Are you involved in any professional nursing organizations? There are many types of organizations you can join as a nurse; minority, specialty, and location specific. Benefits of a professional organization include the ability to make new friends with similar interests, network and become more involved in the nursing community. Let's take look at the these 3 benefits more closely.
Make new friends
Many nurse hate to admit it, but their social circle changes when becoming a nurse. Nurses tend to make new friends with other healthcare professionals who understand the day-to-day challenges like the 12 hour shifts, workload, and mental stresses as a nurse. Unfortunately, many of our friends not in the field just don't understand. Here's where it might help to join nursing organizations to make new friends who understand the challenges we face.
The power of networking was unknown to me for many years after becoming a nurse. It wasn't until I started speaking to other people, not just nurses, and realized that they used networking to their advantage. At that point, I started taking networking more seriously. Networking and being social come hand in hand. I probably didn't capitalize off of the benefits of networking because I was shy in my earlier nursing years. Make it a point to meet new people wherever you go. You never know who you may run into that may be able to help you out (and vice versa) someway in the future.
Become more involved in your profession
Have you ever dreamed to being a change agent within the nursing community? Maybe you're passionate about the way the profession is sometimes portrayed in the media, unsafe working conditions, or nursing education. As one person its hard for your voice to be heard, but when you are a member of a profession organization there are others who can stand behind you and unite for a common cause.
Are you involved in any professional organizations? If so, which ones and why did you join?