In the dynamic field of nursing, being affiliated with a professional association is imperative. These associations are central in the generation of energy and ideas. Also, such professional organizations aid the development of proactive work behavior necessary for the upkeeping of this profession (Matthews, 2012). Nursing organizations empower professionals and keep them informed of modern practices. They also learn about the innovations in the field of healthcare (Gaines, 2019). This paper aims to review the “American Nurses Association (ANA)” and its advantages. The paper also explores the networking opportunities and the continued education and professional development offered by this organization.
Purpose, Mission, and Vision
The “American Nurses Association” is the representative of over 4 million professionals registered through direct memberships in the United States. It is a premier organization that was established in 1896 and has members spread over all fifty states. With the mission of “leading the profession to shape the future of nursing and health care”, ANA aims to promote elevated standards of practice and foster a conducive work environment that is safe and ethical. Since its foundation, ANA has emerged as the leading voice of the nursing field. It seeks to enhance the well-being and healthiness of the nurses while ensuring advocacy of healthcare issues that impact the general public and nurses (ANA, 2021).
Benefits to Members
The “American Nurses Association” provides representation to its members and also safeguards the needs of consumers of health care facilities as well as nurses. It offers them a chance to advance their careers and to remain informed. In addition to bringing financial gains through saving money, ANA also offers opportunities of networking with other registered practitioners. ANA increases the access to educational material through free webinars and provides a basis to nurture the leadership skills among nurses while opening up avenues of their coveted jobs through the association’s career center. With various journals such as the monthly journal “American Nurse Today”, the “Online Journal of Issues in Nursing”, and the “Global Diseases Alert Map” under its domain, the association’s prime purpose is to keep its members up to date with the most recent trends and discoveries of health care and nursing practice (ANA, 2021).
Importance of Networking
Forming connections in the field of nursing is imperative to remain updated with the dynamic shifts of the profession and to learn about the recent practices (Bell, Campbell, & Goldberg, 2015). Professional connections enable nurses in furthering their careers and find employment opportunities that best suit their needs. It offers professional support and helps in reducing the problems of burnout related to this profession which is physically and mentally demanding. Being inter-connected can also help nurses to influence the health care practices by implementing an active approach towards the system (Schmidt, 2020).
The Mentorship Program of ANA reflects its continued commitment towards the professional development of nurses. This program entails a unique online tool for networking and career growth that enables nurses to find other registered professionals and connect with them. These connections can develop into a mentor-mentee relationship anywhere around the world and offer the chance to get acquainted with peers of the same field (ANA, 2021).
Keeping Members Informed
The field of health care is highly dynamic and changes in health care practice are introduced and implemented to remain current with the emerging trends. One of the priority issues of ANA is to obtain sufficient resources for educating and training the nurses and ensure their continuous professional development. Since nurses’ practice pertains to various health care settings and is based on diverse roles and specific specialization, their role in offering insight to upgrade health care is realized by the ANA. To stay current, the ANA takes up research initiatives through peer-reviewed journals such as the “American Nurse” which is a monthly journal based on practice-oriented, personal, and career-based clinical material. Similarly, “The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing” is a peer-reviewed online resource posted three times annually. SmartBrief is another online resource to remain updated about related nursing news. Other than these, various professional tools such as the CINAHL, Drug Name Error Finder Tool, and the Global Disease Alert Map are also made accessible. Other essential documents are such as the ANA code of ethics and standards of practice are also available for professionals (ANA, 2021).
Continuing Education and Professional Development
The “American Nurses Association” promotes continuing education and professional development for both nurses and related organizations at every step. Continuing education is imperative and a predetermined duration must be completed to maintain the professional license of nurses. For this purpose, several options are available where nurses can take on the courses developed by the education department of their institute, attend various conferences, and enroll in classes at the local colleges. The opportunity of online learning is also made available on RN.com. Seeking ways to advance the career and getting continuing education not only enhance the nurses’ knowledge, skill, and ability but also equips them with leadership skills, and helps them become better practitioners. Various new certifications, as well as the option to renew the current certification, is made available and it is the utmost goal of the “American Nurses Association” to enable nurses to learn and remain in the practice of continuous professional development, ultimately leading to an updated practice and health care facility that is in line with the current research (ANA, 2021).
ANA. (2021). About ANA. Retrieved from American Nurses Association: https://www.nursingworld.org/ana/about-ana/
Bell, E., Campbell, S., & Goldberg, L. R. (2015). Nursing identity and patient-centredness in scholarly health services research: a computational text analysis of PubMed abstracts 1986-2013. BMC health services research, 15(1), 1-16.
Gaines, K. (2019). You should join a nursing organization. Here’s why. Retrieved from Nurse.org: https://nurse.org/articles/benefits-of-nursing-organizations/
Matthews, J. H. (2012). Role of professional organizations in advocating for the nursing profession. Online J Issues Nurs, 17(3).
Schmidt, K. (2020). 5 reasons nurses should engage in professional networking. Retrieved from BluePipes: https://blog.bluepipes.com/5-reasons-nurses-should-take-professional-networking-seriously/