I will be graduating from nursing school next month. Can you suggest some associations I should join?
Wants to Join Association
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Wants to Join Association,
I suggest you start by joining the American Nurses Association (www.nursingworld.org), both the national association and your state chapter. Many state chapters offer reduced dues for new nurses during their first year after graduation. But dont just join. Become active by attending meetings, joining a committee, working on a special project or even running for office. Youll get out of any association what you put into it. Read Getting the Most from Professional Associations (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Professional-Assns).
Some new nurses believe they need to get more experience before joining an association or other career-related organization. On the contrary, you need your associations upon graduation, even before you find a job, more than any other time. It is through our associations that we build community in nursing. Without community, you may survive but you will never thrive. It offers the best opportunity for networking, which is a great way to find jobs and get hired.
Once you land a position, also join the related specialty association, such as the Emergency Nurses Association (www.ena.org) or American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses (www.aaacn.org).