Essay: How Being Involved With Professional Nursing Organizations Benefits the Nurse Leader

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Nursing Associations

The Benefits of Professional Associations in Nurse Education, Practice and Leadership

The nursing profession is profoundly challenging. Characterized by long hours, high levels of workplace stress and the need to make crucial decisions the implications of which will have significant bearings on the well-being of others, nursing requires a great deal of individual skill and organizational dexterity. This is the reason for the development of the multitude of professional organizations which function as a centering point for the nursing field as a whole. Such groups as the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) help to provide support, networking accessibility, information and continuing professional development to those already in the nursing field, at the practitioner and administrative level respectively. Additionally, such groups as the National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA) and the National League of Nurses (NLN) serve in these same capacities on behalf of those students on the educational path to nursing and on those who provide them with education respectively. This collection of professional associations is designed to establish a place of reference in the various phases and roles reflected by the broader nursing profession, benefiting members by helping them to sustain and improve practices and benefiting the broader healthcare system by providing support for a more consistent and higher quality of care.

Particularly in terms of contending with the various crises in the healthcare field, especially the nursing shortage which impacts all levels of the profession from education to practice, these associations constitute one of the most important forums for critical review and data-gathering. Likewise, these associations help to provide those who have assumed leadership roles in their respective nursing contexts with a sense of connection to a larger body of professionals. This can help to instill nursing leadership with a confidence in decisions and a template for approaching specific challenges or opportunities.

And quite indeed, serving in a role of leadership is always a genuine challenge. However, this challenge takes on added importance when healthcare outcomes and lives are stake. Therefore, for the nursing professional and especially for the nursing professional in a position of leadership, it is useful to have access to a streamlined identification of some of the qualities, ideas and characteristics constituting current best practices. For nurses, different styles of leadership can be applied to the same role. However, it is important here to acknowledge that such differences must be checked a leadership aspect of seemingly universal importance. A Director of Nurses, for an example, must be familiar with and skilled in all capacities as a practitioner of the skill. The head nurse must also be personally prepared and willing to sacrifice time, physical energy and emotional energy to ensure that organizational goals are met. Naturally, this would also effect to the degree of respect accorded the leader by subordinates. Certainly, leadership and organizational effectiveness are at stake in this regard. So is this denoted by a consideration of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), which is distinctly postured to assist in the development and continued effectiveness of nursing staff leaders and administrative figures.

According to its website, AONE's vision "is to shape the future of health care through innovative nursing leadership. Our various guiding principles, toolkits and positions on best practice are created with the goal of developing the AONE member as a leader in collaboration and catalyst for innovation." (AONE, 1) This denotes that the primary benefit of AONE is to promote the boldness and formal training required to undertake leadership challenges in the healthcare context. To this extent, its benefits are centered on providing sources for the continued professional advancement and educational growth of nurse professionals. Its informational website directs consideration toward the achievement of the nursing leadership roles which are thusly facilitated. For instance, it provides documentation on how best to serve in the capacity of the Advanced Practice Nurse. An Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP), who will compliment the traditional knowledge and education of a Registered Nurse (RN) with an advanced education, extended or more formalized training and a more varied body of knowledge, is groomed for a leadership role This is a role which the nurse has evolved into, based on the demands which are traditionally foisted upon the nursing staff. The development of the Advanced Practice Nurse on an individual level is centered on a greater-than-average investment of time in nursing education and professional development.

Educational and practical settings must provide both knowledge and support to prospective nurses and current nursing professional in continuing learning programs that are realistic and that pertain to immediately problematic conditions or evolving practices in the field. AONE provides a list of support opportunities which are designed to compliment both educational and professional experiences by offering variously formatted and fully voluntary support resources. Accordingly, AONE claims to offer its members access to "a community of nurse leaders who are on the forefront of generating creative, effective ways to address the critical issues facing nursing and health care today. Members can access this knowledge through conferences, webinars, face-to face-seminars, books and publications, the AONE website and the AONE Annual Meeting and Exposition." (AONE, 1)

Importantly, AONE is an organization which is not just dedicated to communicating and supporting in the implementation of best practices in the field of nursing. It is also specifically intended to train individuals for leadership opportunities and roles within that context, applying many of the theoretical and real aims of management to the healthcare field. For those on the path to leadership as nurse professionals or those who have already achieve such as status as APN, AONE offers itself as a point of access to the common ground in healthcare and leadership theories. This is a considerable benefit to its members, which as a result of their involvement, "have numerous opportunities to make a positive contribution to the nursing profession and to realize greater success as a nurse leader," as well as to "acquire new skills in planning, managing and organizing while developing [one's] leadership potential." (AONE, 1)

Indeed, APNs and other nursing leaders must be a centering force in a community and team which are together oriented along with physicians, family members, community members and private or public contributors toward easing the lives of patients. In order to effect the desired healthcare outcomes, strong leadership from the APN manager is required to support the treatment process, with a common respect for each person's role in facilitating this transition and acclimation becoming a crucial attribute. Taking administrative responsibility and working in partnership with communities patients and their families as well as the multidisciplinary medical team are all challenges imposed upon the leadership core of a nursing staff. AONE will have a significant impact on the degree to which this role is understood by the nurse leader.

This benefit to nursing leadership is underscored by similar benefits demonstrated by the host of professional associations affiliated with nursing. In addition to the emphasis on interpersonal orientation and practical leadership which is identified as important by AONE, the ethical demands of the healthcare field may also be complex. Therefore, it is of critical benefit to the nursing professional and to the patient community as well that there exist some clearly elaborated set of ethical standards. The American Nursing Association (ANA) provides just such standards, and these function to significantly aid in the decision-making and treatment processes undertaken by nurse professionals.

Ethical orientation is an important feature of a nursing team, particularly as it impacts the treatment experience for patients. Quality outcomes in the hospital environment can have an essential impact on the quality of standards perceived by patients. This is important as quality outcomes are now seen to relate as much to patients' own perceptions and well being as to genuine changes in clinical status. There is a clear relationship between the patient perception and the standardization of ethical and appropriate practices amongst nurses. The demands placed upon healthcare contexts by these standards has created a socially responsible form of nursing which should be a requisite characteristc of the treatment process. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities tend, therefore, to benefit from the development of a culture which consciously and structurally promotes a singularity of vision, mission and ethic. This can be manifested through involvement with such associations as the ANA.

Indeed, one of the core points of importance in a professional organization relating to a field as critical as nursing is the idea that this provides an ethical center for the practice that can help to quickly resolve dilemma and prevent poor treatment outcomes. For instance, the American Nurses' Association (ANA) provides an array of guidepoints to be used in practice that are intended to confront the dilemmas which inherently arise in the complex subject area. Exploring the bioethical theories endorsed by the American Nursing Association, it is clear that various medical and bioethical deficiencies in an emergency care nursing staff will be interrelated. This is to argue that the ethical… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/being-involved-professional-nursing/83880.