Professional Organizations and APRNs
Bobby Bellflower, DNSc NNP-BC FAANP
NANNP Council Chair
Why is it important to belong to a professional organization that represents your profession or specialty in your practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)? Although there are several reasons to belong to your professional organization, one important reason is that being a member of your organization gives you a voice in your profession. As a member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses and the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NANNP), you have a strong voice on the national level. Unified voices carry much more weight than a single voice. Being part of a nationally recognized and respected organization gives members instant gravitas.
Other reasons to belong to a professional organization include:
- Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to help provide the latest updated care for babies and their families.
- Forward-thinking and realistic position statements.
- Networking opportunities with other members.
- Special interest groups (SIGs) that allow members with similar interests to meet and discuss specific neonatal nursing topics, like NNP Faculty, Surgical, Advanced Practice, Discharge Planning, and more! Writing groups have been established in some SIGs to help with scholarship opportunities.
- Online mentoring services.
- Research and quality improvement information, assistance, and presentations.
- Wellness and resilience resources.
- National educational conference that includes APRN topics and provides professional development hours to help meet certification requirements.
- Access to all-new learning management system.
These are a few reasons to join and maintain your membership in NANN/NANNP. Consider encouraging your colleagues and friends to join NANN/NANNP. On a personal note, I have been a member of NANN since the 1990s (with an occasional lapse), and it has met my professional goals. I joined NANNP when it was developed in 2007 and have been grateful for the representation and opportunities! By volunteering and participating in NANN/NANNP, I have had the chance to have input into my profession.
In the United States, there are over 355,000 licensed nurse practitioners (NPs) (AANP, 2022). About 1% of NPs in the country are NNPs (AANP, 2022). Because such a small percentage of NPs are NNPs, we must use every opportunity to impact our profession. We must make others in the NP and medical professions understand what we do and why we are uniquely qualified to provide the best care and management for preterm and ill babies and their families. One of the ways we impact our profession is by speaking with a loud, strong, proud, and unified voice! NANN/NANNP provides us with that opportunity.
American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). (2022). NP fact sheet.