1. Oakes, Christy MSN, RN, ONC
  2. NAON President, 2012-2013

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January is named for the Roman god Janus, who was known as the guardian of doors and gates, or beginnings and endings. Depicted with a double face looking in opposite directions, Janus represented what was behind and what lay ahead, along with the happenings of an old year while looking forward to a new one. Rather than dwelling on the past and contemplating what cannot be changed, I believe that looking forward is definitely more positive and productive.

Christy Oakes, MSN, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowChristy Oakes, MSN, RN, ONC NAON President, 2012-2013

Recently I attended a nursing meeting in which the keynote speaker was described as a "Futurist." His subject about the future of healthcare was intriguing. Unfortunately, for the nurses at my table and many in attendance, our speaker missed the mark regarding his vision for our future. He discussed interesting topics related to primary and specialty care, yet left the audience with a less than positive impression regarding nurses' place in that future. Many conference participants stated that they felt our speaker forgot to read the Institute of Medicine's 2010 report concerning the future of nursing. One subject the futurist did get correct is, how we deliver care will begin to look different in the New Year. Although many people, including the keynote speaker, will predict or describe a healthcare environment filled with gloom and doom, I have confidence that orthopaedic nursing's future and particularly NAON's is bright.


In 2011, the PEW Research Center estimated that over the next 19 years approximately 10,000 people in the United States will turn 65 every day. The need for healthcare services will surge with this changing age demographic. According to the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative, an increase in musculoskeletal conditions requiring medical care will rise along with our aging population. In lieu of this information, a growth in the demand for orthopaedic care should occur, expanding the need for experienced orthopaedic nurses. NAON is poised to enhance our member services in the future as a response to this proliferation in demand.


New in 2012 our NAON webinars proved to be very successful. Member feedback suggested that the webinars were an excellent source for chapters or individuals to receive continuing education credits. Six additional webinars are currently being developed for implementation in 2013 on a variety of orthopaedic subjects. NAON's 3rd edition Orthopaedic Nursing Core Competencies were completed in 2012 and now on sale. Our Orthopaedic Review Courses continue to increase in popularity and thus far NAON has 10 classes either planned or pending for 2013. More than 1,000 orthopaedic nurses attended a review course in 2012. NAON's Orthopaedic Scope and Standards will be available in 2013 and is a culmination of member participation delineating both the science and caring of our work. As we begin the New Year, I encourage all orthopaedic nurses to consider reviewing or purchasing this outstanding edition.


Our unique perspective as bedside care providers enable all nurses to promote and advocate for healthcare quality. The newest Clinical Practice Guideline: Surgical Site Infection Prevention is scheduled for publication in 2013. This document defines strategies to improve clinical care and provide members with evidence-based information. In addition to all the impressive products and programs NAON has planned for 2013, the 7th edition Core Curriculum is a text that all members will be proud to say their professional association supported. I was very fortunate to obtain a preview of our new Core and certain that it will be one of NAON's most successful products.


Finally, our association's strategic plan is scheduled for a revision in 2013. Ideally, strategic plans should be relevant to their respective organization for at least 3-5 years. They provide forthcoming roadmap for the entity represented. Without a doubt the transformation occurring in healthcare will serve as a framework for NAON when we develop our 2013 Strategic Plan. The future of orthopaedic nursing is promising. I am confident that during 2013 NAON will establish a path that maintains our member's needs, while achieving our goal of excellence through higher levels of education centered around the services we deliver.