The American Association of Spinal Cord Nurses is one of those highly specialized nursing organizations designed to serve a particular subgroup of the profession. Spinal cord nurses are those nurses who actively work with patients that have either suffered a spinal injury or who are, for some reason, experiencing spinal cord deterioration. Because of the skills required in this line of work, there is a noticeable subgroup of nurses who can be distinguished from their counterparts. These spinal cord nurses, like all other specialists, deserve to have advocacy and to have a say in the overall functioning of the health care system, aims which the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses plans to meet.
The American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses has changed its name and is now known as the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses. Spinal cord injuries can be devastating for both the individual who is directly affected as well as for all of their family and friends. Consequently a high level of care and understanding is required of the nurses who are tasked with working with these patients. The Academy Spinal Cord Injury Nurses is a professional organization that was formed with the intention of ensuring that the level of care in this line of work does not decline in quality.
The Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses has a number of goals that it strives towards achieving:
- Firstly they aim to provide, promote, and enhance the care of individuals who are suffering from spinal cord injury or spinal cord deterioration.
- Secondly the association is dedicated to developing and promoting educational resources for professionals and individuals with spinal injuries and deterioration by publishing educational materials for them to use in either their professional or personal lives.
- They also aim to encourage research and evidence based practice related to spinal cord injury or spinal cord deterioration.
- Lastly they aim to serve as a resource to nursing and health care organizations, educational facilities and consumer groups.
The association exists to advance the industry of spinal cord nursing by ensuring that its members are prepared to face the challenges presented by the profession in such a way that they are not only serving their patients in the best way possible, but also protecting themselves and the professional s a whole in the process.
There are a number of benefits involved in being a member of this particular organization. The main benefits are listed below in some detail:
- To begin with, as a member you will receive one year’s worth of subscriptions to the acclaimed Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine (JSCM) which translates to about 6 issues a year.
- Because it is not always convenient to read or carry a hardcopy of a publication of the JSCM, members also receive online access to the full text of this excellent and useful publication.
- Networking is one of the best methods for advancing your career in the profession, which is why the association provides a number of excellent professional networking opportunities that its members can take advantage of.
- A number of career resources are also provided in ruder to ensure that you find the best job for you and also that you make the most of the career you are currently in.
- The association offers an annual conference which is extremely useful, but also quite expensive, which is why members of the organization receive a discounted registration rate in comparison to non members.
- The conference is not the only tool that you will receive a discount on. There are also a number of educational webinars offered by the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses that you will have access to at a discounted rate as a member.
- There are a number of members-only points on the academy’s website that you will only be able to make use of once you have completed your registration and been accepted as a member within the association.
- In this current say and age it is extremely important that all nurses have an active role in the various health policies that are passed. The academy in part aims to provide advocacy in this regard for spinal injury nurses.
- As a member you will have access to the association’s award program and stand a chance of benefiting from the many awards offered.
- If you are struggling in your job or if you would like professional guidance of some kind, there is a member mentoring program that you can enlist in as either a mentor or mentee should you wish to do so.
- To streamline the process of becoming a member membership can be achieved through an online registration process which saves you time and a bit of money.
- If you are looking for other members of the association with whom to network and connect you will have access to the online ASCIP membership directory. This is only available to members and casual visitors to the website are unable to access this information.
- There is a monthly electronic newsletter that the academy sends out to all of its members which you will also have access to once you decide to join the association.
- Once you are a member you will be able to recruit other health care professionals to the academy. When you do this you will receive a member recruitment bonus, which is, again, only available to members.
- Students of spinal cord nursing will be able to become members of the association at absolutely no charge.
- In addition to the association’s annual conference you will also be have access to its Executive Forum which runs in conjunction with the conference.
- In order to improve your chance of finding the perfect job for you there are a number of online employment listings offered on the association’s website.
- As a member you will have the right to vote on issues that affect the association as well as one some issues that affect the area of spinal cord nursing in general.
Non Nursing Members
The subdivision of the organization to which nurses belong is called the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses. However this is part of a far larger group of individuals known as the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals. As a result it is not only nurses that belong to this organization, but also physicians, psychologists and social workers and rehabilitation therapists. What this means for nurses is that, as members of the association you will not only have access to the skills and expertise of other nursing professionals, but also to the knowledge and expertise of other healthcare professionals in general who have an interest in this particular line of health care.
The Association considers the following links to be extremely important for its members to take note of:
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet program – to promote excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs and related services.
- American Nursing Foundation – is the national philanthropic organization that promotes the continued growth and development of nurses and services to advance the work of the nursing profession.
- Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
- Brain Injury Association
- Brain Trauma Foundation
- Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- MS Society
- National Amputee Foundation
- Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
- National Institute of Nursing Research – supports clinical and basic research to establish a scientific basis for the care of individuals across the life span-from management of patients during illness and recovery to the reduction of risks for disease and disability, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, promoting quality of life in those with chronic illness, and care for individuals at the end of life.
- The Joint Commission
- University of Iowa – Evidence-Based Practice
- VA Office of Nursing Services
- VA Sunshine Healthcare Network – Partnerships
- VISN 8 Patient Safety Center
By belonging to a professional organization such as this one you are improving your employment and career opportunities. Many employers look specifically for individuals who are willing to go the extra mile for their profession by joining a professional organization when they consider individuals for employment or promotion. When you consider this advantage in conjunction with the many benefits that members have access to, it become obvious that membership with this organization is essential for any nurse with a strong focus on spinal cord nursing as his or her specialty.
If you would like to find out more about this organization, please contact them using the information provided below:
Springfield, IL 62701
(217) 753-1190 phone
(217) 525-1271 fax
Amy Cheatham, MS