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Membership Advocacy Tool

By Wendy Niskanen posted 09-09-2019 15:41

Clinical conversations are taking place on the OSNA website, but membership is required to see that portion of the website. Non-members who need support when asking their supervisors to fund a membership could benefit from our Membership Advocacy Tool. I cannot attach it here as a PDF, so here is the text of that document:

Who should you ask about funding your membership in your state professional organization (OSNA)?

  • One of the difficulties that school nurses have requesting funding for membership in OSNA/NASN is that they do not know who to ask. Ask a colleague for directions about who in your situation would be the best person to appeal to. Most commonly, you will be advised to ask one of the following:
    • Your direct supervisor
    • Human resources personnel
    • Union representatives
    • Building administrators
    • School board

What should you ask for?

  • Different employers (school districts, ESD’s, Health Departments) have various avenues for funding professional memberships.  Do a bit of homework about your institution, so you will be prepared to advocate for yourself:! 
    • Is there a culture of valuing membership in professional organizations to pursue continuing education and professional development?
    • Has your employer paid for professional memberships, continuing education, and professional development in the past, or do they fund these opportunities for other staff positions?
    • If your district does not usually pay for membership to professional organizations, ask if they pay for continuing education.
      • Tuition for OSNA Spring conference for non-members is equal to the member tuition PLUS membership fee. So, attending as a non-member costs the same as becoming a member and attending as a member… and think of all the additional, year-round benefits! You could be taking advantage of to benefit your school community.
    • If your district does not usually pay for membership to professional organizations, ask if they pay for periodical subscriptions.
      • NASN provides access to two different periodical subscriptions and discounts on books. 
  • Be prepared to share specific information about the cost and benefits of OSNA/NASN Membership.
    • Annual dues are $134.50 (many benefits are listed on the reverse side of this flier).
  • Here are some typical funding sources:
    • Funds specifically allocated for continuing education
    • Funds specifically allocated for professional development
    • School District/ESD specific scholarships
    • Union scholarships
    • Foundation scholarships for educators in your District/ESD.

What are the benefits of joining your professional organization?

  • Important talking points are on the reverse side of this flier. 
  • Links to NASN fliers are included, as well.

Do you need more support?

  • OSNA Board Members and Regional Representatives are available if you would like to strategize about how to ask for funds from your employer.

The Oregon School Nurses Association is Oregon’s only professional organization supporting Registered Nurses practicing in the school setting, and as such, it is the state expert in school nursing practice and professional development. Below are some talking points about the benefits of membership in OSNA/NASN to accompany the NASN Membership Fliers.  The NASN/OSNA Membership Portal can be found at 

Benefits of Nurse Membership in OSNA for School Districts, ESD’s, and Student Populations:

  • Mitigation of Liability: Your district will be best protected if all nurses are members.The legal system values membership in professional organizations because membership provides access to current data-informed practice information and school-nursing specific professional development.

  • Continuing Education: Your nurses will have access to best-practice information, including:
    • School nursing periodicals (JOSN: Peer reviewed journal, NASN School Nurse: Official clinical journal)
    • NASN Weekly Digest
    • Conferences (School nursing specific, OSNA Fall & Spring, NASN Summer) 
    • Online education through NASN (Courses & Webinars)
    • Discounted printed materials (books, etc)
    • Support for NBCSN certification exam
    • Scholarships (From OSNA “Dee Bauer” for OSNA Conf. and “OSNA Leadership” for NASN Annual Conf. AND others from NASN)

  • Data-informed Practice Tools: Your nurses will have access to tools which support best practice:
    • Content monitored list serve (Oregon OSNA Listserve and NASN SchoolNurseNet)
    • Medical condition specific tool kits which promote best practice
    • Mentoring with experienced school nurses
    • Streamlined access to state school health regulations and materials for required staff trainings

  • Other Benefits for Our Students: Your nurses will have access to tangible resources for your students:
    • VSP Vision Certificates
    • Discounted prescription drug cards