Nursing organizations

  1. Hi
    Happy Nurses week!

    I had a question about nursing organizations. I am debating on joining my state's nursing organizations. Is is a good idea? Will I benefit from it?

    Thank you,
  2. Visit lyndalous profile page

    About lyndalous

    Joined: Jun '01; Posts: 77
    BSN, RN


  3. by   RNforLongTime
    I think it's a good idea, expensive but worth it.
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    Benefits of joining your states nursing association & ANA---also open to VA nurses:
  5. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    you will get out of it what you put into it...i find it is worth it to belong to my professional org, my clinical org and the honor society

  6. by   James Huffman
    Should you be connected with nurses outside of your work sphere? Definitely. However, I have to give a couple of caveats.

    First, the ANA (and constituent state organizations) do not represent nurses to the degree their public bravado would indicate. Our local organization (county-wide) has a membership of perhaps 3% of local RNs. The membership is also heavily weighted toward professors and advanced practice nurses. So, when ANA says, "We speak for ALL nurses," take it with a grain of salt. (Our state organization (NCNA) tends to get cranky when any other nursing organization speaks for nurses -- say at a legislative hearing).

    Local and state organizations can also -- like any other such organization -- be somewhat ingrown. There is a core in our local group that has been there for years. Many new members fade in and out, but the organization tends to stay the same. It is, frankly, getting quite old now. Meetings have the feel of a ladies' tea, and women below a certain age, and men, tend to stick out.

    I highly encourage checking out local meetings of ANY organization prior to putting up dues money. (Which is not inconsiderable). If one group doesn't "fit," look for another. And when you find one that fits, get involved. You CAN make a difference.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  7. by   lyndalous
    Hi everyone!!
    Thank you so much for you comments. I was confused about ANA and my states Nurses association. But you have all helped me so much. Thank you. I am a person that loves to get involved. I want to always do above and beyond what I am capable of. I hope you all have a nie day. If anyone else has input I would love to hear it. It is expensive to belong to the state's and ANA.
    But I will also check out the local associations. How do I go about doing that?

    Thank you all
  8. by   Jenny P
    James, your description of your states' nursing association does not sound like my states'. We have 15,000+ members, and most are staff nurses. Our BOD has 9 out of 12 positions held by staff nurses. And we have meetings which are nothing like teas. I really believe that the organization belongs to the members and reflects its' membership. If you belong to yours, make sure you have a voice in it; only by getting active and involved in the organization will it ever change. It doesn't have to be the way you describe it.

    Lynda, re your state association and ANA; usually you belong to a district or local association which is a part of the state organization. (I belong to 3rd District Nurses, a district of MNA, which is a member of ANA. I've been active at District, State and even national levels) Then the state organization is a member of the ANA, you personally are not considered an individual member of ANA (even though we often refer to ourselves as members of ANA here on the BB-- it just makes it easier to communicate this way).

    The other nursing organization you may be interested in is your specialty organization-- I work in critical care and belong to AACN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses) and am board certified through them as a CCRN.

    Hope that helps.
  9. by   -jt
    The NJSNA is active in state politics - speaking out for staff nurses & their workplace issues. Those nurses were instrumental in helping to obtain the new law that bans mandatory ot for nurses in NJ. They have a shared services agreement with the NYSNA for collective bargaining services.

    I agree with Jenny - our piece of the ANA is very different from James' because staff RNs here are involved. The state associations are the ones making the rules nurses have to live by in their state because its the state assocs that have the recognition & attention of the lawmakers. We can choose to hand that over to nurse executives and leave staff nurses out of the picture, or we can be a part of it & make sure our issues are heard as well. Fortunately in NY/NJ, staff nurses are a big part of it - active & involved - & our state assoc are more like Jennys than James.

    In NY, of our 34,000 members, about 30,000 are working staff RNs - and thats why the major focus of the assoc is on our issues - improving our workplaces & changing laws that are not to our or our pts benefit.

    Personally, I think its a professional responsibility for every RN to be a member of her state nurses association & have a hand in guiding the legislation in her state that will affect her job & livelihood & also have a hand in moving the profession forward in her state. Thats what the nurse members of the state assoc do. Along with that, an RN would benefit from being a member of her specialty organization as far as clinical educational purposes are concerned.

    Im a member of my state nurses assoc & the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. And also a member of the American Nurses Association through my state nurses assoc membership. If you want a look at what the ANA has been doing as it speaks out for staff nurse issues, check their website - especially the governmental affairs section - theres a ton of info there. NJSNA also has a website full of info on what its nurses are doing locally - that site will take a long time to read so visit when you have time to spare. ; )
  10. by   lyndalous
    Thank you everyone! You all are so inspiring!! You made everything so clear. I really love politics too. I live in NJ.. .and I am from here... but I went to school in WV. I participated in the Nurses' Whistle Blowing Bill... when we all marched in Charleston, WV. It was wonderful. The best part was b/c we were participating in something that will help the future of WV nurses. The ANA president just came to my school's nursing pinning this year. I graduated last year... but it was neat to know she was at my school....
    Take care everyone....
    Happy Mother's Day..