Advanced practice nurse organizations are the essential part of nurses' everyday realities. Thousands of advanced practice nurses are members of such organizations. Their main goal is to promote advanced nurses as profession and advocate for the interests and needs of nursing professionals. The New Jersey State Nurses Association is one of the many nursing organizations that support advanced nurses on their way to professional and service excellence. The organization holds regular meetings that bring professionals in the nursing field together to share their knowledge and solve the most urgent problems.
The New Jersey State Nurses Association was created with a mission to promote the nursing profession and advance nursing practices, while also advocating for nurses' interests and needs (NJSNA, 2013). According to NJSNA (2013), the organization achieves its goals by engaging its members in education, leadership, professional and policy development, professional representation and workplace advocacy. NJSNA views itself as a creator of nurses' better future, as well as the organization, which represents a unified nurses' voice (NJSNA, 2013). Some of its activities and achievements include the improvement of workplace conditions for nurses, the creation of collaborative clinical environments, cooperation and mutual respect as well as evidence based practice supported by socially active work (NJSNA, 2013). The organization holds regular meetings for its current and new members in order to share its accomplishments with the nursing community and provide a forum to discuss the most urgent professional issues in nursing.
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On September 20, 2012, the organization held a Seton Hall meeting, bringing together advanced practice nurses, nursing majors, registered nurses, and citizens to discuss the role of nursing in health care and inform the public on how the organization was fulfilling the requirements of the Institute of Medicine. More importantly, the meeting was organized to raise some of the pertinent professional issues, including the limitations placed by the IOM on advanced practice nurses (Plates, 2012). For instance, many APNs are limited in their collaboration opportunities with physicians, especially when it comes to writing prescriptions (Plates, 2012). They are also obliged to pay 10 percent of their earnings to such physicians, even when the latter see few patients (Plates, 2012). Finding a collaborative physician in New Jersey is a serious problem, and thus many local APNs have to look for decent employment in other states (Plates, 2012). The discussed meeting, as well as other meetings, greatly contributes to development and promotion of the entire nursing profession.
First and foremost, the organization advances the role of APNs by giving nurses a voice in the major professional decisions. For many nurses, NJSNA has become the only means to communicate their professional concerns and protect their interests and needs. Second, NJSNA often becomes the first point of contact for nursing students, who view themselves as APNs in the future (Plates, 2012). Plates (2012) writes that many students see the reflection of their theoretical knowledge in such meetings, while others rediscover their profession in a new, unusual light. For example, not every nursing student knows that, in New Jersey, many health insurance modalities keep APNs from operating as the primary care providers (Plates, 2012). NJSNA is working to change this situation. Finally, the organization popularizes the nursing profession and provides nurses with a sense of support. Nurses need this support, as they are defending their interests and promoting their perspectives. NJSNA can become a good starting point for bringing students closer to the realities of their profession. It is also support provided to nursing students, as they are looking for the opportunities to use their education extensively and to the fullest (Plates, 2012). The goal of such meetings is to ensure that they have made the best decision, when they chose to become advanced practice nurses.
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