1. Ann Cupec, Pamela BSN, MS, RN, ONC, CRRN, ACM
  2. NAON President, 2013-2014

Article Content

Dear Reader,

Pamela Ann Cupec, BS... - Click to enlarge in new windowPamela Ann Cupec, BSN, MS, RN, ONC, CRRN, ACM NAON President, 2013-2014

As you open this volume of the Orthopaedic Nursing journal, allow me the honor of introducing myself to you as the incoming 34th President of NAON.


It is not lost on me that this is an incredible honor, a huge milestone, and beyond my wildest dreams. But here I am, the staff nurse who started to go to Congress because her boss saw her interest in orthopaedics and took her to Congress with him back in the day where there were educational conference dollars in the budget. I also was to take my ONC examination that same Congress as part of the deal, and something happened. I was hooked. I absolutely loved going to Congress, inspired by the many advances that were going on around the country, meeting other nurses who faced the same trials and tribulations, and shared some of the funny patient stories with others. I began to recognize some faces, struck up conversations with fellow orthopaedic nurses in the bathroom lines, and over the years, formed some great friendships.


As I advanced in my nursing career and took on different roles, one thing remained a constant ... NAON. No matter my role in my work life, as a supervisor, a clinician, and a unit director, there was involvement in NAON. No matter what area of orthopaedics I was working in, such as acute inpatient, outpatient, and rehabilitation, there was NAON as an adjunct. Much like most of you, I became active in our local chapter, in my case, the Pittsburgh Chapter, working on the education committee, membership, and rising up to the role of President...a role I held a few times, as many of you have as well.


I also received the opportunity to serve NAON on a national level, having finally filled out a Willingness to Serve form, first on the educational committee for Congress, and then became the Chair of the Congress Education committee. Then it sprang forth from there, grabbing any opportunity to give more to the organization that had given me the thirst for knowledge, camaraderie, and lifelong friends. I could not stop. I went on to serve on the CAT team and became a Director on the Executive Board of NAON. And now, I proudly have been given this ultimate way to give back to the organization, as President of the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses.


Currently, my real-life job is as a lead case manager, and with that role, I work to pull all the pieces together so when a patient is discharged, there is a safe discharge plan in place. With that role, one must always anticipate what Plan B and Plan C will be in case the original plan falls through at the last minute. The same holds true in leadership, to have a backup plan in place in case of some adverse event. As a case manager, one needs to know what resources to tap into in order for a fluid plan to take place without delay or avoidable issues. The position is one where the case manager orchestrates all the elements in order to have a successful outcome and safe transition to the next level.


And so will the course be for this upcoming year, 2013-14. We are Ever Growing, Ever Strong, and Ever Green.


As we enter into the 34th year of our organization, there are many challenges ahead, but pooling our vast resources together, we can make for yet another successful year and open our arms to an even larger community.


Ever Strong

Our organization is composed of more than 6,000 members, from all levels of orthopaedic nursing, from bedside nurses, to nurse managers, clinicians, doctoral students, deans of universities, to those who wanted to change specialties. Every year at Congress, we welcome many first-time attendees, and many of those are brand new members. NAON touches many communities, with chapters across the nation, some housed in hospitals, and even one in Singapore, just to illustrate our outreach. However, strength is not just in numbers, but what our members do, and what they achieve. The many aspects of NAON provide resources, information, and educational opportunities to share in our pursuit of excellence in musculoskeletal health and related issues. In the coming months, we will be working on our strategic plan for the next 3 years, incorporating our strengths and identifying where we will go next.


Ever Growing

NAON has embraced many current trends and moving into other avenues to address the needs of a technologically advanced group. We offer more webinars to our members, held our yearly membership meeting as a web broadcast, revamped our website, and enhanced our discussion boards. We are not just growing as an organization as a whole, or as individual orthopaedic nurses, growing in their knowledge, ease of accessing resources.


This year we will be working on our strategic plan to guide our organization for the next 3 years. We want to be responsive to the members and shape the upcoming months to meet the goals of the people, not just what seems to be the correct thing to do.


NAON has also been expanding our affiliations and now proudly has a past president of NAON serving on the board as Vice President of the USBJI to represent orthopaedic nursing. The USBJI is the United States Bone and Joint Initiative and includes many diverse groups across the nation. We have developed a process to investigate other partnerships that we would like to pursue or to answer other organizations that wish to affiliate with NAON. We are clearly being recognized in the larger communities for the source of education and expertise in the field of musculoskeletal health.


Ever Green

NAON embraced the use of social media to get the message across, increased use of electronic notifications, and did away with a paper newsletter. Voting is done online, and we have an expansion of the website to be a one stop for all orthopaedic resource needs. Materials at Congress have decreased, with the elimination of the entire syllabus and even the evaluations have gone electronic. If you wish to print the course handouts, you print only the courses that you will be attending and thus decrease extraneous papers.


The Orthopaedic Nursing Certification Board has even gone paperless for documentation of contact hours, as well as for the submission of contact hours for certification. In years past, there was a requirement of submitting five copies of the paper work for CEUs for course offerings, and now, all that is submitted electronically and dispersed to all the members of the committee electronically, instead of via the mail. Proposals for presentations, as well as poster presentations, are also submitted electronically, and again, the information is sent to the members of the reviewing committee electronically.


Even though the symbol for orthopaedics is a braced tree, we will build on that in the play on words of evergreen. That is the only tree in the forest that points upward, much like the direction in which we will be continuing our growth in NAON.


And so, dear reader, I ask that you join me in our continued growth, and strength of this highly functioning organization of NAON and become Ever Growing, Ever Strong, and Ever Green.