Discuss the two organizations and how you see yourself participating within these organizations. How would being a member of these professional organizations help you become more connected and involved with the profession?
Professional nursing organizations serve the indispensable function of meeting points between health care employees, policy makers, clients, and the society as a whole. I would like to discuss two organizations that, in my view, are critical for the harmonious development of the nursing practice in the United States.

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American Academy of Nursing (hereinafter “the Academy”) is an entity focused on broadening the impact of education on developing effective health policies and ameliorating the quality of care. The Academy is a well-developed institution with its own strategic goals, fellowship programs as well as initiatives and projects in the field of health policy. What is important about the organization is that it does not limit itself to a mere dissemination of health knowledge – instead, there is also a framework for generating and processing such knowledge. They also have advocacy engagements in the context of which the Academy can empower consumers, nurses, and other stakeholders. The promotion of those policy choices that can improve the health of Americans on the macro-level and the quality of care in the hospital is given a clear priority. Other activities are organized in the forms of public health research, developing resource database, leadership programs, and mentorship opportunities. (American Academy of Nursing, 2016)

The Academy is appealing to me as an actor that can make a tangible impact on policies of the nationwide scale. I would be thrilled to contribute to the public health research in this organization following several more years of practice. It would be especially fascinating to analyze factors affecting the public health situation across the country.

I am passionate about international public health issues so the second organization, which I would like to discuss, is an international federation. The International Council of Nurses (hereinafter “the Council”) is an umbrella organization for over a hundred of national nursing associations. Having been founded in the 19th century, it is the oldest international organization that works with health care professionals. The Council works for nurses across the globe and holds as its objective the advancement of the socio-economic status of nurses. As the global body, it has opportunities to influence international public health policies and make a difference in various geographic areas. (International Council of Nurses)

I aspire to participate in international conferences and project organized by the Council to broaden my understanding of public health issues and solutions worldwide. At the late stage of my career, it is my goal to be in a position to have an impact on improving the quality of care at the international level while empowered by a strong institutional capacity. The Council is certainly the most suitable organization for this objective.

Why would nurses choose not to become involved in a professional organization?
Although professional organizations provide invaluable opportunities for sharing experience, seeking for collaborative solutions, and engaging a wide circle of stakeholders, many nurses decide not to become members. Unfortunately, many health professionals do note feel sufficiently motivated to contribute to the nurses’ platform of communication. The reasons for this choice vary from the lack of knowledge with regard to the benefits of memberships to personal preferences. Sometimes, professional organizations are mistakenly perceived as lobbyists instead of advocates and educators. Many nurses are not determined to get involved in social causes and prefer to focus on their careers ignoring the potential of membership on the development of their expertise. (Matthews, 2012)

What is different about the professional organizations as opposed to the state board of nursing?

State boards of nursing take on different roles than professional organizations largely as a result of the narrower scope of their functions. The boards are focusing their activities on monitoring the compliance with patient safety regulations. Professional organizations have a much broader list of objectives and beneficiaries starting from members themselves and finishing with the society as a whole.

There is also a legal difference between boards of nursing and professional organizations. Only the former can take legally binding decisions that have a legal on external actors, while the latter can only adopt internal policies in connection with membership in a particular association or organization.

  • American Academy of Nursing. (2016). Strategic Plan 2014-2017. Aannet.org. Retrieved 17 April 2016, from http://www.aannet.org/strategic-plan-2014-2017
  • International Council of Nurses. (2016). What We Do. Icn.ch. Retrieved 17 April 2016, from http://www.icn.ch/what-we-do/what-we-do/
  • Matthews, J. (2012). Role of Professional Organizations in Advocating for the Nursing Profession. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 17(1) http://dx.doi.org/ 10.3912/OJIN.Vol17No01Man03