The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, or the AAACN as it is more commonly known, is a regulating association specifically interested in the specialty of ambulatory care nursing. Ambulatory care nursing is characterized by rapid, focused assessments of patients, long-term nurse/patient/family relationships and teaching and translating prescriptions for care into doable activities for patients and their caregivers. There are a great many benefits involved in being a member of an organization such as this one, which are simply unavailable to those LPN and RN nurses who do not take the time to fill out a membership form. Among the many advantages that you will be able to use are: continuing education opportunities and career placement programs.
To advance the art and science of ambulatory care nursing
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN)
East Holly Avenue Box 56
Pitman, NJ 08071-0056
About The American Academy Of Ambulatory Care Nursing
According to the AAACN’s website they are an association of professionals who:
- “Identify ambulatory care practice as a specialty that is essential to the continuum of accessible, high quality, and cost-effective health care.
- Are committed to their professional development and the quality of patient care in an ambulatory care environment and seek to actively engage in a community of like-minded professionals.
- Foster understanding and appreciation for the vital role of professional registered nurses as leaders, coordinators of patient care, and care providers in an ambulatory care setting”.
When the association was first founded in 1978, it was known as the American Academy of Ambulatory Nursing Administration. It has since changed its name to the more familiar AAACN. This happened in 1993, which is fairly recent. In general, this could be considered to be a young organization in comparison to many other nursing organizations out there. This is the only association whose prime goal is to ensure excellence in ambulatory care. The association allows health care practitioners and organizations who are interested in ambulatory care to become members.
Certification Through The American Academy Of Ambulatory Care Nursing
To become a certified ambulatory care nurse you must gain certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a division of the American Nurses Association (ANA). Although the ANCC is the body who offers the exam, the AAANC has played a pivotal role in creating the examination. At present the AAANC remains on the examining board to ensure excellence in the certification examination.
There are a number of resources and information pages about certification that you can access on the American Academy of Ambulatory Nursing’s website. These include links to the following:
- The Ambulatory Nursing Certification Exam
- Certification in Telehealth Nursing
- AAACN Study Resources
- AAACN’s Certification Review Course
- Nursing Certification Bibliography from ABNS
Certification is an excellent ideal to strive towards as it means that you will be fully prepared for a career in ambulatory care nursing. In addition, certification makes you a more attractive option as far as prospective employers are concerned, which means that you will in a very real way be advancing your career.
There are a number of educational opportunities available through the AAACN. For example, there is an annual conference that all members can attend should they wish. The topics covered at these conferences are relevant to your career as an ambulatory care nurse. In addition, they count towards your compulsory continuing education credits as you can earn contact hours during numerous sessions and pre- and/or post-conference offerings. There are also a number of publications that can count towards your continuing education units as well as the AAACN Online Library which “provides access to conference content for attendees of AAACN’s Annual Conferences, as well as the ability to manage and print CNE certificates, complete evaluations and more”. Continuing education is compulsory for all nurses. If you become a member of the American Academy for Ambulatory Care Nursing you will be able to put those compulsory continuing education units to good use by focusing specifically on the area of nursing in which you have a particular interest and in which you have chosen to specialize throughout your career.
Finding Work Through The AAACN
The AAACN is not only dedicated to ensuring that you are well trained and ready for your career, they are also dedicated to helping you get that career moving. On the association’s website is the option to upload your résumé for free. Not only can you make your resume available to a number of prospective employers, but you can also actively search the many job listings that the website has to offer. You can narrow down your search by searching according to:
- The role you would like to have
- Your location
- The type of employer you would most like to work for
- Your lifestyle preferences
You can also access a number of useful tips for job interviews and resume writing that could just give you the edge you need to be the successful candidate. There are a number of links on http://www.aaacn.org/cgi-bin/WebObjects/AAACNMain.woa/wa/viewSection?s_id=1073743911 that you can use in order to find out more about the job search function offered by the American Academy of Ambulatory Nursing. Once you are a member there are many such opportunities available to you.
According to the AAACN’s website, you can belong to the association if you fall into one of these categories:
- Ambulatory care nurses (including RNs, LPNs, LVNs), administrators, clinicians, directors, managers, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists
- Community health nurses, educators
- Physician group practice and office nurses
- Public health and public sector nurses
- Hospital-based clinic nurses
- Parish nurses
- Research nurses
- Military nurses
- Occupational health nurses
- Nurse educators
- Nurse consultants
- Nurses who work in: Veterans Administration outpatient settings, Corrections, Diagnostic Centers, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Call Centers or Telehealth, Emergency Departments, Urgent Care Centers, Behavioral Health, and Pharmaceutical Sales
- Student nurses
- Hospital nurses transitioning to ambulatory care
- Non-nurse ambulatory care managers, administrators, and other professionals
This means that membership is open to large variety of different people. There are, naturally, membership fees involved. If you are an active RN or ADN you will pay a membership fee of $130. As an Affiliate you will only be held liable for a membership fee of $105 and there are discounted rates for Group Membership. If you are an LPN or an LVN you will pay less than an RN or an ADN at only $105. Members who are over the age of 62 and therefore are considered to be seniors will only be required to pay $70 in order to maintain their membership should they wish to do so. The same rate applies to student members. The price goes up if you are a corporate affiliate as these members are required to pay $250 in order to continue their membership with the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing. The steepest rates are for corporate members who are made to pay $1500. More information about each of these categories can be found by visiting http://www.aaacn.org/cgi-bin/WebObjects/AAACNMain.woa/wa/viewSection?s_id=1073744323.
There are a number of excellent opportunities for members of the AAACN. These benefits include access to one of three excellent journals on membership, namely Nursing Economic$, MEDSURG Nursing, or Pediatric Nursing. The association also offers access to scholarships and grants as well as other form of financial aid for students who are interested in taking their education to the next level. In addition, excellent preparation resources are offered for any nurse interested in doing the Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification Review Course or the Telehealth Nursing Practice Core Course (TNPCC). The networking opportunities are endless and there are a number of educational resources available to you.
Nurses who do not choose to belong to associations such as this one often come up short. The cost involved in gaining access to the many resources offered by the AAACN goes up significantly for non-members and the price can be enough to prevent non-members from actually pursuing the matter further. As a member, however, these resources will be available to you without a problem. The main advantages are, in summary, as follows:
- You will be able to keep up to date with the various advancement sin your specialty field
- You will have access to job opportunities and educational options that you would otherwise been unaware of
As you can see, belonging to the AAACN is not simply a good way to meet other nurses and keep in touch with the nursing world. It is also a way to actively advance your standing in the industry and make your mark on the world. Belonging to an organization such as this one boosts your resume significantly and the skills that you can gain in this way will, in general, make you substantially more marketable to potential future employers.