, do dressing changes and other sterile procedures, insert and manage Foley catheters, among other things. The INA article did not address any rebuttal by the INA against this type of unlicensed caregiver nor outline any actions to be taken in an effort to prevent it from becoming law.

In my experience that is typical of the INA, and is the main reason why I refuse to support the organization with a dime of my money. My own letters to legislators are far more effective in addressing these issues that force licensed nurses to hand over responsibility to minimally-trained and unlicensed caregivers who practice on our licenses. The INA seems to have no desire or effectiveness in protecting nurses' interests, but rather "getting along" with other organizations and entities that answer to the hospital and nursing home industries.


14,633 Posts

Actually, to clarify a statement another poster made, my father was a physician and used to often point out, when he and I would have conversations about this topic (belonging to professional organizations) that only a relatively small percentage of US physicians belongs to the AMA -- there is nowhere near 100% membership. I have no info about ABA membership.

Also to clarify, one joins/belongs to your state organization -- the ANA is made up of the various state nursing associations and there is no such thing as individual membership in the ANA.

Whether or not to join is a v. personal decision. I am a strong supporter of nurses being politically active as a group, but I realize not everyone chooses to go that route. Nurses seem constitutionally incapable of agreeing on anything, and trying to get us organized to pursue our shared professional interests is like herding cats. We continue to be our own worst enemy -- it's no wonder no one in politics takes us seriously.


170 Posts

Thank you all for your input! To be honest, I had no idea this was such a politically charged issue. Is the consensus at large that I join my local state association but not the national one? What are the benefits of joining? How will we all impact change if we are not united? Thank you!


1,982 Posts

Thank you all for your input! To be honest, I had no idea this was such a politically charged issue. Is the consensus at large that I join my local state association but not the national one? What are the benefits of joining? How will we all impact change if we are not united? Thank you!

Do yourself a favor, join the California Nurses Association and the NNOC. THEY are the nurses association who put their money where their mouth is, and are the ONLY nurses association who has done anything for the nursing profession. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN

Spokane, Washington


10 Posts

Hello Everyone,

I feel the need to provide my two cents and interject among the numerous negative comments about INA / ANA here- this is a long post but addresses numerous issues brought up.

I joined INA/ANA upon graduation from nursing school. The Illinois Nurses Association has done more to protect nursing practice in Illinois than any other nursing association. INA is one of very few organizations that has a full time lobbyist, her name is Sue Clark, and she herself a registered nurse, working at the Illlinois State Capitol everyday lobbying for our interests as Registered Nurses in Illinois. Sue Clark works as a contract lobbyist for ISAPN and IANA.


the Illinois Nurse is sent to every licensed RN in Illinois- whether or not they are a member, as a courtesy of the organization. You highlighted the recent article on CNA II legislation. Actually the push for CNA II legislation was by the Long Term Care lobbying group- Life Services Network. INA and it's Government Relations Committee fought hard, as a result the bill died in committee. I applaud you for writing letters to legislators on your own- not every nurse has the time or interest in doing that however, and that is why INA has a government relations committee and contract lobbyist that does that work.

"The INA seems to have no desire or effectiveness in protecting nurses' interests, but rather "getting along" with other organizations and entities that answer to the hospital and nursing home industries."

That statement is completely false- whether it is INA opposing a CNA II pilot program- which Long Term Care very much would love to see or INA opposing Ratio Legislation -which the California Nurses Associaton/NNOC advocates for INA works to protect nursing in Illinois. INA does sit down at the bargaining table with the physicians, hospital association etc to get things done. If INA had not worked with other groups- Advanced Practice Nursing would not have become a reality, and we'd probably still be fighting today for that.

INA and the work of other nurses across Illinois brought Illinois advanced practice nursing in 1997. Yes, IL was the last state but look at the enviornment- Chicago is home to the American Medical Association- often, the physicians have more money, and more members so who are state legislators going to listen to? However, I"m proud to say many other states have "med techs" individuals in long term care whose sole purpose it is to administer medications in long term care. Medication administration is a complex nursing assessment- not just a task to be delegated to lesser qualified individuals


Regarding other states withdrawing from ANA- that is largely due to debates and differences of opinion on labor issues. INA remains affiliated with ANA and the organization strongly values it's association with ANA. In some states where the state association "dissafiliated" from ANA, many nurses who are members of their respective state association probably aren't even aware. ANA president Rebecca Patton highlighted one state as an example- the vote to dissafiliate occured with a membership meeting where less than 100 members were present- a very small proportion of the membership actually voted for the dissaffiliation. I was at the ANA house of delegates in 2008- Things got ugly, I believe the Michigan Delegation physically walked out of the house of delegates


I'm glad to hear that you're active in ISAPN, however I think you should consider joining INA. While ISAPN addressess only advanced practice issues, INA also addressess those issues, and INA has always been at the forefront of nursing practice in Illinois. I'd say that the value of the money I spend on INA is worth it's weight. Like I mentioned before INA was the responsible body for securing advanced practice in Illinois. This occured through lobbying by staff nurses, nurse administrators and a coalition of individuals ISAPN was founded about 4 years later after APN licensure became a reality. INA speaks for all nurses in Illinois no matter their practice role- bedside nurse, APN, educator etc.

Regarding the California Nurses Association/NNOC. Many years ago, in 1995 the california Constituent Association left ANA- I'm not sure the circumstances, I think that is an interesting research topic. Since then many other states have followed suit. Apparently, in nursing we can't all play in the same sandbox- which I think is really to our detriment and it speaks about the challenges our profession faces in the 21st century.

As long as we fight amongst ourselves in nursing- in the words of Lincoln- "A house divided against itself cannot stand." We may have some philosophical differences of opinion, however in the words of an early ANA leader "To Advance We Must Unite"

Jolie, BSN

6,375 Posts

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 37 years experience.


I appreciate your post. You are clearly very well informed and well-spoken, but my experiences speak loudly to me and they do not favor the INA/ANA.

I have chosen to "unite" with other professional organizations that support nursing in ways that are much more meaningful, useful and influential to my daily practice. They are nursing specialty organizations.

There are countless options for professional affiliations. ANA isn't the only game in town. Nor is it the most effective, in my opinion.

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