Should You Join a Professional Nursing Association? Which One?

Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, July 01, 2021 Posted in Education & Career Advancement

professional nursing association

If you’ve been a nurse for any amount of time, you know just how many different professional associations are out there. You might even be a member of one or two already. Most healthcare professionals join these organizations because they’re told they should. They might not be certain about the benefits of membership — they just know it looks great on a résumé. But membership in these organizations affords more opportunities than meet the eye.

Nursing associations cater to a range of nursing specialties

There are countless professional nursing associations available, but you don’t need to join every single one. While the resources these organizations provide might be similar, each association offers unique benefits and opportunities to its members.

If you’re thinking about joining an association, it’s a good idea to research the benefits. Determine which association is the best match for your own professional needs. The American Nurses Association is one of the most far-reaching professional associations for nurses in the United States. Its size allows it to offer extensive resources, awards, and local affiliates. But a smaller association like the Society of Pediatric Nurses offers resources and connections specifically tailored for pediatric nurses.

There are many other specialized nursing associations, each catering to a different group of healthcare professionals. Examples include:


How to choose the right professional nursing association

Once you decide you want to join a professional nursing association, the next step is to decide which one is the right fit. Ask yourself the following questions to narrow down your choices:

  • Why do you want to join? Every organization will offer different benefits. If your main goal is networking, find one with a large community and a variety of connection opportunities. If you’re more focused on continuing education, look for associations offering frequent conferences, webinars, and other resources.
  • Which associations offer you the most value? The value you’ll gain from association membership depends on your unique needs. Explore potential associations and weigh the value of your benefit against the costs and commitments of membership.
  • Do you meet the membership criteria? Each association will have its own set of membership criteria and terms. Some are open to all nurses; others are invitation only or require a particular certification or level of education.


Take advantage of all association resources

Some nurses join professional associations for an impressive line item on their résumé. But a nursing association can offer so much more than a leg-up on a job application!

Professional associations are like anything else: You get as much out of it as you put into it. To experience its real value, take advantage of the full range of resources and opportunities your association offers. Attend continuing education events, subscribe to industry newsletters, network with fellow members on community boards, and apply for scholarships to go back to school. The right association will provide resources to help you achieve new levels of professional development and reach your full potential as a nurse.

Professional associations can be of particular help to travel nurses. These networks offer resources, support, advice, and guidance for nurses, whether they’re on their first assignment or have logged many years in the field. The right association is an extension of your support network — right alongside your Health Providers Choice recruiter. Questions about how to access associations and their resources? Contact us online or call us today at 888-299-9800.

About the Author

Rose Torrento

Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.