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?