Should You Be Part of a Nurse Practitioner Organization?

The thought of more evening commitments fills me with dread.  Between keeping my house looking halfway decent, maintaining relationships with my friends, working and spending time with my husband, my evenings are pretty much all accounted for.  The ones that aren't I need for going to bed early as a result of my otherwise exhausting schedule!  Despite all of the commitments life requires, is it worth finding time to join a nurse practitioner organization?  The answer is yes.

Personally, I am a member of the AANP and MTAPN (Middle Tennessee Advanced Practice Nurses).  I recommend involvement in a large national organization as well as a smaller regional organization.  Here are a few reasons I believe NP's should be a part of nursing organizations:

1. Membership in a Smaller, Local Organization Allows You to Expand Your Professional Network

MTAPN, my local NP organization of choice, meets once every other month for dinner.  Membership dues are only $30/ year and dinners are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies so they do not increase the cost of my involvement.  At these meetings, I am able to connect with NP's in other specialties as well as those in my own.  They give me a better idea of the job market, the types of positions available to NP's in my area and professional connections should I ever need to find new employment.

2. Membership in a Larger, National Organization Gives You a Voice in Legislation Concerning the NP Profession

As an AANP member, I know I am supporting national causes that concern NP's.  The AANP acts as "the voice of nurse practitioners" and is involved in legislation affecting the NP profession.  The more NP's that are involved with AANP, the louder the voice NP's have in national issues.  Although I am not connected to this organization on a personal level, I can be assured that I am contributing to improving the NP profession.

3. NP Organizations Offer Continuing Education Opportunities

As nurse practitioners, we are all required to acquire continuing education credits.  Programs put on by NP organizations typically offer continuing education credits for attendance at meetings.  For example, when I attend an MTAPN meeting, a physician usually speaks on a topic and I am able to earn one credit hour towards my requirement.  Each year, the AANP holds a conference (usually in a fun location) and attendees can rack up upwards of 20 hours of CE credit.  Although the AANP conference is not covered by your membership fee, members receive a hefty discount.

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NP student

Jennifer Gauze