Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This presentation is part of : Professional and Personal Renewal
Factors Influencing Participation in a Selected Professional Nursing Organization
Sharon K. Broscious, RN, DSN, CCRN, School of Nursing, Troy University - Atlantic Region, Norfolk, VA, USA and Denise M. Boren, PhD, RN, CNS, School of Nursing, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA, USA.
Learning Objective #1: identify factors that impact the participation of registered nurses in a selected professional nursing organization.
Learning Objective #2: describe the theory about participation in a selected professional nursing organization.

Research in nursing today focuses on patient outcomes and best practice in the clinical setting. However, what are the best practices for a professional nursing organization to obtain the outcomes desired – retention, utilization of services, and volunteerism? Gilmore (2002) describes a “negative trend in attitudes toward professional responsibilities and membership in professional organizations” (p. 490). Professional nursing organizations provide numerous services to their members including educational opportunities in nursing and related healthcare, trends and social issues; networking opportunities; financial support for education and research; and opportunities to develop leadership and management skills. Why is it difficult then to retain members and increase member involvement?

This study investigated factors that influence participation of registered nurses in two Sigma Theta Tau, International chapters. The aims were to explain factors that enhance participation and barriers that inhibit participation in professional nursing organizations. The method used in the study was grounded theory. A purposive sample of 20 was recruited from membership lists of active members not participating in chapter activities. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Interviews were taped, transcribed and coded using the QRS N5TM (NUDIST) software program. Dimensional analysis and constant comparative analysis techniques were used in data analysis. Data collection and analysis are ongoing. Preliminary findings identified three themes from the interviews: (1) commitment to STTI, indicating members felt it was important to be connected to STTI and supported its mission; (2) limited time, indicating the need to prioritize commitments based on work demands and family schedules; and (3) access to programs because getting from work to a meeting on time was a barrier. Findings from this study will contribute to the development of best practices to enhance chapter member involvement.


Gilmore, W.F. (2002). Membership and professional responsibility. American Scientist,

            90(6), 490.