Becoming a nurse is more than just performing patient assessments, passing medications, and charting. When entering the nursing profession one feels a sense of pride, an ethical obligation, and a desire to uphold a certain image nurses want to display. To its members, guide nursing behaviors, are instrumental in clinical decision making, and influence how nurses think about themselves” (Creasia & Friberg, 2011, p.
49)”. The profession’s values give direction and meaninAs a new graduate nurses are overwhelm with learning the technical components of nurses and the desire to uphold the image of the nursing profession can be placed on the back burner.
As nurses pass the novice stage of the career their core values provide the desire to expand their scope of practice, or clinical autonomy. Becoming a member of a professional nursing organization allows nurses to expand their clinical autonomy and “provide a structure for the exercise of autonomy and accountability to ensure that quality services will be provided by competent professionals” (Creasia & Friberg, 2011, p. 63).
A professional organization is “an organization of practitioners who judge one another as professionally competent and have banded together to perform social functions which they can perform in their separate capacity as individuals” (Creasia & Friberg, 2011, p 63. A professional nursing organization such as the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses requires its members to display specific core values and guiding principles that contribute to the “advancement of neuroscience nursing as a specialty through the development and support of nurses to promote excellence in patient care” (American Association of Neuroscience Nurses).
The members of the AANN share values such as excellence, innovation, collaboration, integrity, and visionary. AANN members also think strategically in order to achieve the organization’s goals of advancement in nursing, are results-oriented and focus on outcomes by assessing “efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and quality; …use benchmarks and/or historical data when available to evaluate performance.” (AANN). It is not necessary to be a RN to join the AANN, but it is a requirement that a member must be a RN in order to vote and hold office in the organization.
Becoming a member of the AANN comes with a myriad of social and educational opportunities. The AANN has eight Special Focus Groups and they include: Advanced Practice Nurse, Epilepsy, Movement Disorders, Neuromuscular/MS, Neuro-oncology, Neurotrauma, Pediatrics, Spine, and Stroke. Membership also provides opportunities for volunteering, AANN publications, an ANA eMembership, education advancement, and a discount on fees for a CNRN certification. The AANN supports the Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) certification and offers members assistance with fees in order to promote professional and education development of its members.. The CNRN certification is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), helps hospitals achieve or maintain a Magnet status and a CNRN certified nurse is a high caliber nurse with a strong commitment to neuroscience nursing.
Members are also associated with the many partnerships the AANN has secured such as the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, and alliances with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA), the Neuroscience Nurses Foundation (NNF), We Move, the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses (WFNN), the World Parkinson Congress, and many more. In the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing there is an article that researched the factors that influence the decision of treatment options in MS patients. The study showed that there is a core theme when it comes to a MS patient’s decision about treatment. “The core theme included reflection about self-image, quality of life, goals, and being a person with MS” (Lowden, Virginia, & Ritchie2014). According to Lowden et. al (2014), common themes supporting this core theme were (a) weighing a deciding what’s important, (b) acknowledging the illness as part of oneself, (c) playing the mental game, (d) seeking credible resources, evaluating symptoms and fit with quality of life, and (f) managing the roles and involvement of family.
The AANN participates in The Nursing Community in order to address specific nursing issues and promote the professional stature of nursing. The Nursing Community “ is a forum for national professional nursing associations to build consensus and advocate on a wide spectrum of healthcare and nursing issues, including practice, education, and research” (AANN). Another way the AANN promotes nursing professionalism is through its Advocacy Committee. The purpose of the Advocacy Committee is to “educate, inform, and encourage people interested in healthcare issues to become knowledgeable about the legislative process and become involved in health policy advocacy. Please use this information to take action to support neuroscience nurses to improve the nation’s healthcare system” (AANN).
In order for an organization to promote professionalism there must be a role model that portrays the characteristics of a professional. The president of the AANN is Megan Keiser, RN DNP CNRN NP-C. Being not only a RN, receiving a CNRN certification, the president of the AANN, Megan Keiser, is also a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). According to Creasia & Friberg, (2011), the extent to which the profession attracts and uses the people who earn the most respected advanced degrees and then gives those people the opportunity to be role models and spokespersons for nursing will determine how the profession will grow in viability, usefulness, and esteem.
American Association of Neuroscience Nurses. (nd).Retrieved from
Creasia, J. L. & Friberg, E.E. (Eds.). (2011). Conceptual foundations: The bridge to professional nursing practice (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier. Lowden, D., Lee, V., & Richie, J.A. (2014). Redefining Self: Patients’ Decision Making About
Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 46 (4), doi