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11 Top Professional Nursing Organizations: Networking and Certifications

October 4, 2021

Membership in a nursing organization can come with several benefits, including access to mentorship, further education and nursing certifications. These benefits allow nurses to grow in their careers and increase lifetime learning potential in their fields. In this article, we list some of the top professional nursing organizations to consider joining if you are a nurse or pursuing a nursing career.

Please note that no organization mentioned in this article is affiliated with Indeed.

Professional nursing organization benefits

If you’re a practicing nursing professional, there are dozens of organizations for nursing-related fields. Here are some of the best reasons to consider joining one or more national nursing organizations:

Resume boost

An impressive resume is the most effective way to improve your chances of being hired. When applying for a competitive nursing position, every factor counts and membership in one or more national nursing organizations can provide that differentiation. Membership shows a commitment to continuing to learn and improve, which is a quality employers want.

Professional growth

When you join a professional nursing organization, you gain access to new options for career growth as a nursing professional. Many organizations offer educational options ranging from conventions to courses. You can meet more experienced professionals in your specialization and learn from professional role models and mentors. Continuing to improve yourself professionally is good for your patients and your career prospects.

Networking opportunities

When you join a national nursing organization, you become a member of a community of potential professional connections. Whether it comes as providing you with a recommendation or job offer or associating with a higher-up who is also a member, nursing organizations provide an easy way to expand your network of professional associates.


Many organizations offer certification programs for members. These certifications commonly require passing an exam that shows your capability in the field, serving as a boost when listing your professional accomplishments.

Career acceleration

The benefits of bolstering your qualifications continue after you’re hired. Professional memberships can strengthen your argument when negotiating salary, asking for a raise or getting a promotion.

Professional U.S. nursing organizations

Whether you are new to nursing or have an established career, a national nursing organization can benefit your career. Here are 11 professional nursing organizations to consider joining:

With over 200 chapters, AACN is a premier nursing organization for critical-care nurses. Members have access to over 300 free online courses as part of AACN’s continuing education program, as well as an online collection of resources like journals, conference schedules and printable, pocket-sized reference cards. Members can take advantage of provided study materials to prepare for AACN’s exams to earn and maintain valuable professional certifications.

Certifications include:

Read more: A Definitive Guide to Critical Care Nursing

Joining AANN provides neuroscience nursing professionals with career-advancing opportunities. For nurses looking to continue their professional growth, AANN provides both educational courses at special membership prices and access to The Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, a peer-reviewed journal to help members stay up to date. AANN encompasses the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing (ABNN), which provides two certification opportunities. Members receive special discounted rates when attempting the certifying examinations.

Certifications include:

The ANA is a premier nursing organization and is worth considering for all nursing professionals. Besides a large array of resources including educational opportunities, curated news and a structured mentorship program, ANA is also a highly regarded certification provider. ANA offers certifications presented by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for various types of nurses which serve as impressive qualifications the next time you are applying for a job or trying for a promotion.

Certifications include:

Related: What Is a Clinical Nurse?

As the leading emergency nursing organization, ENA is guided by collaboration, compassion and inclusiveness in emergency nursing care. Besides providing members with opportunities for continuing education, ENA works as an advocacy group for policy on emergency care and regulation. ENA also gives annual awards which provide the opportunity for significant career advancement when listed on a nursing professional’s resume.

Related: ER Nursing Skills: Definition and Examples

NALPN offers licensed practical nurses (LPNs) a community with similar nursing professionals. NALPN works with several professional partners to provide members with reduced prices on professional goods and services. Members also have the potential to receive recognition in the form of awards at NALPN’s annual convention where members can network and get to know others in the association. NAPLN membership also provides further education to expand a member’s career options.

Read more: Learn About Being a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Founded in 1973, NAPNAP now has 50 chapters nationally with over 9,000 total members. The organization is dedicated to improving health care for infants, children and adolescents by providing members with the tools to improve and excel as pediatric nurses. Besides NAPNAP’s local chapters, the option to join an e-chapter means geography is no barrier for any nurse looking to join.

Read more: Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioner

The NLN boasts over 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members, making it a valuable opportunity for nurses to join a large and respected organization with networking opportunities. The organization was founded in the 19th century, making its members part of a long, proud tradition. Members are granted access to education and testing and the ability to apply for professional research grants.

Related: Clinical Nursing vs. Hospital Nursing: A Definitive Guide

As one of the leading nursing organizations specializing in preventing and treating cardiovascular disease, PCNA is a valuable option for any nurse specializing in cardiovascular care. The association has been in operation since 1992 when it was founded as the Lipid Nurse Task Force before expanding to focus more broadly on cardiovascular disease. PCNA works in association with other nursing organizations to provide members with a broad range of education and career opportunities.

Certifications include:

  • Cardiovascular Nursing Certificate (PCNA-CNC)

Joining an honor society while enrolled in higher education allows you to improve your resume before entering the professional world and also provides you with resources to help with your studies. Sigma is an organization with chapters in over 700 institutions around the world. Sigma also offers grant and scholarship opportunities to help active students fund their nursing education.

The SPCN is an international organization devoted to spreading knowledge on child health care and providing pediatric nurses with the tools they need to grow in the field. Besides an annual meeting, SPCN members are given easy access to information on important tools like conference schedules, links to similar organizations, online publications and job postings.

Related: How To Become a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner: Career Overview

The SPN sets a mission of furthering the practice of pediatric nursing through research and education. It launched in 1990 and has expanded to include chapters in many states. Its learning materials are aligned with the American Nurses Credentialing Center pediatric certification. With a focus on pediatric nursing, it is a valuable option for any nurses in the field.

Certifications include:

  • Pediatric nursing certification (PED-BC)

Related: How To Become a Pediatric Nurse


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