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Discounted Memberships to Professional Organizations
Updated | Chelsea Bostelman
Free and Discounted Student Memberships to Professional Organizations
Professional organizations are a fantastic way to gain deeper understanding of a career that you wish to explore further. They exist to advocate for a specific profession and support their members in various ways.
Financial – Student membership are often free or significantly discounted and members are often eligible for scholarships.
Educational – Professional organizations contribute to guidelines, policies, and standards within a specific industry and work to keep members up to date with changes. They disseminate knowledge through continuing education opportunities and publications.
Career Development – Joining a professional organization comes with networking opportunities. Network through online communities, conferences, and seminars. Many organizations are accredited and offer certifications. Job postings, volunteer opportunities, and board leadership are also common.
Discounts – In addition to discounted rates to continuing education, conference attendance, and publications, many professional organizations offer discounts on things like insurance.
According to the Human Resources Professionals Association, there are 4 types of professional organizations.
Member Benefit professional associations – exist primarily to support and advocate for members
Designation-granting associations – a member benefit professional association that also offers voluntary designation to members that can set them apart from other professionals in their field
Certifying bodies – organization that issues some form of credential
Professional regulatory bodies – exist primarily to protect the public by exercising authorities delegated by law and enforcing standards
The following is a select list of member benefit professional associations and designation-granting associations available to military communities and students.
Professional Associations Designed for Military-Connected Individuals
Anyone from any healthcare discipline (dentists, physicians, nurses, allied health, students, enlisted and civilian) associated with DoD, VA, HHS, or DHS who is interested in improving healthcare is welcome to join this association.
Full-time students interested in a career in corrections can take advantage of membership benefits at a significantly discounted rate. This association enhances public safety by leading, educating, and supporting corrections professionals.
Free Student Membership – The Oncology Nursing Society, founded over 40 years ago, supports nurses in improving cancer care. They offer a free student membership to nurses in a full-time pre-licensure program.
Scholarship and grant opportunities
Publications: podcast, peer-review journals, and magazine
Online communities, local, state, international events
Stand out in your chosen profession by taking advantage of the resources available to military members and students through professional organizations.
Chelsea Bostelman is a registered nurse who stays busy with freelance writing, exploring Europe, and working on a graduate degree in nursing. She founded the Stuttgart Nurse Journal Club to provide underemployed nurses with free continuing education opportunities. A 10-year military spouse, she and her family spend their free time hiking, biking, and eating in southern Germany.