Professional Nursing Association

Nursing is a highly competitive field, especially for international students. That’s why it’s important to know about the many organizations that exist to help nurses and advance the profession. Here are just a few of those groups:

Professional Nursing Association

1 American Nurses Association

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the largest professional organization representing the interests of America’s 3.1 million registered nurses. AANA is a professional association and a union, fulfilling both roles to ensure that RNs have more opportunities to practice nursing at the highest level while simultaneously protecting their rights as workers. ANA advocates for public policies and legislation that improve patient care and promote healthy communities by focusing on:

  • Meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs)
  • Ethical issues in healthcare
  • Nurse workforce shortages

In addition, ANA provides its members with continuing education offerings, opportunities for networking and leadership development, job listings from around the country, assistance with credentialing applications (including applications for specialty certification), legislative alerts about important bills in Congress or state legislatures affecting healthcare providers’ practice privileges—everything you need to stay informed about what’s happening on Capitol Hill or your state capitol building!

2 National Student Nurses’ Association

  • National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA). The NSNA is a professional organization for student nurses and their support staff, which includes both registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/LVNs). It is the only organization exclusively for students.
  • NSNA is the largest student professional organization in the world. With over 10,000 members from all 50 U.S. states and Canada, as well as locations around the world, NSNA has grown steadily since its founding in 1953. It provides leadership development opportunities for its members by hosting an annual conference each year at various locations throughout North America — this year’s conference was held on June 2nd through 5th in Chicago — as well as providing scholarships and financial aid grants to help them succeed during nursing school or their first few years out of school if necessary (there are currently more than 100 schools that participate!).
  • The National Student Nurses’ Association exists to improve quality of patient care through excellence in education through membership education initiatives focused on health policy advocacy; consumer awareness programs that promote positive interactions between patients/families/public stakeholders with health care professionals; nursing research projects focused on improving outcomes related specifically upon those issues facing patients today while promoting wellness among caregivers themselves.”

3 American Association of Colleges of Nursing

The AACN is the leading voice for baccalaureate and master’s degree nursing education. The Association works to promote the advancement, leadership and improvement of nursing education as a public service, as well as its own members, and promotes the recognition of nursing as a profession.

4 American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board is the only organization that provides certification for nurse practitioners (NPs). NPs are registered nurses who have earned advanced degrees and have been trained to provide primary health care to patients of all ages. The board’s mission is to promote excellence in nursing practice by setting standards and improving certified nurse practitioner effectiveness through education, advocacy and research.

The board’s scope includes:

Assessing candidates’ knowledge and skills;

Providing information on certification requirements;

Certifying NPs who meet its qualifications;

Issuing letters confirming the certification status of NPs to organizations such as state boards of nursing

5 National Association of Neonatal Nurses

The National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NAANN) is a professional organization for nurses who specialize in the care of newborns, infants, and children. NAANN was founded in 1974 and its members include neonatal intensive care nurses, pediatric intensive care nurses, perinatal nurses and postpartum care specialists.

The goals of NAANN include promoting the quality of neonatal and pediatric nursing care; advancing education in neonatal/pediatric nursing; providing leadership opportunities for members through conferences, meetings and publications; providing information on issues relevant to neonatal/pediatric nursing practice including ethics; advocating for policies that affect the well-being of infants born premature or with low birth weight or who have congenital anomalies or developmental disabilities; collaborating with other organizations concerned with public health issues affecting infants born prematurely or with low birth weight or who have congenital anomalies or developmental disabilities

6 Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) was founded in 1998 to address the unique needs of women’s health nurses. With more than 6,000 members worldwide, AWHONN provides a wide range of professional development opportunities for its members.

A nursing code of ethics is an important part of any organization that represents nurses because it helps guide them in their work and decision-making processes. The code created by AWHONN emphasizes the importance of maintaining patient confidentiality and reporting any suspected violations. It also establishes ethical standards for nurse managers and leaders who may be responsible for supervising other nurses or providing leadership within their organizations (i).

Members can access guidelines on everything from ethics to competency to scheduling meetings through AWHONN’s website (Resources). In addition to providing resources like these free-of-charge, AWHONN offers a membership directory where you can search for people who share your interests and specialize in similar fields (Membership Directory).

7 Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing

The Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing (ARIN) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1986. The mission of the association is to advance the profession of nursing in the field of radiology and imaging. ARIN has over 11,000 members worldwide, including nurses who work in various settings such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, outpatient centers and medical imaging centers.

The journal “Radiologic Technology”, which is published by ARIN quarterly under license from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), provides members with a resource to exchange ideas on current issues affecting healthcare delivery in this field.

8 International Council of Nurses

  • The International Council of Nurses is a global federation of professional nursing associations.
  • ICN is an NGO and is also a member of the International Partnership for Nursing Development (IPND) and the International Council of Nurses Foundation (ICNF).

9 These organizations provide a way for nurses around the world to connect, learn together and advance their professions.

  • These organizations provide a way for nurses around the world to connect, learn together and advance their professions.
  • They do this by providing opportunities for sharing knowledge and experiences.
  • Organizational membership is open to all who are interested in nursing practice, education or research at any level.


As you can see, there are many nursing organizations that cover the world, from local chapters and professional networks all the way up to international organizations. Each of these bodies has different goals and focuses on different things, but they all have one thing in common: they help nurses connect with each other and work together to improve patient care.

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