Nursing associations are important for nurses to join for a number of reasons. Nursing associations provide nurses, especially new nurses, a way in which they can connect with other nurses; specialty associations can be particularly helpful in this regard as they connect a new nurse with others at various levels of experience within the same specialty. Nursing associations also provide the opportunity for nurses to keep up with the latest changes in healthcare policy and practice. Nursing associations also have continuing education opportunities and can help a nurse to develop certifications in specialties.

The American Nurses Association (ANA, 2017) is more general and provide members with access to an extensive library of online topics that include research and information about healthcare policies and practices. They provide webinars for their members that are concerned with various areas of nursing specialty and these can provide nurses with contact hours needed for license renewal. The ANA also provides access to many nursing journals and magazines as part of the membership dues, which is important for staying current (ANA, 2017). Additionally, the ANA work to promote policies that are patient-centered and can lead the profession in a forward direction in a couple of ways. The first is to serve as lobbyists for local and federal governments. The second way that they promote policies is to inform the nurses and the general public about the policies that they are advocating in order to garner public support for those policies and for the legislators who support them. An example of a policy being supported by the ANA (2017) is the Clean Air Act and Public Health, which focuses upon a safe and healthy environment for all. The second example is the recent letter sent to

President Trump regarding the ANA’s Principles for Health System Transformation, which focuses upon ensuring that essential healthcare is provided as part of a standard package of services to all people in the United States (ANA, 2017).

ANA. (2017). About ANA. Retrieved from

In Primomo and Brijorling, 2013 nurses have formed various associations to advocate for the profession and the general publics’ health. Founders of such organizations need to speak out about the social determinants of good quality health and public policies affecting the delivery of such services. Through cooperation with various stakeholders and the government, nursing associations are able to influence policy that is aimed at improving both their welfare and that of their patients.

While in the course of discharging their duty, nurses use their expert knowledge to fight against current issues facing their profession. For example, low quality education in institutions that offer nursing education (Primomo and Brijorling, 2013). Students who proceed to later on become registered and practicing nurses receive inadequate training. Some of these institutions are not as equipped to offer such training. Inadequate education is then transferred to the patients through poor services and unprofessionalism. While fighting for these issues, nursing associations encounter political barriers such as bureaucracy. Most political figures lack the correct knowledge regarding issues surrounding the nursing profession. On the organizations side, most of these activists lack knowledge about the legislative process through which some of these issues should pass through. Nursing associations and unions come up with solutions to help solve this issue. By forming committees with stakeholders in the education sectors, steps have been made to improve the nursing curriculum. There is also need for these organizations to ensure full implementations of the solutions presented to the bodies tasked with the implementation of such solutions.


Primomo,J., & Bjorling, E. (2013). Changes in Political Astuteness Following Nurse Legislative Day. Policy, Politics and Nursing Practice, 1-8.