The advantage is in making the voice of staff RNs & your profession stronger in your state. Its not about getting personal perks. The "advantage" is much bigger than that. If you are a practicing RN, what the state nurses assoc does affects you. If it doesnt have the membership, it wont have the funds to do much of anything & that will affect you too. It is to the nurses advantage to make sure her state assoc has the means to do what nurses need it to do. RNs can choose to sit back and do nothing to strengthen the voice of nursing in their state, provide no support, & then complain that the assoc in their state is "ineffective", or they can join their state nurses assoc, and help give it the means to make nursing a force to be reckoned with in their legislature and also to be able to provide the programs that nurses need - such as the peer assistance program that helps addicted RNs to regain their lives.
Your state nurses assoc is who guides your state on making laws that affect you & your practice. If staff RNs are not in it, others will be making the laws you have to work by. If staff RNs are absent, do not support nursing lobbyists in their states, and with their uninvolvement cause nursing to be politically weak on their issues in their state, they cant complain when their state legislarure does nothing to improve their workplace situation. Every other group has lobbyists at their state capitols. If nurses wont support theirs, they are defeating themselves when it comes to state laws that affect them.
For example, in NY, pharmacists are lobbying to have a state law passed that will allow them to administer
meds & vaccinations - taking over a key role of RNs & eliminating RNs from various work settings. Also, the hospital assoc is lobbying to overturn a new law that prevents medicaid funds from being used to pay for union-busting instead of only pt care. In Colorado, a nursing home owner is trying to get the state to pass a law that will reduce the qualifications & credentials of RNs, which will bar their licenses from being recognized by other states, and hold them hostage being able to work only in Colorado. In instances like these, it is the state nurses assocs
that are leading the fight against them for all nurses in their states - paid for by the dues of the members.
If it were not for the work our state nurses assocs are doing on our behalf, these people would have already gotten their way & we would just have to live with it, no matter how badly it affected us. Supporting our state assocs so they can fight things like this is to our advantage. That support comes in the form of active membership. Laws for safe staffing, safe pt care, forced overtime bans, financial assistance for nursing education, and many other bills that affect RNs and patients are being written, guided, & lobbied for by the state nurses assocs. Everything costs money. Without the membership dues and support of nurses in their states, the state nurses assocs would not be able to do any of it & we would all be at the mercy of whatever non-nurses decided to do to our profession in our states.
It is no accident that the state assocs with the largest numbers of members are also the strongest and most effective. They have the resources to get the work done for our benefit. And that is to the advantage of every nurse in their states.
For more info on the work that the WNA to doing for all RNs in that state, funded by its members, see: http://www.wisconsinnurses.org/l3con...sp?contentid=9