Professional Association Membership
Professional nursing organizations perform a vital role in enhancing both personal and specialized development among members, which helps in advancing professional growth. Continuous professional development is integral to nursing practice as it helps maintain and augment expert competence as a way of improving performance. Professional organizations also play the advocacy role and make the voices of practitioners heard as they offer their services to society (Matthews, 2012). One example of a professional nursing organization is the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), and just like other professional nursing establishments, it acts as a platform where members can get updated information on issues regarding current practices and advancements in inpatient care.
AMSN is a professional organization entirely devoted to addressing issues inherent in medical-surgical nursing practice. Consisting of approximately 11,500 members, who are medical-surgical nurses, it is the only specialty organization that caters to the needs of nursing practitioners under this category (AMSN, 2020a). Primarily, the organization focuses on offering support to medical-surgical nurses to help them adapt to the continuously changing practice environment while, at the same time, focusing on improving their psychological, physical, and emotional well-being. To achieve this goal, AMSN uses education, advocacy, research, and evidence-based practice. The organization also collaborates with other specialty nursing, research, and government entities to address concerns in medical surgical nursing. Further, AMSN as a platform enables medical-surgical nurses to grow professionally and connect with each other, which helps in the sharing of compassion and commitment. Their task is to ensure that excellence is promoted in clinical surgical nursing. However, its vision is to help those medical-surgical nurses unite and use their voice and enforce centered action as a strategy for enhancing patient care (AMSN, 2020a). Therefore, as a professional organization, AMSN is committed to addressing issues affecting medical-surgical nurses, as is evident in its mission and vision statement.
Being part of AMSN has various benefits. The organization offers a platform for its members to grow professionally and, at the same time, connect with other nurses by sharing experiences. Members can expand their knowledge through access to expert advice through AMSN’s annual convention, educational materials, nurturing and mentoring, practice standards in the field, and scholarships and grants. Further, members can access resources, both online and through events, prepared by the organization. Registered members can also save money through discount offers when using the AMSN store. In addition, membership makes it easier to address the issues facing medical-surgical nurses and patients by having a united AMSN community (AMSN, 2020c). Joining AMSN, therefore, not only helps in professional growth but also offers additional benefits through access to supplementary services.
Networking is essential for medical-surgical nurses. Professional networking is a vital aspect of career development since it brings together people who pursue the same career goals. It can be achieved through sponsored nursing meeting events or online. The undertaking is important as it allows nurses to explore their field of practice while developing a more robust system of support through an organized community. Through networking, medical-surgical nurses can discover emerging issues in their specialties and share knowledge concerning their experiences. It, therefore, helps in creating a healthy support system by expanding a practitioner’s professional connections. AMSN has managed to create networking opportunities for its members through various platforms. The organization is active on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, from where people can share information online. Further, it has a member-only platform, the AMSN Hub, where members can engage in discussion forums. Likewise, the organization offers physical networking platforms through its events, such as local chapter events, where members can meet with other nurses in person (AMSN, 2020c). The organization, therefore, effectively enhances professional growth among its members.
Nevertheless, AMSN has adopted mechanisms to share practice-related news. The organization offers quality educational publications. For instance, it uses an E-newsletter, the Med-Surg Nursing Connection, to pass information on emerging issues in the medical-surgical nursing field. Additionally, AMSN has various journal publications that can be accessed through its MedSurg Matters! Platform (AMSN, 2020c). Further, the AMSN Hub not only serves for networking but also offers a real-time forum where members can inquire about information on possible changes in practice requirements. The various online platforms, coupled with newsletter publications, act as avenues for informing members of changes in medical-surgical nursing practice.
Education and professional development are factors that AMSN has considered in its objectives. It offers scholarships and research grants to help its members grow their skills and become contributors to the nursing specialty. For instance, AMSN provides a certification research grant amounting to $20,000 aimed at supporting both experienced and beginner researchers in the medical-surgical nursing field (AMSN, 2020b). Such grants provide the initiative for professional development as they reduce the financial burden on practitioners. Further, continuing education is possible through a wide range of resources available on the organization’s platform, such as the AMSN online library (AMSN, 2020c). The available opportunities, therefore, enhance professional development and education.
Overall, professional nursing organizations, such as AMSN, perform a critical role in advancing professional growth by addressing current issues in care provision. AMSN offers various support systems to medical-surgical nursing practitioners by acting as a platform to address policy concerns affecting these professionals. A membership with the organization can be beneficial for career growth through access to various resources. Further, AMSN offers opportunities for networking and platforms to keep its members informed of practice changes. Through grants and scholarships, the organization supports professional and educational development. Therefore, people who want to practice medical-surgical nursing should consider joining AMSN due to the advantages it offers in the profession.
Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. (2020b). Awards, grants & scholarships. Retrieved from https://www.amsn.org/sites/default/files/documents/about-amsn/grants-scholarships/2016-awar-gra-sch-flyer.pdf
Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. (2020c). Benefits of membership. Retrieved from https://www.amsn.org/membership/membership-overview/benefits-membership
Matthews, J. H. (2012). Role of professional organizations in advocating for the nursing profession. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1). doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol17No01Man03
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