Nursing Organizations and Associations

There are many reasons you may want to consider joining one or more professional organizations for nurses. Membership can provide an opportunity for you to network with other nurses and nurses in your specialty area, as well as other benefits that vary between organizations. There are professional nursing organization options for RNs, specialty nurses, student nurses, and other roles related to the healthcare field. Following is information to help you make an informed decision about joining one.

Why Join a Professional Nursing Organization?

Joining a professional organization can provide opportunities for you to network with other health professionals who understand your career and its joys and challenges. According to an NCBI study, membership can lead to personal growth, enhance your professional prospects and aid your knowledge development and offer support for creating change in your field.1 Some nursing associations offer discounts on publications and online continuing education. Some feature career assistance and job board sites. There are many organizations available to you in the nursing profession. Check out this compilation of organizations and what they have to offer.

American Nurses Association (ANA)

The American Nurses Association works to advance the nursing profession through initiatives that include federal lobbying on nursing and healthcare-related issues. It is considered the strongest voice in the nursing profession. The ANA offers three membership options:

  • ANA and State Membership – The highest membership level that includes state benefits – Licensed RNs only
  • ANA E-Membership – The basic option that is virtual with limited benefits (only available in some states) – Licensed RNS only
  • ANA Student Subscriber – Available to nursing students who want to have access to critical resources and insights to further their education

Member Benefits include:

  • Free development information and webinars
  • Updated nursing news
  • Discounts, including continuing education and publications
  • Network and support from fellow RNs
  • Policymaker outreach opportunities
  • State nursing association benefits

National Student Nurses Association (NSNA)

The National Student Nurses Association works to mentor nursing students who are preparing for initial RN licensing and convey the standards, skills, and ethics that are needed to work in the field. Membership is open to:

  • Nursing and pre-nursing students who are enrolled in a program approved by any state in preparation for having RN licensure
  • RNs in programs that lead to a baccalaureate degree
  • Sustaining membership opportunities

Member benefits include:

  • NSNA Leadership University Honor Society
  • Awards program and scholarship opportunities
  • Opportunities for career planning
  • Discounts
  • Leadership development opportunities
  • Entry-level RN positions on NSNA Career Center Online

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma)

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing

Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)

The Emergency Nurses Association is a nursing organization for RNs specializing in emergency care, RN equivalents and students in an RN program. An initiative is to help the voices of ER nurses be heard through public policy that affects ER nursing. Member benefits include:

  • Scholarships and grants
  • Professional development
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Free continuing education

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is the world’s largest specialty nursing professional organization, which boasts more than 130,000 global critical care members. The organization supports progressive and crucial care with education, support and resources. Member benefits include:

  • Free continuing education, with more than 500 activities
  • Clinical resources, such as webinars and practice alerts
  • Online peer support
  • Discounts

Other Nursing and Nursing Specialty Associations

There are more than 100 professional nursing organizations in addition to those listed here. List of national, state, and international nursing organizations.

Planning Your Career in Nursing

Learn more about different levels of nursing, nursing school, and how to become a nurse in Carrington College’s Guide to Nursing. Sources


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