Getting involved with student nursing associations (SNAs) while you are in school is one of the best decisions that you can make. SNAs are designed to assist you as you make your transition into the nursing profession. When you join, you will become a part of a community of nursing students who are going through the same experiences as you.

Never heard of SNAs? That’s okay! Here is the basic breakdown of how SNAs are organized:

The National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) is the nationwide SNA. Then, there are 50 state associations and several local school-run SNAs in each state. Think of NSNA as the SNA umbrella; the state and local associations are under the SNA umbrella.

When you join the NSNA, you will be getting a membership to your state association and school association as well. Prices vary by state, but in general, it is a very reasonable price that students will be able to afford. 

So you are probably asking yourself, “Why should I get involved with my SNAs? I don’t have time for that!”  Here are three reasons why you should get involved with your SNAs:

1. It looks good on your resume and will help you get a job.

Listing SNA involvement on your resume will instantly separate you from other candidates because it shows that you have leadership qualities. Employers are always looking for nurses who have qualities that will help them advance in the hospital system and become unit managers one day.

Tip: If you really want to impress your future employers, run for a board of directors position at the local, state, or national level.

2. It’s a great way to make friends and network.

SNAs have several meetings, community service events, and conventions each year that you can attend. This will help you interact with other nursing students and make friends.

Nursing faculty and practicing nurses attend these events as well. This creates a great networking opportunity. When you network with other nurses, you are making connections that could one day help you get a job or advance your career.

3. It will help you prepare for your transition into the nursing profession.

The main purpose of SNAs is to help you successfully transition from being a nursing student to a being nursing professional. SNAs do this by providing leadership opportunities, educational events, access to career advancement resources, and much more! Once you join your SNAs, you will be amazed at how many opportunities and resources are available to you.

So, you’re ready to start getting involved. Great! But how?

Start out by asking your nursing faculty if your school has an SNA. Find out when the next meeting is, and go! At the meeting, the leaders of the SNA should be able to guide you on how to become a member and get more involved.

If your school does not have an SNA, then try looking for your state association on the internet. There will be information on how you can join and get involved on their website. You can also go to the NSNA website and join at any time.

So what are you waiting for? Get involved today!

Sarah Cruzan

Sarah Cruzan is a BSN nursing student at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She has a previous BA from Ohio State University in anthropology. She is passionate about women's health and hopes to get a job on a labor and delivery unit one day.

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