The duties of the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) and other professional nurses associations differ from those of the Ohio Board of Nursing. Boards are responsible for legal regulations, while associations are responsible for professional regulations, standards of professional practice, the promotion of quality nursing, legislative advocacy, collective bargaining, and public protection.
The ONA is a nongovernmental organization and membership is voluntary. Its mission is to promote and advance professional nursing in Ohio. It does so by influencing legislation, promoting education, and advocating for improved quality and availability of healthcare services in Ohio.
The Ohio Nurses Collective Bargaining Program (CBP), ONA’s union arm, represents and advocates for nurses at their workplace. The CBP gives nurses a strong voice to:
Specialty organizations such as operating room nurses, emergency nurses, critical care nurses, nephrology nurses, and other specialty groups also have professional associations. A board of trustees elected by association members typically runs an association. Association meetings can be closed to the general public and the elected leaders remain private citizens.
Associations and regulatory boards have a long history of close collaboration. Associations have traditionally set forth the nature and scope of the profession and used that as the basis for influencing the law regulating practice. These laws are then enforced by the regulatory board.