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What Are Professional Nursing Organizations?

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The healthcare industry is an ever-evolving landscape that witnesses major technological advancements on a day-to-day basis. And, if you’re a nurse, you’re expected to know about them all. You can read up on them on multiple web portals or even turn to your colleagues––like other nurses, specialists and physicians––to get details. After all, more minds and voices at the proverbial table make a difference, right? 

Enter: professional nursing organizations. These groups provide an opportunity for you to come together with your peers not only to further your knowledge and advance your professional development but also to incite change in the healthcare industry. Think of a professional nursing organization’s purpose as somewhere along the lines of a support group, a classroom and a public advocacy organization. 

Enrolling in a professional nursing organization may seem like a big step, but you’re in luck! We’re here to help you take that important step. Read on to find out which organization is right for you and how you and the healthcare community will benefit from your participation. 

Importance of professional nursing organizations

What do we really mean when we say that professional nursing organizations are essential? Here are some of the key contributions these groups make. They:

  • Provide support to nurses through continued education and scholarships.
  • Promote policies that benefit nurses and patients.
  • Provide professional development tools that can help nurses excel in their careers. 
  • Research to discover developments that can shape the future of healthcare.
  • Collaborate with organizations like the World Health Organization. 
  • Publish magazines and peer-reviewed journals focused on nursing.
  • Offer mentorship programs for the nursing practice.

Types of professional nursing organizations


While the goal of each nursing organization is to encourage nurses to become the best at their work, their paths are a bit different. There are more than 150 professional nursing organizations in the United States. To give you an idea, here are a few of the top organizations and what they stand for:

  • The American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS): This worldwide organization is a network of other associations. It provides accreditations for specialties the organization designs with a focus on patients and the latest research. 
  • The American Nurses Association (ANA): One of the top organizations, the ANA focuses on protecting the rights and well-being of healthcare workers like registered nurses (RNs). It houses several subsidiary associations, namely the American Academy of Nursing, the American Nurses Foundation and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
  • The Association of Nursing Professional Development (ANPD): This organization provides the professional development that nurses need to do their best, most comprehensive work, such as staying up-to-date on advances in research and healthcare in general.
  • The Emergency Nursing Association (ENA): With more than 43,000 members from the emergency nursing field, the ENA provides clinical guidelines and publishes a journal. It was influential in establishing the Board of Certification in Emergency Nursing in 1980. 
  • The International Council of Nurses (ICN): This worldwide nursing association is an umbrella organization for more than 130 national nursing groups, representing 20 million nurses. The ICN has a powerful reach, which is demonstrated by its integration with both the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO). 
  • The National League for Nursing (NLN): One of the oldest of its kind in the U.S., this organization provides professional development services for nursing educators and has approximately 40,000 members. 
  • The National Student Nurses Association (NSNA): Nursing organizations aren’t just for RNs. This one focuses on students, providing mentorship and access to its proprietary magazine, Imprint, which helps aspiring nurses plan their careers and explore specialties. It also offers scholarships to nursing school students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and licensed practical nursing (LPN) / licensed vocational nursing (LVN) certification programs. 

If you’re determined to find a nursing organization that’s right for you, your search doesn’t have to end here. There are professional nursing organizations for critical care, professional nursing organizations for pediatrics, professional nursing organizations for nurse practitioners and more. Keep an eye out for associations that meet the needs of professionals in your specialty or type of nursing, and don’t forget to check out local organizations, like state nursing associations. 

Let’s talk benefits


Nursing associations have healthcare professionals’ backs. Besides helping you hone your existing skill sets and explore various career opportunities, there are many other professional nursing organizations benefits you can enjoy by becoming a member. Here are a few:

  • Education: They provide you access to educational tools and professional development workshops. 
  • Career growth: They offer networking opportunities within the field and specialties (fun and educational conventions where you can meet peers).
  • Specialization: They provide education opportunities that can establish professionals as experts in their specialty and help them find better nursing jobs.
  • Career assistance: They offer career advice to help nurses take the next step toward a more fruitful and well-suited job.

Who should join?

If you’re a nurse, the simple answer to this question is you. Nursing organizations exist to support you, so if you’re seeking professional development resources, new friends and colleagues in the industry or access to the latest research and industry news, you’re a perfect candidate. Even if you’re not a full-time employee studying to become a nurse who’d like a scholarship or career advice, you’re also a great fit. 

It’s all about professional and personal development

Working in the medical field in any capacity is rewarding. Healthcare professionals work long shifts, provide empathetic patient care even on their toughest days and study hard to stay on top of the latest in the field. While having an app on your phone to know recent happenings is a great practice, you can consider becoming a member of one of these organizations. 

It’s no secret that nursing has its challenges. With too much on your plate, it can be daunting to keep track of everything. Thankfully, these associations and their resources and knowledge can help you further your career in the most efficient way possible.  

We may not be a nursing organization, technically speaking. But we definitely love supporting nurses and nursing students with comfortable performance scrubs, luxurious loungewear and helpful  content on potential career moves, self-care for healthcare professionals and more. And, if you’re a nursing student on a tight budget, we have a special discount just for you, too.  

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