Professional Advocacy through Association Membership
Professional advocacy is about supporting the interests of one’s profession. Professional associations advocate for their members by uniting as a single voice and taking action to advance or remove barriers to the profession. Nurse practitioners (NPs) unite in member-created associations and organizations at many different levels: local, state, national, and international. They unite as specialty groups to further the goals or interests of their profession. Each of these organizations has a purpose or mission, membership benefits, and role in professional advocacy. While individually the NP may be able to contact a legislator on an issue of concern, a professional organization has the collective power of being able to be heard in numbers. These organizations are poised to take the course of action needed to influence the stakeholders. Just as these groups take action to make change, individual NPs must take action to promote their own professional interests and causes. One of the best ways a professional can support their profession is by joining an association or organization.
In a 3–5 page paper address the following:
- Join a NP association at the local, state, national or international level. (join as a student)
- Discuss the mission and vision of this organization.
- Describe the requirements for membership.
- Explain at least five benefits to belonging to this organization.
- Demonstrate understanding of the advocacy efforts of this organization by answering the following:
- What are the current key issues of concern (name at least three)?
- What actions are being taken by this organization to address these concerns?
- What current legislative efforts are being done by this organization in one of the following areas:
- expanding the NP scope of practice
- NP regulation of practice
- Healthcare policy
- Payment issues
- Prescriptive privileges
- Reflect on how your membership to this organization can promote the NP profession.