A professional group can give you support throughout your nursing career.

Group of nurses sitting at a table talking in front of laptopIf nurses spend their days looking out for the welfare of their patients, who looks out for the welfare of nurses? The answer for many nurses is a nursing professional group. Whether you’re an RN, a nurse practitioner, a nurse educator, or a nurse working in any of the many medical specialties, there is likely to be an organization committed to helping you with all facets of your career. By joining the right nursing professional organization, you can gain the assistance you need to be your best, whether you’ve been a nurse for years or are currently earning a nursing degree.

What are the benefits of nursing professional groups?

All nursing professional groups exist to help their members succeed. Services can include everything from providing training and certifications to hosting conferences to offering networking opportunities. Some groups even work with policymakers to ensure laws and regulations meet the needs of nurses and their patients. The benefits of a professional nursing organization may include:
  • Continuing Education
    Many professional nursing groups offer classes, seminars, and tutorials to their members. Many also publish newsletters and/or journals that provide details on the latest issues and research impacting the nursing profession.
  • Networking Opportunities
    As a member of a nursing professional group, you can attend conventions and conferences where you can network with others in your profession. Many organizations also offer online networking where you can meet and share ideas with other nurses.
  • Targeted Resources
    If you’re looking for peer-reviewed clinical research studies, certification review materials, or other resources specific to your field, you can often turn to a nursing professional group. Some groups even provide benefits like professional liability insurance and credit card offers.
  • Career Assistance
    Many professional nursing groups post job listings and offer extensive career guidance. This is a particularly great benefit for those earning their nursing degree.
  • Expense Savings
    Nursing professional group members often receive reduced rates for certification examinations, recertification, and registration fees to attend national conferences that may be required for continuing education.

What are some of the best nursing professional groups?

Just about every nursing specialty is supported by its own professional group. Here are some of the largest and most active.

For All Nurses

American Nurses Association
Representing 3.4 million registered nurses, the ANA devotes itself to supporting nurses in every way. The ANA provides career counseling and certification, develops codes of ethics, and advocates for the health and safety of nurses and their patients.

Sigma Theta Tau International
STTI is an international honor society committed to advancing world health and promoting leadership and scholarship among nurses.

For Specific Specialties

Academy of Medical-Surgical Nursesl
As the only specialty nursing organization dedicated to medical-surgical nurses, the AMSN is where medical-surgical nurses turn for professional development, certification, and networking.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
The AACN represents more than 500,000 nurses, making it the world’s largest specialty nursing organization. It provides members with the resources and learning opportunities they need to excel in critical-care nursing.

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Through continuing education, career assistance, conferences, and advocacy, the AANA supports a membership of nearly 50,000 nurse anesthetists.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners
The AANP is the largest professional association serving nurse practitioners. The organization provides educational services, holds conferences, and conducts government advocacy on the behalf of nurse practitioners in every specialty.

American College of Nurse-Midwives
With roots dating back to 1929, the ACNM represents certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in the United States. The group offers professional resources, conducts advocacy, and hosts both local and national events.

American Nursing Informatics Association
Founded in 1982, the ANIA is focused on advancing the field of nursing informatics through communication, education, research, and professional activities.

American Organization of Nurse Executives
AONE has been providing nurse leader education programs for executives, directors, managers, and clinical leaders since 1967. It also helps advance nursing practice and patient care through advocacy and research.

American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Founded in 1986, APNA has grown to be the largest professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing.

Emergency Nurses Association
With more than 40,000 members in 35 nations, the ENA is the voice of emergency nurses. The organization provides educational services and advocates for emergency nurses in matters of public policy.

National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
Founded in 1995, the NACNS serves the expanding field of clinical nursing. The organization supports its members with professional resources, advocacy, and national conferences.

National League for Nursing
The NLN is the premier organization serving nurse educators. The organization’s 40,000 members receive professional development, testing services, research grants, and networking opportunities.

Are there state and local groups?

Nursing can be a very local profession. That’s why most states and localities have nursing professional groups focused on nurses living in those specific locations. Some of these groups are chapters of national or international organizations and some are unaffiliated. If you are interested in getting involved in a nursing professional group, you should consider participating in one or more of the associations operating in your state or metropolitan area.

How else can I help my nursing career?

If you’re looking to advance your nursing career, you should consider enrolling in an online nursing degree program. Even if you are already an RN, there are a number of degrees that can help you advance your career. Through an online university, you can earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), PhD in Nursing, or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). By earning one of these nursing degrees online, you can save yourself both time and money while remaining in your current job.

When combined with membership in a nursing professional group, the right online nursing degree can help you meet your career goals.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online nursing degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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