PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS MEMBERSHIP NRS 430
Professional organizations play an important role in the development of advanced practice nurses. Advanced practice nurses utilize them as platforms for advancing their knowledge and skills in practice and networking purposes. Often, advanced practice nurses belong to professional associations that align with their areas of specialization. Therefore, this paper explores a professional association that I may belong to in the future as a specialist in geriatrics nursing.
I am interested in the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA). GAPNA is a professional organization formed to represent advanced practice nurses, researchers, clinicians, and educators’ interests. It advocates the interests of healthcare providers involved in advancing and practice of caring for the elderly. GAPNA provides healthcare providers in elderly care and practice, opportunities for research, leadership, education, networking, advocacy, and advancement of evidence-based care. The mission of the association is to promote excellence in advanced practice nursing for the health and wellbeing of the elderly. Its vision is to continue being trusted leaders for the expert care for the elderly. The goals of the association include advocating quality care for the elderly, promoting professional development, offering continuing gerontological education, and educating the population about issues related to aging. GAPNA members enjoy several benefits from the association (gapna.org, n.d.-a). They include the ability to network with other professionals, continuing education, information about evidence-based practice, and enhanced involvement activities that advance the care of the elderly.
Importance of Networking
Geriatric nurse specialists should network for several reasons. First, networking informs geriatric nurse specialists about new practices and developments in the care of the elderly. They learn about evidence-based interventions that optimize care outcomes of elderly patients, which can be used in their settings. Networking also informs geriatric nurses about transformations in their practice and their expected roles. For example, geriatric nurses learn about advances in geriatrics, new researches, and practice recommendations for their career advancement. Consequently, networking acts as an opportunity for personal and professional development for geriatric nurses (Rizany et al., 2018). Lastly, networking provides opportunities for spreading and promoting continuous improvement in healthcare. By connecting with other specialists in geriatrics, advanced practice nurses develop better insights into clinical pathways that can be adopted to drive sustained and continuous improvement in the safety, quality, and efficiency of elderly care. GAPNA creates networking opportunities for its members through scientific conferences. It organizes scientific conferences where members share information about evidence-based practices and guidelines for use in elderly care(gapna.org, n.d.-a). Members use the conferences to advance their knowledge in various issues affecting elderly care such as advocacy, research, education, and evidence-based practice.
How it Keeps Members Informed
GAPNA ensures that its members remain informed about health care changes and changes to practice that affects geriatrics. One of the ways it achieves this objective is through scientific conferences. It uses scientific conferences to inform its members about practice changes they should incorporate into patient care. The organization also publishes evidence-based information about practice changes. For example, it publishes current guidelines for geriatrics on its website to enable access to its members. It also supports inter-professional collaboration initiatives that enhance the competencies of the providers in elderly care(Kaya &Boz, 2019). GAPNA also has online resources accessed through its library for use by its members in learning about new practice changes. There is also the development of toolkits for new practice recommendations. Toolkits guide its members in implementing new changes in geriatric care, hence, standardized care. The last way in which GAPNA keeps its members informed about health care changes and changes to practice that affects elderly care is through social media (gapna.org, n.d.-a). It uses social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to inform its members about practice changes affecting their practice and patient care.
Opportunities for Continuing Education and Professional Development
Continuing education and professional development are important for geriatric nurses. GAPNA provides several opportunities for continuing education and professional development for its members. One of the ways is ensuring access to continuing education and professional development opportunities such as conferences to its members. GAPNA members have access to annual and pharmacology conferences that enhance their knowledge and skills in optimizing care outcomes in elderly care. Members also have access to an online library that enables them to obtain current, evidence-based information about geriatrics(gapna.org, n.d.-b). The organization also has a clinical advisor program where members get information about career paths they can explore to achieve their desired professional development goals.
Professional organizations play an important role in nursing practice. They provide opportunities for personal and professional development for nurses. GAPNA is an example of a professional association that I will belong in the future. It advances the education, practice, research, and advocacy of healthcare providers involved in elderly care. It also provides its members’ opportunities for continuing educational and professional development. Therefore, I believe that its membership will enable me to achieve my personal and professional goals as a geriatric nurse.
gapna.org. (n.d.-a).About | Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA). Retrieved January 12, 2022, from https://www.gapna.org/about
gapna.org. (n.d.-b).Geriatric Nursing Journal | Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA). Retrieved January 12, 2022, from https://www.gapna.org/publications/geriatric-nursing-journal
Kaya, A., &Boz, İ. (2019).The development of the Professional Values Model in Nursing.Nursing Ethics, 26(3), 914–923. https://doi.org/10.1177/0969733017730685
Rizany, I., Hariyati, R. T. S., &Handayani, H. (2018).Factors that affect the development of nurses’ competencies: A systematic review.EnfermeríaClínica, 28, 154–157. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1130-8621(18)30057-3
Examine the importance of professional associations in nursing. Choose a professional nursing organization that relates to your specialty area, or a specialty area in which you are interested. In a 750‐1,000 word paper, provide a detailed overview the organization and its advantages for members. Include the following:
- Describe the organization and its significance to nurses in the specialty area. Include its purpose, mission, and vision. Describe the overall benefits, or “perks,” of being a member.
- Explain why it is important for a nurse in this specialty field to network. Discuss how this organization creates networking opportunities for nurses.
- Discuss how the organization keeps its members informed of health care changes and changes to practice that affect the specialty area.
- Discuss opportunities for continuing education and professional development.
You are required to cite a minimum of three sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be appropriate for the assignment and relevant to nursing practice.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
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