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JOINING A PROFESSIONAL nursing organization can help you stay current in your field or specialty, network with other nurses, and enjoy the peer recognition that comes from being an active member. Options include a wide array of generalist and specialty organizations. Some of the largest national nursing organizations with a generalist focus are listed below. For a more comprehensive list, visit


American Nurses Association (ANA)


As the largest nursing organization in the United States, the ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, and lobbying Congress and regulatory agencies on healthcare issues affecting nurses. Members must be RNs. Membership gives a nurse access to a career center, certification, continuing education (CE) opportunities, an online social network, and more.


Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)


A federation of 11 RN associations and colleges representing more than 136,200 Canadian nurses, the CNA offers its members annual meetings, education opportunities, and a subscription to the monthly journal Canadian Nurse. It also provides the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam, which all Canadian RNs (except in Quebec) must take to ensure they meet an acceptable level of competence before beginning practice.


National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, Inc. (NFLPN)


Membership in the NFLPN is open to LPNs/LVNs. This organization provides members with CE opportunities, a quarterly magazine, merchant discounts, and a yearly convention.


National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA)


The NSNA is an organization for students enrolled in associate, baccalaureate, diploma, and generic graduate nursing programs. It offers scholarships, live chats on its website, several conferences, an official magazine, and a comprehensive career center.