Job Search Tips :The Advantages of Joining a Professional Organization
Posted on Monday, July 28, 2008
Most healthcare roles are represented by a national society or professional association. These organizations play an important role in nursing and related healthcare professions, and to a large extent shape the public’s view of healthcare professionals. National organizations foster high professional standards in both performance and conduct and provide input into certification and continuing education standards. They promote the rights, health, and safety of their members in the workplace by lobbying Congress, regulatory agencies and the states in which their members work. By calling attention to healthcare issues, they serve to educate and protect the public.
Professional organizations also provide important services to their members. They provide a forum for disseminating and discussing news, education, new regulations and standards, and new techniques and practices in medicine and healthcare. Many provide continuing education classes, sponsor educational conferences, and offer access to professional journals, published research, periodicals and books to help members stay up-to-date. The self-employed can obtain affordable group insurance through professional associations. In addition to professional liability and life/health insurance plans, the American Nurses Association (ANA) even offers pet insurance. Some groups like the ANA also offer members financial services like free 24/7 online banking and low-interest credit cards.
Professional association sites also serve as a powerful networking tool. Many list job postings and job search tips. Recruiters often turn to professional organizations to search for potential employees. Social networking is the newest feature available on professional association sites. Chat rooms and forums allow members to share information with other professionals or just talk about their day in a supportive atmosphere.
To find a professional organization, do an Internet search for your specialty (ex. pediatric nurse + organization). On the ANA Web site you’ll find an extensive list of specialty nursing practice organizations. The Nurse Practitioners’ Web site, NP Central, also provides a comprehensive list of professional organizations with links to their Web sites, as does the Nursing Organizations Alliance Web site.