Once minority nurses attain leadership positions, it is important that they have resources in place to support them in their roles. Minority nurse leaders continue to look to mentors to help them grow in their role as a leader. A nurse manager may seek out a Director of Nursing or a Chief Nursing Officer to mentor them. A Chief Nursing Officer may look to a nurse who has served as a CEO or a Nurse Scientist to mentor them, depending on their career goals. Their goals may be to advance to a higher role, develop a program of research, or serve in a leadership role in a community or professional organization. No matter the needs of the minority nurse leader, having a mentor that is committed to their personal and professional success is important.
Membership in professional nursing organizations allows nurses to participate in the issues that are most important to them. These organizations provide the opportunity to network with other nurses who have the same interests. They often provide an avenue for advocating for the resolution of complex issues that impact patients, the community, or the profession, and they can provide for additional leadership experiences through service on committees or the board of an organization. Networking with fellow nurses through professional association membership takes many forms, including going to a monthly or quarterly dinner meeting or communicating on members-only social media platforms. Another form of networking can involve attending and possibly presenting at conferences and conventions, virtually, locally, or out of state. Many of these networking opportunities include fun activities and ice breakers that allow nursing leaders to spend time with nurses from other healthcare organizations.
Relationships one makes through membership in professional associations can be strengthened throughout the course of a nurse’s career. Often this happens when members of professional associations seek out other members to share their expertise or share solutions to common problems. The cost of belonging to professional nursing associations varies, but membership often offers tangible benefits, including discounts on specialty certifications, conferences, tuition, or insurance and preferential consideration for organization sponsored scholarships and grants.
Authored by Khaliah Fisher-Grace, PhD(c), MSN, RN, CPHQ, PCCN-K