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Professional Associations for People in Healthcare

Healthcare workers have always played an essential role in society. Their importance has only come more into focus over the past year and a half during the pandemic. Healthcare workers continuously evolve with the ever-changing health landscape, and while a lot is learned in the field, a lot is due to continuing education. Professional development groups are a great way for nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals to access educational resources and industry support and networking opportunities. Here are some professional associations that young healthcare professionals in Michigan can get involved in. 

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization for food and nutrition professionals. It represents more than 112,000 credentialed practitioners, including registered dietitian nutritionists, dietetic technicians, registered and other dietetic and nutrition professionals holding undergraduate and advanced degrees in nutrition and dietetics, and students. Michigan has its own chapter of the Academy, started in 1929 in Battle Creek, Michigan. The national and chapter association is committed to improving the nation’s (and Michigan’s) health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education, and advocacy.

The Academy provides members access to an online database of career and business resources, discounts on products and insurance, discounts on, educational opportunities, conferences and events, scholarships and awards, networking opportunities, and more. Learn more about membership benefits here.

Memberships for the Academy are broken into different categories, including Active, Student, International, Retired, and Associate. They also offer a Career Starter Dues Program, which offers reduced dues rates for members in their first five years of Active category membership eligibility. Learn more about membership to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics here.

Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)

Emergency Nurses Association is a national professional nursing association dedicated to “defining the future of emergency nursing.” More than 50,000 emergency nurses in the U.S. are members of ENA and have access to professional support and opportunities to strengthen their practice. This includes members of the three active regional chapters in Michigan: East Michigan Chapter, Little Traverse Bay Chapter, and Northern Michigan Chapter.

Members of ENA should be registered nurses (RN) or the equivalent or studying to become registered nurses. Through their membership, members gain exclusive access to a library of 24+ C.E. courses on emergency nursing topics, evidence-based emergency nursing resources, discounts on exam fees for certification and re-certification, a subscription to the electronic and print version of the Journal of Emergency Nursing, scholarships, and more. Learn more about membership benefits here and joining here.

Michigan Public Health Association (MPHA)

The Michigan Public Health Association is a state affiliate of the national American Public Health Association (APHA). MPHA is one of the leading professional associations for people dedicated to promoting and protecting the health and environment of Michiganders. It focuses on improving the public’s health through political advocacy, public awareness, professional development, and serving as an interface between research and practice.

By joining MPHA, members gain access to opportunities that help develop their leadership potential, further their professional growth, advocate for health issues, and expand their network of public health contacts. MPHA has five membership categories, including active, retiree, student, supporting, and lifetime. They also divvy their memberships into different industry categories, including public health nursing, epidemiology, laboratory and disease control, and oral health. Learn more about MPHA here.

Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS)

Michigan State Medical Society is a professional association that provides more than 15,000 physicians in Michigan resources, education, and clout to remain “leaders of the health care team and advocates for their patients,” according to The association provides its members access to relevant programming, fellowship, and engagement.

Members of MSMS are required to be a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) with an active Michigan license. If they are unlicensed, members can be in academia, research, or administration.

MSMS membership is separated into multiple categories: medical student, resident/fellow, active emeritus (retired), first year in Michigan, first, second, and third year in practice, and spouse (both spouses are MSMS members) part-time, and active. Learn more about memberships here.

In addition to membership categories, MSMS provides resources tailored to physicians in different stages of their careers. Learn why joining MSMS is beneficial to young professionals here. 

Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA)

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association is a statewide professional group that represents all community hospitals in Michigan. Established in 1919, MHA represents the interests of its member hospitals and health systems in both the legislative and regulatory arenas on key issues and supports their efforts to provide quality, low-effective, and accessible care.

MHA has five types of memberships: hospitals and health providers, affiliate members, associate members, allied members (personal), and auxilians and honorary members. All members can attend MHA conferences, events, and meetings, access discounts on sponsorships at MHA events and advertising in MHA publications, be listed on the MHA member directory, and more. Learn more here.

Society for Pediatric Nurses (SPN)

The Society of Pediatric Nurses is a professional association that aims to advance the specialty of pediatric nursing through excellence in education, research, and practice. They offer memberships to registered nurses who specialize in pediatrics (regular members), licensed practical nurses and other healthcare professionals interested in pediatrics (associate members), students, and guests. Each membership offers access to different benefits of SPN offers and opportunities. Learn more about each membership type here.

In addition to its general membership, SPN offers a Pediatric Nursing Certification Review. This provides the latest information on the pediatric nursing field and best practices. SPN members also get $45 off their first application for the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. Learn more about this offering here.

For a comprehensive list of professional associations for healthcare workers, visit JobStars. Find a list of professional associations for other industries here.

Written by Krishaun Burns, Let’s Detroit

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