1. Failner, Brigitte M.

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As I begin this year as the 31st President of NAON, I want thank all the past leaders and loyal members who gave of themselves to make NAON reach it's 30th birthday. I am honored to have been part of NAON for 28 years and to now serve you as its president.

Brigitte M. Failner,... - Click to enlarge in new window, MS, RN, ONC NAON President, 2010-2011

The Orthopaedic Nurses Association (ONA) planted the seed for an Orthopaedic Nursing Specialty Organization and held their first Congress in March of 1974. It was begun as a vehicle to provide continuing education for orthopaedic nurses. The ONA in cooperation with the American Nurses Association established the first standards of "Orthopaedic Nursing Practice". The seeds rooted and grew strong enough so that when they were transplanted by the steering committee that formed the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses they settled in and were rooted deeper and deeper with the commitment of its members and its leaders. NAON, with its primary goal to provide continuing education through programs, publications, and workshops, held its first Congress in 1980. In 1982, NAON was accepted into the National Federation for Specialty Nursing Organizations, which rooted us as a specialty organization.


"All things change and we must change with them" (Lothair, ca., 840 AD), so yes during these 30 years it is only natural that we at NAON have changed. It has also been said that it is difficult to change when one is comfortable with what is being accomplished; however, often that comfortable feeling means that change is more necessary than ever before. As NAON's expansion and development into new areas exceeded the visions of its original leaders, changes needed to be made to NAON's structure, management, and bylaws throughout the years. We learn from and remember the past, but we must live in the present and plan for the future. The activities and changes made by our past leaders have helped us position ourselves well for the future.


In the words of Nicolas Fechen "We cannot live by the past. The present is so transient that it almost does not exist. As a matter of fact we live by the future; or more accurately, we are increasingly preparing ourselves toward it, trying to anticipate it, for from this process flow all new ideas". This is NAON's year for long range planning as the Strategic Planning Committee meets in September. I anticipate a thought-provoking and action-oriented session that will formalize a long-range plan that will meet our needs today and direct our activities into the future.


In my presidential address at the completion of the 30th Annual Congress, I said that I traveled along with NAON and certainly am deeply rooted in orthopaedic nursing. I have pride in our profession, "who we are as nurses", pride in our specialty, "who we are as orthopaedic nurses", pride in our organization. The need for the orthopaedic nurse is everywhere. I believe that it is vital that NAON provide education not only to our own members, but to all nurses. We need to be the resource for the nursing community as it relates to orthopaedics. We are the ones who need to prepare our nursing peers in other specialties to care for the musculoskeletal needs of their patients. In 1983, NAON president Mary Rodts wrote "Nurses need to take on the responsibility of teaching nurses." During my tenure as president, I envision NAON members being guest lecturers in nursing schools, high schools, community centers and more. I envision them as nurse consults for their nursing peers in their own institutions. We have endless possibilities to foster and educate.


NAON is ready to grow with the future and has the resources and commitment to do so. I look forward to helping guide NAON into that future as your president. The consensus of the 2010-2011 Executive Board is that communication with the membership is crucial, so you will be seeing more in NAON News about all the activities that we are involved in. I want to hear from you and I am committed to answering you either personally or through the NAON News.