Professional associations in nursing contribute considerably to the development of nursing practice, as well as the professional growth of nurses. Healthcare professionals share experiences and gain access to diverse resources that are instrumental in obtaining new skills and knowledge. They also build their resilience through their participation in different types of projects offered by such professional networks. The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) is one of the organizations facilitating the advancement of the field and empowerment of nursing practitioners. The significance of this association lies in its support of critical-care nurses who have an opportunity to self-develop, share knowledge, obtain further education, and access numerous valuable resources.
The Mission, Vision, and Purpose of AACN
The organization aims at serving the needs of critical-care and acute-care nurses. The mission of the association is revealed in the form of a motto saying that “AACN drives excellence because nothing less is acceptable” (“About AACN,” n.d.). The purpose of the organization is to provide expert knowledge to nursing professionals who translate it into high-quality care provided to patients. The vision of AACN implies their commitment to the creation of the healthcare system “driven by the needs of patients and families” (“About AACN,” n.d.). The members of the organization are encouraged to come up with innovative strategies to deliver comprehensive and patient-centered care to people. In order to achieve the established goals, the association has developed a network with over 100,000 nursing professionals (“Membership,” n.d.). The number of members suggests that these nurses can benefit from interactions with each other as the experience of each nursing practitioner is priceless.
Apart from the chance to enhance one’s knowledge and gain support, AACN members get access to free CEs, clinical toolkits, professional journals, online educational programs, conferences, free webinars, as well as discounted certification (“Membership,” n.d.). Education is one of the aspects that receives considerable attention. Nurses can get discounts for or even free professional educational options and on-the-job training, which ensures the development of critical-care nursing practice. The association introduces excellence awards that facilitate professional development. Importantly, members of the organization receive emotional support, which is also critical for the medical staff. Finally, AACN offers different scholarship options to its members who can pursue their career goals through enhancing their educational background.
It is necessary to note that networking is another priority of the association in question. Nursing professionals need to share the knowledge that can contribute to the development of new skills, creative approaches, and theoretical frameworks (Urden, Stacy, & Lough, 2017). Nurses should discuss innovations and novelties in the field to boost the advancement in nursing practice. Critical care is one of the clinical settings where emotional distress is common and tends to lead to substantial adverse effects including nurses’ burnout and high turnover rates (Moss, Good, Gozal, Kleinpell, & Sessler, 2016). Networking is regarded as one of the effective strategies to address these issues as nurses share their concerns and methods to overcome them. Nursing professionals also provide different types of support to each other, which is pivotal for these healthcare practitioners who try to deliver care and meet clinical, psychological, and spiritual needs of patients and their families. The development of social ties through such platforms as conferences, digital communities, and educational opportunities is beneficial for nurses.
AACN acknowledges the positive impact of networking on nurses’ performance and development, so the organization has created a network of 100,000 professionals who are committed to certain goals and values. As mentioned above, members of the association are connected through the participation in educational projects and conferences. Online communities are instrumental in keeping nurses informed and engaged in the discussion of the most recent advances. The involvement in nursing research and contributions to professional periodicals also serves as an important domain for knowledge sharing.
One of the primary peculiarities of the organization under consideration is its use of such resources as professional publications. AACN journals (and their magazine) are nationally recognized as valuable sources for critical-care nurses. For instance, American Journal of Critical Care, AACN Advanced Critical Care and Critical Care Nurse are peer-reviewed journals that function as the platform for the scientific and practical discourse. Advances in bedside care and solutions to the most burning challenges are explored and discussed. AACN Bold Voices is a professional magazine that includes user-friendly articles that help nurses to address their daily issues. These publications keep nurses informed and motivated to contribute to the development of critical-care nursing practice.
On balance, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses provides various opportunities for the professional growth of nursing practitioners. The organization focuses on the provision of educational and networking options and emotional support to nursing professionals. AACN publications contribute to nursing research development and the overall discussion of important aspects of critical care. It is possible to state that AACN is an effective association that helps nurses to address the challenges they encounter in their day-to-day practice. Membership benefits can hardly be overestimated, which is one of the reasons for the substantial number of members.
About AACN. (n.d.). Web.
Membership. (n.d.). Web.
Moss, M., Good, V. S., Gozal, D., Kleinpell, R., & Sessler, C. N. (2016). A critical care societies collaborative statement: Burnout syndrome in critical care health-care professionals. A call for action. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 194(1), 106-113. Web.
Urden, L. D., Stacy, K. M., & Lough, M. E. (2017). Critical care nursing: Diagnosis and management (8th ed.). Maryland Heights, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.