Professional Associations Membership

Professional Associations Membership

Professional Associations Membership

Professional organizations play an important role in the development of advanced practice nurses. Advanced practice nurses utilize them as platforms for advancing their knowledge and skills in practice and networking purposes. Often, advanced practice nurses belong to professional associations that align with their areas of specialization. Therefore, this paper explores a professional association that I may belong to in the future as a specialist in geriatrics nursing.

Organizational Description

I am interested in the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA). GAPNA is a professional organization formed to represent advanced practice nurses, researchers, clinicians, and educators’ interests. It advocates the interests of healthcare providers involved in advancing and practice of caring for the elderly. GAPNA provides healthcare providers in elderly care and practice, opportunities for research, leadership, education, networking, advocacy, and advancement of evidence-based care. The mission of the association is to promote excellence in advanced practice nursing for the health and wellbeing of the elderly. Its vision is to continue being trusted leaders for the expert care for the elderly. The goals of the association include advocating quality care for the elderly, promoting professional development, offering continuing gerontological education, and educating the population about issues related to aging. GAPNA members enjoy several benefits from the association (gapna.org, n.d.-a). They include the ability to network with other professionals, continuing education, information about evidence-based practice, and enhanced involvement activities that advance the care of the elderly.

Importance of Networking

Geriatric nurse specialists should network for several reasons. First, networking informs geriatric nurse specialists about new practices and developments in the care of the elderly. They learn about evidence-based interventions that optimize care outcomes of elderly patients, which can be used in their settings. Networking also informs geriatric nurses about transformations in their practice and their expected roles. For example, geriatric nurses learn about advances in geriatrics, new researches, and practice recommendations for their career advancement. Consequently, networking acts as an opportunity for personal and professional development for geriatric nurses (Rizany et al., 2018). Lastly, networking provides opportunities for spreading and promoting continuous improvement in healthcare. By connecting with other specialists in geriatrics, advanced practice nurses develop better insights into clinical pathways that can be adopted to drive sustained and continuous improvement in the safety, quality, and efficiency of elderly care. GAPNA creates networking opportunities for its members through scientific conferences. It organizes scientific conferences where members share information about evidence-based practices and guidelines for use in elderly care(gapna.org, n.d.-a). Members use the conferences to advance their knowledge in various issues affecting elderly care such as advocacy, research, education, and evidence-based practice.

How it Keeps Members Informed

GAPNA ensures that its members remain informed about health care changes and changes to practice that affects geriatrics. One of the ways it achieves this objective is through scientific conferences. It uses scientific conferences to inform its members about practice changes they should incorporate into patient care. The organization also publishes evidence-based information about practice changes. For example, it publishes current guidelines for geriatrics on its website to enable access to its members. It also supports inter-professional collaboration initiatives that enhance the competencies of the providers in elderly care(Kaya &Boz, 2019). GAPNA also has online resources accessed through its library for use by its members in learning about new practice changes. There is also the development of toolkits for new practice recommendations. Toolkits guide its members in implementing new changes in geriatric care, hence, standardized care. The last way in which GAPNA keeps its members informed about health care changes and changes to practice that affects elderly care is through social media (gapna.org, n.d.-a). It uses social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to inform its members about practice changes affecting their practice and patient care.

Opportunities for Continuing Education and Professional Development

Continuing education and professional development are important for geriatric nurses. GAPNA provides several opportunities for continuing education and professional development for its members. One of the ways is ensuring access to continuing education and professional development opportunities such as conferences to its members. GAPNA members have access to annual and pharmacology conferences that enhance their knowledge and skills in optimizing care outcomes in elderly care. Members also have access to an online library that enables them to obtain current, evidence-based information about geriatrics(gapna.org, n.d.-b). The organization also has a clinical advisor program where members get information about career paths they can explore to achieve their desired professional development goals.

Conclusion

Professional organizations play an important role in nursing practice. They provide opportunities for personal and professional development for nurses. GAPNA is an example of a professional association that I will belong in the future. It advances the education, practice, research, and advocacy of healthcare providers involved in elderly care. It also provides its members’ opportunities for continuing educational and professional development. Therefore, I believe that its membership will enable me to achieve my personal and professional goals as a geriatric nurse.

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References

gapna.org. (n.d.-a).About | Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA). Retrieved January 12, 2022, from https://www.gapna.org/about

gapna.org. (n.d.-b).Geriatric Nursing Journal | Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA). Retrieved January 12, 2022, from https://www.gapna.org/publications/geriatric-nursing-journal

Kaya, A., &Boz, İ. (2019).The development of the Professional Values Model in Nursing.Nursing Ethics, 26(3), 914–923. https://doi.org/10.1177/0969733017730685

Rizany, I., Hariyati, R. T. S., &Handayani, H. (2018).Factors that affect the development of nurses’ competencies: A systematic review.EnfermeríaClínica, 28, 154–157. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1130-8621(18)30057-3

Topic 5 DQ 2

Sep 19-23, 2022

Discuss the importance of advocacy as it pertains to client care. What is the nurse’s role in client advocacy? Describe a situation in which you were involved with client advocacy. Explain what the advocacy accomplished for the client, and what the repercussions would have been if the client would not have had an advocate.

Being an advocate for patients is something nurses do daily. But how do we advocate for them?  When do we advocate for them?

Lampert (2016) makes a good point stating “The first step in successfully advocating for your patient revolves around knowing your patient’s wants and needs” (para. 2). Lampert goes on to remind nurses of the importance of advocating for the patient and what they want not the wants of others such as family members or even the wants of the nurse (2016).

Advocating for the patient requires the nurse to be assertive in discussing the wants and needs of the patient. Being assertive is different than being aggressive according to Lampert (2016). Learning this balance is important.

What are your thoughts on these things? How do you find you can be assertive in advocating for patients?

Lampert, L. (2016). How to advocate for your patient.

 

https://www.ausmed.com/articles/how-to-advocate-for-your-patient/

  • Lampert brings up a great point between aggression and assertiveness. I think bedside nurse and advocating for your patients is a huge and very important part of our job because we have a responsibility to keep our patient safe from harm. I believe one can be assertive without being aggressive when advocating for their patient by collecting as much objective information about the patients as possible and presenting it to whomever in this case most likely the hospitalist in charge of the patient in a manner where you have to show legitimate concerning information and direct advocation for your patients health and well being. I believe if you present information in this manner it is assertive and shows concern without being aggressive.
  • Shelby Young

replied toDana McKay

Sep 24, 2022, 4:35 PM

  • Advocating for your patient helps build trust and overall helps that patients wellbeing and outcome. You’re putting that patients needs and wants above all else, and involving them in their care. We must listen to what our patient wants and think about what is best for that patient when following through with their care plan, making sure they are involved also!
  • Oluchi Osueke

replied toDana McKay

Sep 25, 2022, 5:28 PM

  • We can advocate for our patients by being diligent in our documentation, paperwork, charting and directions. Make sure to carefully read all orders and double check with doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners to prevent errors, misinformation or oversight. When do we advocate for our patients? All the time. Anytime we see or have the hunch that things might be wrong, we have to follow up on it and make sure we are doing everything we are supposed to do to ensure patient safety.