July 16th, 2012
By Jennifer Olin, BSN, RN
In the past I have touted the importance of joining a nursing organization or two. They are great sources of information on current trends in nursing, the meetings offer great networking possibilities, and sooner or later they all offer a few free continuing education units (CEUs) or handy courses to keep your career on track. Now, one organization is offering you a discount on furthering your formal education.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) has partnered with several universities and programs that are exclusively offering ANA members discounts on enrollment in online nursing degree programs.
This affiliation offers member RNs a chance to enhance their professional and personal development and to help meet their continuing nursing education needs.
The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report emphasizing the importance of nurse education in healthcare reform suggested a timeline for improving nursing education. The report calls for 80% of RNs to have BSNs by 2020 and for the number of nurses with doctorate degrees to have doubled in the same timeframe. To meet this goal many of us will need to go back to school. It would be certainly more attainable if that education was more affordable.
Currently there are four online programs partnering with the ANA:
While Chamberlain and Grand Canyon are available only to members of the ANA, both Drexel and The College Network have their information available to anyone who wants to take a look.
What kind of savings you ask? Well, with the special ANA Member discounts at the College Network you can complete pre-requisite courses towards your BSN for less than $175/credit hour and earn your bachelors or masters degree in nursing entirely through distance education.
Other programs also offer great savings including as much as a 10-25 percent discount on some courses and degree programs. Check the ANA website for more information on these educational offerings.
More universities and colleges will continue to be added over time and ANA welcomes all feedback for the types of courses you need to enhance your career.
Then ANA has been representing nurses and supporting their advancement for over 100 years.
The ANA was founded in 1896 and is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.1 million registered nurses. Through its constituent member nurses' associations and its organizational affiliates, the ANA promotes the rights of nurses in the workplace, lobbies Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues and supports a number of subsidiary organizations related to nursing including the American Nurse Credentialing Center.
The (ANCC) credentialing programs certify nurses in specialty practice areas; recognizes healthcare organizations for promoting safe, positive work environments through the Magnet Recognition Program, the Pathway to Excellence and Pathway to Excellence in Long Term Care Programs; and accredits providers of continuing nursing education.
Other subsidiary organizations include the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), an organization of distinguished leaders who have been recognized for their outstanding contributions in nursing education, management, practice, and research; and the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), which is the national philanthropic arm promoting the continued growth and development of nurses and services.
So, if you aren’t a member of the ANA yet, consider it. For the cost of annual dues you could move onto a whole new career path, and do it affordably.