The National Athletic Trainers’ Association, explained

Whether you’re wondering how to join the  NATA, or simply curious about what they do, this is the blog for you. The NATA is a critical professional group for certified athletic trainers, and one which many athletic trainers decide to join. Today the Go4 team looks at them in more detail. Why should you consider NATA membership as an athletic trainer? Why do organizations use NATA to find a professional they can trust?

An Overview of the National Athletic Trainers Association
The National Athletic Trainer’s’ Association, or NATA, is a professional membership association. Think of them similarly to the professional associations for lawyers and accountants. 

The NATA allows certified athletic trainers to join a professional membership organization. As with many such regulatory membership associations for professionals, they help define and enforce standards among their members, advocate for their best interests, assist members with ongoing and further training, and help make sure the standards of the profession stay high. 

As medical professionals, it’s critical that the athletic trainer profession keeps high standards and undergoes ongoing education to stay on top of medical advances in their field. Part of the mission for the NATA is to encourage high professional standards and networking among members.

History of NATA
The NATA was founded in 1950, and today calls over 45,000 members part of its circle. Today their HQ is in Dallas, Texas, and employs over 40 full-time staff to help support the organization. 

While the early parts of the 1900s saw some pioneers in the sports medicine field, it became obvious that there was a need for professional standards and ‘official’ recognition to help solidify the new profession. Today, the NATA has a global membership, and provides a wealth of benefits to members and the profession alike. 

Purpose of NATA
As with other professional bodies, the NATA gives certified athletic trainers a host of membership benefits and provides the weight of ‘group action’ to represent the profession in a way an individual athletic trainer cannot. 

They hope to engage new athletic trainers, foster the development of the profession as a whole, and help to represent athletic trainers both as unique care providers and as vital parts of an inter-professional team of medical experts .

Finally, the NATA helps enforce rigorous professional standards and keep the field accountable to the best medical ethics, giving employers and potential employers peace of mind. 

NATA Member Benefits
As with many professional bodies, the NATA offers its members many benefits, not the least of which is professional solidarity and representation of their interests. Additionally, members receive access to many perks, including:

> Peer-to-peer support
> Continued education benefits
> Programs and grants for studies
> Educational events
> Access to a diversity of athletic-trainer focused research and support
> Advocacy for the interests of the profession
> Connection with like-minded professionals

Joining a professional body is seen as a key step in many professions, and certified athletic trainers are no different. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Now you know why athletic trainers join NATA, you probably have other questions. Here’s some we at Go4 commonly see asked. 

Who Can Join NATA?
NATA members have at least their Bachelor’s from an accredited athletic trainers program. This means both the academic qualification and the requisite clinical training. As education standards for the profession evolve, this may change. 

How Much Does It Cost To Join NATA?
NATA dues do vary slightly depending on a couple of different factors, including the time of year at which you apply or reapply. However, they sit between $150 for late-year membership to  $200+ for full-year membership. This is an annual fee.

Introduction to Go4
The Go4 platform is a key resource for teams, schools, and other sports-related organizations to connect with the athletic trainers they need. In fact, we are the preferred per diem partner for the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. 

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