If you thought to yourself that PRO must be short for “professional,” then you are on the right track. Pro designation means you have taken a step beyond being a hobbyist. You have, in fact, written a novel, and you have taken the added step of submitting it to a publisher or a literary agent.
According to the RWA web site the purpose of PRO is “to establish within the RWA framework a network of communication and support to effectively promote and protect the interests of romance writers in the areas between manuscript submission and publication, and enhance the channels of communication between those romance writers and publishing industry professionals.” The web site also points out that there are over 2000 RWA members who qualify as PRO. Within that group some have completed and submitted only one manuscript while others have sold their work but are not quite eligible for the Published Authors Network (PAN).