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List of Prominent Nursing Organizations

Nursing organizations exist to advance the interests of nurses and the nursing profession and to provide a community in which nurses can network and voice ideas. Some nursing organizations may even provide educational resources, continuing education courses, and specialty certifications. Nursing organizations are able to attract members due to nurses' desire for community and the prestige associated with membership or additional certification. Nursing organizations exist at the international, national, and state level.

American Nurses Association (ANA)

The American Nurses Association (ANA) was founded in 1896 as the Nurses Associated Alumnae and renamed in 1911. Today, the ANA has 54 constituent member associations. The primary objective of the American Nurses Association is to represent registered nurses across the US. This nursing organization is concerned with coming up with standards for nursing, advocating for the rights of nurses in their workplace, and pushing for the general and economic welfare of nurses across the country.


National League for Nursing (NLN)

Another prominent nursing organization is the National League for Nursing (NLN), which was founded in 1893 as the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses. This organization holds the distinction of being able to call itself the first nursing organization in the U.S. The main objective of this organization is to promote excellence in nursing education, and it is the preferred organization for nurse leaders and faculty in nursing education. Typical members of this group include nurse educators, healthcare agencies, and even education agencies.


California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee

The California Nurses Association or National Nurses Organizing Committee was established back in 1903 and is an organization for registered nurses. It is one of the fastest growing professional and labor organizations in the US, with 86,000 members in home health agencies, clinics, and hospitals across all 50 states. Some of the actions that have brought this organization attention include advocating for guaranteed healthcare by expanding the Medicare program, arguing for some of the most favorable collective bargaining contracts for registered nurses, and sponsoring innovative laws that protect nurses. Over the past 15 years alone, this organization has seen growth of 400 percent.


Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing

The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, seeks to improve the quality of nursing research, resulting in better healthcare. It is the second largest international organization for nursing in the world. It was founded in 1922, and its main goal is to advance learning on a global scale. This was one of the first organizations to fund nursing research in the United States.


Other Nursing Organizations

For additional information on nursing organizations, it may be helpful to read the job descriptions for the nursing specializations. There are many organizations focused on the various nursing specializations, some of which provide specialty certification. Belonging to the organizations that are influential within one's specialty looks great on a resume and is a good way to stay current on news and trends in nursing.