Professional Nursing Organizations
Registered nurses play a critical role in patient care. Nurses often spend the greatest amount of time with patients in a variety of environments, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools and more.
In time, nurses can pursue roles that enable them more independence when working with patients. Through an on-campus or online master’s in nursing program and additional licensure, a licensed RN can become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), including a nurse practitioner (NP). Some APRNs pursue a doctoral degree for additional education, training and career opportunities.
Throughout RN and APRNs’ careers, professional organizations are there to support them. Nursing organizations offer continuing education, skills training, networking, mentorship and other opportunities that can lead to career advancement.
Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) Organizations
- Nurse practitioner (NP)
- Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
- Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
Typically, an APRN obtains a license from a state board that differs from an RN license. In many states, APRNs work directly with patients, practice independently without a doctor’s supervision and prescribe medication. APRNs are considered to have expert knowledge and clinical competencies that allow them to handle more complex cases independently. Many communities have come to depend on APRNs, particularly in areas underserved by physicians and hospitals.
There are organizations for APRNs, some of which focus on specialty and others that do not. These organizations can help APRNs decide on a specialty, delve further into their chosen specialty, stay up to date on best practices and build medical practices.
|APRN Organization||Type of APRN|
|Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology||APRNs and other medical professionals working in or interested in working in oncology or hematology|
|American Association of Nurse Anesthetists||APRNs who are certified registered nurse anesthetists and student registered nurse anesthetists|
|American College of Nurse-Midwives||APRNs who are certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in the United States|
|Doctors of Nursing Practice||APRNs pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree|
|Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association||APRNs who care for older adults in primary, acute, post-acute care, home care and long-term care|
|National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists||APRNs who are advanced practice registered nurses and leaders in health care|
Sponsored Online Nursing Programs
Earn a Master of Science in Nursing online from Simmons University.
- Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Preparation to pursue certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner
- Part-time, full-time, and extended plans of study
Earn an MS in Nursing online from Georgetown University.
- Earn your MS in Nursing in as few as 23 months
- Choose from one of four APRN specialty areas: AG-ACNP, FNP, NM/WHNP, or WHNP
- Gain hands-on clinical experience in evidence-based practice
Earn an M.S. in Nursing online at the Wegmans School of Nursing
- The Wegmans School of Nursing is ranked among the top 100 nursing schools nationally, and is No. 6 in New York state1
- Part-time and accelerated tracks available
- Four program options: PCFNP, PMHNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP
Earn your MSN online from USC’s Top-Ranked School of Social Work.
- Prepares RNs to pursue board certification as family nurse practitioners
- Earn a CCNE-accredited MSN in as few as 21 months
- Choose from part-time and full-time study options
1 U.S. News & World Report, 2022 Best Nursing Schools: Master’s. Ranked in 2021.
Nurse Practitioner Organizations
A nurse practitioner (NP) is the most common type of APRN. Many NPs choose to specialize further. They may receive national certification in:
- Family/Individual Across the Lifespan
- Women’s Health
- Psychiatric/Mental Health
For gerontology or pediatrics, a nurse practitioner may choose to focus on acute or primary care.
When there are physician shortages, NPs can fill the gap in primary care, particularly in under-served communities. By earning a degree in a nurse practitioner program and pursuing appropriate clinical hours and state licensure, NPs may provide primary and emergency care. They may also be able to diagnose and treat many conditions, as well as write prescriptions.
NPs may choose a certification along with a specialty field. Joining a professional organization may help NPs develop their careers in various specialties and areas of medicine. Organizations provide much-needed practical and emotional support, learning opportunities and networking.
|Nurse Practitioner Organization||Type of Nurse Practitioner|
|American Association of Nurse Practitioners||NPs or people interested in the role|
|National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties||Nurses and others holding faculty or educational positions in NP programs, students enrolled in a graduate or degree-conferring program and retired academic or clinical NPs|
|Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health||Current or retired NPs specializing in women’s health and CNM, as well as nurses and other clinicians upholding the purpose of NPWHs|
|National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners||Pediatric-focused APRNs as well as faculty|
|Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners||Faculty teaching in pediatric, school, acute care, or neonatal NP programs, clinical instructors and retired PNP faculty|
|National Academy of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners||NPs practicing or interested in dermatology|
|American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners||All emergency care providers, including RNs, CNSs, NPs, MDs, DOs, PAs, student, and retired practitioners|
|Association of Nurse Practitioners in Business||Current, prospective and retired NP business owners|
Nursing Organizations by State
APRNs often benefit from joining a state-specific organization. Below is a non-exhaustive list of NP and APRN organizations by state. In some places, an APRN council is part of the larger nursing association. Many states have regional-specific organizations as well.
What are the best nursing organizations to join?
APRNs don’t necessarily gain an advantage from joining several organizations. The fees can be significant, and it might be difficult to participate in multiple associations. Instead, the best organization for an APRN to join is one focused on their chosen or potential specialty. This gives an APRN the best opportunity for ongoing education, mentorship, networking and career advancement.
An APRN also might benefit from joining a state organization that meets nearby. This makes it easier to participate in person and meet potential mentors or colleagues. Most associations have an easy process to join online.
How do nursing organizations support the field of nursing?
Nursing associations contribute to the education and development of NPs and other APRNs. They enable nursing professionals to maintain high standards throughout their various specialties and fields. They may also offer APRNs who work in stressful circumstances a place to seek professional support. Nurses must prioritize self-care along with their professional development. Connecting with colleagues and mentors offers a way to obtain emotional and spiritual support.
Why is professional development important in nursing?
Progressing in their careers requires completing continuing education requirements for licensure, staying up to date on trends, and acquiring new skills, which they can do through a professional organization. Some organizations offer certifications that are respected within the medical community. Joining an organization also offers opportunities to work with mentors and network with more experienced APRNs.
How do nursing organizations influence nursing practice?
One role of nursing associations is advocating for their members. Organizations for APRNs might work with lawmakers to enact regulations that ensure a high standard in the profession while allowing APRNs to work independently with patients. These organizations can potentially influence health care policy as well as standard workplace policies for APRNs in various specialties and fields.
What are membership fees for joining a nursing organization?
Membership fees vary by association from a little over $100 to several hundred dollars. Some associations provide different levels of memberships, so students, APRNs and retirees can choose the right cost and level of participation for themselves. Others offer multi-year memberships at a slightly discounted price.
Information on this page was last retrieved in May 2021.