Belonging to a Professional Association

by Marie-Josephine Royall-Schreck

I am a professional nurse and student of Ayurveda transitioning my career into integrative health coaching through education. It’s one of the most exciting times of my professional life, and, as I’ve learned over and over again in my career, I will need support—the support of a professional association. Wanting nothing less than to be valued for my experience, knowledge, ethics, commitment, and to be credible, one day, my education completed, I will venture out into the world and announce that I am ready to serve in a new way. I don’t expect it to be simple—I don’t know what I don’t know. When deciding to add Ayurveda to my professional life, the first thing I looked for was its professional association. NAMA. 

Having resources and professional support available through NAMA will help my self-confidence, and it will help those who choose to work with me, too. This is where belonging to a professional association has always worked for me.

I’ve been a member of associations throughout my career of more than 30 years, so it feels natural to me to seek out the one association that can make a difference for me as I journey into Ayurveda. Associations have been the hub for many areas of my professional life, becoming the one source I can count on for information surrounding policy, best practices, and what are the issues and concerns of other practitioners in my industry. Below are some of the benefits I’ve realized from belonging to professional associations and ones that I know I can count on as a NAMA member. Here’s how I would rank them: 

Industry News and Newsletters
Continued Education
Ethical Standards
Networking/Friendships
Ability to volunteer and serve
Certification/Credentialing
Events/Conferences
Resources
Advocacy
Techniques and Tools
Collaborate with colleagues

How about you? If you have experience as a member of an association, would you agree with my ranking? Write me and let me know. As a member of NAMA’s Membership Committee, Students Subcommittee, I am part of a team striving to help NAMA serves its future professionals, its future volunteers, its future leaders. Also, if you’d like to share some of your insights regarding membership in an association, send those to me as well, and I’ll do my best to share them with our—your—subcommittee.

If you are a NAMA member now, you’ve made a good choice. If you’re not, consider becoming a member of NAMA today and expose yourself to the many resources available, such as ENEWS, Annual Conference, and Professional Ayurvedic Continuing Education (PACE). Also, consider getting involved through volunteering. As you help others, you will see yourself grow in your own practice and enhance your association in the process. The more you know, the more you grow.


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About the Author
Marie-Joséphine Royall-Schreck

Marie-Joséphine Royall-Schreck is a Professional Registered Nurse, Health Coach, Certified Meditation & Mindfulness Teacher, and Registered Yoga Teacher. She is a member of NAMA’s Membership Committee, Students Subcommittee; member, International Association Yoga Therapists; and member, Yoga Alliance. Marie-Joséphine lives in Sedona, Arizona and may be contacted through the NAMA Students subcommittee at students@ayurvedanama.org.