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Nursing Guide: Organizations

International Organizations

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) (
Founded in 1946, UNICEF advocates and works for the protection of children's rights, to help the young meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF, the only organization of the United Nations dedicated exclusively to children, works with other United Nations bodies, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to lighten children's loads through community-based services in primary health care, basic education, and safe water and sanitation in developing countries. Publications include The State of the World’s Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health which can be downloaded as a pdf document.
WHO/OMS: World Health Organization (
WHO's objective is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. WHO defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."  WHO played a major role in the eradication of smallpox and is now striving to eradicate polio and many other infectious diseases. They also respond to epidemics and pandemics such as Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and Pandemic (H1N1).

Professional Societies and Organizations

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (
According to the home page, "The purpose of AAMN is to provide a framework for nurses, as a group, to meet, to discuss and influence factors, which affect men as nurses."
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) was established in 1969 to help educate nurses working in newly developed intensive care units. Since that time, AACN has grown to become the world's largest specialty nursing association.
American Association of Managed Care Nurses (
The AAMCN is a non-profit membership association of Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Case Managers who are associated with managed health care organizations across the country. The AAMCN is dedicated to helping nurses become successful in their local marketplace through education, research, communication, and networking.
American Association of Nurse Practitioners (
Founded in 1993, the American College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP) is a national non-profit membership organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The ACNP is focused on advocacy and keeping NPs current on legislative, regulatory and clinical practice issues that affect NPs in the rapidly changing health care arena. Now has combined with American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
American College of Nurse Midwives (
Founded in 1955, the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) provides research, accredits nurse-midwifery education programs, administers and promotes continuing education programs, establishes clinical practice standards, creates liaisons with state and federal agencies and members of Congress.
American Holistic Nurses Association (
The purpose of the AHNA is to renew and enhance the art of nurturing and caring for the whole person. The AHNA serves as a bridge between the traditional medical paradigm and universal complementary and alternative healing practices.
American Nurses Association (
The American Nurses Association is a full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.1 million Registered Nurses through its constituent member associations(CMAs).
American Public Health Association (
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health. The Association and its members have been influencing policies and setting priorities in public health since 1872.
 Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN) (
The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) serves the unique needs of nurses specializing in the care of women and newborns. Members include neonatal nurses, APRNs, women's health nurses, OB/GYN and labor and delivery nurses, nurse scientists, childbirth educators and nurse practitioners. AWHONN's mission is "improve and promote the health of women and newborns and to strengthen the nursing profession through the delivery of superior advocacy, research, education and other professional and clinical resources to nurses and other health care professionals."
California Emergency Nurses Association (
California's chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association.
California Nurses Association (
Founded in 1903, the California Nurses Association (CNA) represents over 65,000 members in 165 facilities throughout California, and thousands more across the country through the National Nurses Organizing Committee, which was founded by CNA. CNA is the largest and fastest-growing organization of direct care Registered Nurses in the country and are dedicated to providing a voice for nurses and a vision for healthcare. Membership in CNA is available to registered nurses only.
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) (
The purpose of the HNPA is to exchange information, experiences, and ideas; to promote understanding of the specialties of hospice and palliative nursing; and to study and promote hospice and palliative nursing research.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (
The purpose of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is to provide an organization through which boards of nursing act and counsel together on matters of common interest and concern affecting the public health, safety and welfare, including the development of licensing examinations in nursing. NCSBN has developed two licensure examinations used by its Member Boards to test the entry-level nursing competence of candidates for licensure as registered nurses and as licensed practical/vocational nurses.
National League For Nursing (
The National League for Nursing advances quality nursing education that prepares the nursing workforce to meet the needs of diverse populations in an ever-changing health care environment.
National Student Nurses Association (
Nursing students in associate degree, diploma, baccalaureate, generic masters, generic doctoral or prenursing programs, can become members of the National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA), a preprofessional organization for nursing students. NSNA is now on Facebook and Twitter!
Oncology Nursing Society (
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) is a professional organization of more than 37,000 registered nurses and other healthcare providers dedicated to excellence in patient care, education, research, and administration in oncology nursing. The overall mission of ONS is to promote excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care.
Royal College of Nursing (
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the United Kingdom's largest professional union of nurses, health care support workers and nursing students. RCN has nearly 400,000 members.

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