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 

APRNs have earned an MSN degree or Doctor of Nursing (DNP), and possibly further specialized as a: 

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 OrganizationType of APRN
APRNs and other medical professionals working in or interested in working in oncology or hematology
APRNs who are certified registered nurse anesthetists and student registered nurse anesthetists
APRNs who are certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in the United States
APRNs pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree
APRNs who care for older adults in primary, acute, post-acute care, home care and long-term care
APRNs who are advanced practice registered nurses and leaders in health care

Sponsored online nursing programs

Simmons University


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Earn an MSN online from Simmons University. Choose from two program options — FNP or PMHNP — and prepare to raise the standard of patient care.

  • Choose from two program options — FNP or PMHNP
  • Complete in as few as 24 months
  • Full-time and part-time tracks available

Georgetown University


Master of Science in Nursing

Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 23 months. 

  • 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

St. John Fisher University


Master of Science in Nursing

Earn an M.S. in Nursing online at the Wegmans School of Nursing. Bachelor’s in nursing and RN license-required. 

  • Part-time and accelerated tracks available
  • Four program options: PCFNP, PMHNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP


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
  • Adult-Gerontology
  • Women’s Health
  • Neonatal
  • Pediatrics
  • 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 OrganizationType of Nurse Practitioner
NPs or people interested in the role
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
Current or retired NPs specializing in women’s health and CNM, as well as nurses and other clinicians upholding the purpose of NPWHs
Pediatric-focused APRNs as well as faculty
Faculty teaching in pediatric, school, acute care, or neonatal NP programs, clinical instructors and retired PNP faculty
NPs practicing or interested in dermatology
All emergency care providers, including RNs, CNSs, NPs, MDs, DOs, PAs, student, and retired practitioners
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.

StateAPRN Organization
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia


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.