ANA, NNU and State Nurses' Associations


  • Specializes in Gerontology, nursing education.

I've been planning to join the ANA for some time now and recently contacted my state nurses' association for information. Was a little surprised to learn that the nurses' association in the state in which I reside is no longer affiliated with the ANA but is affiliated, instead, with National Nurses United. I'm all for unionization but am a bit concerned that an organization that focuses primarily on unionization might not be the best fit for someone who is planning on an academic career. Currently I am not working but am attending graduate school full-time.

Now, the state nurses' association in the state in which I attend school is still affiliated with the ANA. (I live in a community along the border and am licensed in both the state in which I reside as well as the state in which I attend grad school.) Although both organizations offer reduced memberships for full-time students, I don't think I could afford to join both. I do realize that I could join the nurses' association in the state in which I reside and join the ANA at the national level, but am not sure if that's being redundant.

Any thoughts re: ANA vs. NNU, particularly from those in academia?

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

NNU sounds like a union - not a professional organization. They will not have the same purpose and goals as a generic organization. Sounds more political. ANA and its chapters promote all aspects of nursing, not just politics. They provide standards for all types of nursing, including professional journals & CNE. I recommend ANA. I live in Texas. We are a chapter of ANA. I am active in TNA but do not approve of ANA's politics. But the only way I can get things changed is to be a voting member.

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 17,706 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

these days, one can join ana at the national level without being a state association member:

american nurses association - join ana!

in some states, rns are permitted to join ana directly. direct ana individual members receive full ana member benefits but no benefits at the state level. direct ana individual members support and have a chance to influence the decisions made at the national level that affect the practice of nursing and the health of our patients....

this membership option offers no benefits at the state level and is only available in the following states: al, ar, co, ct, dc, de, fl, ga, hi, ia, mi, mn, mo, mt, ne, nv, nh, nj, nm, ny, nc, ok, pa, ri, sd, tn, tx, ut, vt, wv, wy.

dues: $179 per year, monthly payment options are available.

more info...

dues are about cost of a large pizza on monthly basis.

Specializes in Psych/CD/Medical/Emp Hlth/Staff ED.

Neither the NNU or the ANA is professional practice organization, as both are collective bargaining organizations and the ideology and goals of both types of groups often conflict, making any single group that tries to do both inadequate in one of these areas to one degree or another. Nursing Diagnoses (heavily endorsed by the ANA) are a classic example of how influences that are weighted in favor of public relations can harm professional practice and the development of a profession.

While the main goal of Nursing should be to establish a true Professional Organization, I have found that in the short time they have existed, the NNU fulfills the obligations of a Professional organization far better than the ANA ever has, even with the disadvantage of being a Union group similar to the ANA. This could be seen in the health care debate, where the NNU was able to infuse the professional beliefs of nursing as standards of debate in a substantive way that the ANA failed to do, and this was only 2 weeks after the NNU was even formed.


3 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 8 years experience.

I totally agree.