Nursing Associations: An Embarrassment of Riches

There are many nurses out there who belong to various nursing organizations, gleaning the various benefits of those memberships. Then again, there are lots of nurses who never join nursing organizations or associations, seeing no value in doing so. I’ve been in both camps, but at this juncture in my career, I find that the benefits of membership in my chosen organizations far outweigh the relatively low cost of joining and maintaining those memberships over time.

Variety is the Spice of Life

In regards to what’s out there in terms of nursing organizations and associations, the choices are almost limitless. New organizations seem to sprout up every time I turn my head, and established organizations open new chapters as the membership grows.

Variety is indeed the spice of life, and you have a true embarrassment of riches in terms of the quantity and diversity of nursing associations who welcome new members.

From associations representing various nursing specialties to those offering membership to the general nursing population, there is no shortage of organizations from which to pick and choose. And the variety is staggering.

Specialties Galore

Are you interested or involved in pediatric oncology? There’s an association for that. Into holistic nursing? They’re ready to welcome you. Is infusion nursing your focus? That organization is growing and always welcoming new members. If you’re interested in a nursing specialty, it’s likely represented by an association or organization that’s already on the map. In regards to the search for the organization for you, an Internet search is probably your best friend.

Functions of Organizations

Nursing organizations serve a variety of function, including but not limited to:

  • Bringing members together under one “roof”
  • Specialized continuing education for members
  • Conferences and meetings for members to get to know one another, share and network
  • A public “face” for the specialty
  • Online networking opportunities within the specialty area
  • Lobbying efforts on behalf of the particular specialty area
  • Opportunities for learning skills in leadership and organization
  • Local and regional chapters for regular networking closer to home
  • Professional credibility for the specialty area that’s represented
  • Certifications and other forms of professional growth and recognition
  • A sense of professional camaraderie and belonging
  • And so much more


Feel free to explore organizations that may suit your needs. Maybe you want to learn more about a particular area of nursing, so perhaps visiting the local or regional chapter of a specialty organization can help you connect with nurses already working in that area of expertise. Maybe you need CEUs and there’s an organization that offers what you want. Or maybe there’s a conference sponsored by an organization and you see it as a great chance to network and learn.

There are as many specialty nursing organizations and associations as there are specialties in nursing. The camaraderie and sense of belonging can sometimes not be beat, so be open to the possibility that membership in a nursing organization will serve your professional and personal growth in ways that you may not even yet imagine.

Ready to join?




About Keith

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Keith Carlson is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, speaker, author, and popular career columnist.

With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. Keith’s two podcasts, RNFM Radio and The Nurse Keith Show, offer inspiration and practical support to nurses seeking to create meaningful, satisfying lives and careers.

Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on many social media platforms, as well as at