The start of the New Year is a perfect time to take stock of professional accomplishments from the previous 12 months and to consider what you would like to improve upon in the months that lie ahead. While there may be a number of changes you might like to make in your professional life, one of the most beneficial moves would be to join a national organization.
Joining a professional organization allows you to stay involved in the nurse practitioner community while helping to develop skills and connections that can be vital to your career’s success. There are a variety of organizations that cater to NPs and many of them are regional or based in certain cities so that NPs in close proximity can meet and attend professional events and trainings together.
It’s also important to recognize that many of these organizations, whether national or state, provide a much needed voice in the political realm. A lot of lobbying on behalf of medical professionals has to be done in order to inhibit legislation that could stifle full practice authority in numerous states, or to improve on statutes that do not allow NPs to work to the fullest potential of their abilities.
Undeniably, there is strength in numbers, and an organization of hundreds (or even thousands) of members has greater leverage than a single individual. While there are yearly dues that must be paid in order to join most organizations, most are less than a dinner at a nice restaurant.
So focus on changing this New Year and becoming a member of a professional organization. Consider the following benefits:
- Continuing Education (CE): In today’s rapidly changing world, science, technology, medical knowledge, and health care advance on a yearly basis. Staying on top of these changes means continually developing and improving your skill set to remain fresh and prepared for new challenges. Joining a professional nurse practitioner association offers opportunities for continuing education through meetings, seminars, webinars, and conventions. This is especially beneficial if your home state requires CE credits for licensing and some of these professional organizations even offer CE activities to members at a reduced price.
- Personal and Professional Development: If you’re interested in advancing your career and taking on more leadership roles, professional organizations for nurse practitioners can help you to reach those goals. Often times, professional associations provide opportunities to join committees, research projects, and take part in social or political causes supported by the organization. Gain confidence and visibility while improving your leadership skills.
- Refocus Your Perspective: The reality is that many professionals can easily get comfortable in their workplace bubbles. After several years at a job, you figure out your role in the operation, the difficulty of your job, what is required of you, and where you fit in the the grander scheme of things. While this can be a pleasant experience, it can also lead to burnout or a desire for change. Reignite that passion by joining a nurse practitioner professional association, which can help you gain perspective about your role in the larger system of healthcare. Learn about the different areas of nursing and the issues that affect this field as a whole.
- Conventions, Networking, and Career Assistance: As a member of a professional organization, you’ll get notices about major conventions that you may be able to attend a discounted rates. These conventions provide the perfect opportunity for you to connect and network with other healthcare professionals at a national, state, or local level. Networking helps you to learn from peers and other professionals who can offer insight to similar challenges you may be facing; it’s a great way to learn about what sort of techniques and procedures other facilities are utilizing; it provides you with the ideal space to meet with others who can help you get a lead on a new job.
- Targeted Products and Resources: Another great benefit of joining a professional organization as a nurse practitioner is that you can get discounts on products and resources such as online CE courses, newsletters, certification review materials and even member discounts on certain insurances.
- Certifications: Alongside opportunities to earn CE credit, professional organizations offer certification in speciality areas, which can help you move up the career ladder and may even help you get paid more. Becoming certified shows your commitment to professional growth.
For a list of some of the top professional organizations for Nurse Practitioners visit OnlineNursePractictionerPrograms.
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If you’re looking for a change this New Year, beyond joining a NP professional organization, then take a look at our job listings. We’re sure you’ll find a position you love in a city you’ve always dreamt of moving to.