Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nursing Organizations

I know many nurses that support the ANA (American Nurses Association) and other grass root types of organizations. But, I think I know more nurses that are simply not involved in nursing organizations. I am not a member today. I have held memberships in the past, but I am not a member today.

If I am asked why I don't hold membership to a national nursing organization - my answer is pretty simple. They lost me. Their issues are not issues I am passionate about. I work in education and I work at the bedside as an ICU nurse. Does the ANA have any clue what challenges I face each and everyday caring for patients at the bedside? Do they have a clue about issues I face as an educator in the nursing world? I don't think they do. For me - if I felt any connection with the ANA, even if it was a slight connection - my membership dues would be paid each year!

Ok - with that said - how accountable and responsible am I for the actions of the ANA or other professional organization that represents nurses? Very responsible. Because as a professional - I have a voice and my voice is important. I have a lot to say - so, they (the ANA, et al) need to listen to me. The little single nurse at the bedside and in the classroom.

ANA - are you around? Can you hear the little nurse? Do you care about us at all? Do you have a passion for our issues? Remember - our issues are the issues that impact the patient. Yes - the little nurse at the bedside has a lot to say - give us a forum and let us speak ... and listen and help us become united so we can make a difference for our patients. Listen very carefully - because we know the REAL issues and can communicate them very clearly. Unfortunately - the single nurse at the bedside has lost interest in the ANA because so many years have passed and no body listens to us. Perhaps it is time to give them a second chance. Or - maybe it is time for a real grassroots organization that represents the nurse at the bedside and can really help make a difference.

This is how grass root organizations start you know ... a single voice that unites many ... BAMMM - there is a new organization. Maybe it is time!

What do you think?


  1. I have to agree with you an the ANA. Another reason I am not a member is the fact that they charge $20 to get a copy of the ANA Code of Ethics, something every nurse should have, and almost every nursing student needs to have for school...

    That being said, I do belong to the Emergency Nurses Association; while it too is a "big" organization, it is focused on my area of practice, has useful research, and I feel my money is going towards things that help me as an ED Nurse...

  2. I can agree that belonging to a professional organization is very important. I think it provides the nurse with a voice. But - blinding supporting a professional organization is crazy. Be certain (in my humble opinion) that the association is doing something that will impact and protect your ability to practice or perhaps is advocating for you. Often as these associations get too large - they forget the bedside nurse. Not a good thing to do when one considers that bedside nurses make up the majority of nurses.

    I agree though - nurses should join their professional association - just be well informed about what they are doing for you.