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

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It is hard to believe that this past year has flown by so quickly, and my term as the 34th President of NAON is drawing to a close. Last year, I had chosen my theme to reflect what NAON embodies, and over the past 365 days, it has come to describe where we are as an organization.

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

Ever Growing. Our membership had been growing at a robust rate, not just in renewals, but with new nurses joining NAON as well. Every year at Congress, I am impressed by the numbers of first-time attendees, as well as those who have recently joined NAON. We are tasked to meet the needs of our members and set ourselves apart with the caliber of our benefits and the level of quality in our resources and materials in orthopaedic nursing. NAON is an organic and vibrant organization, composed of various orthopaedic nurses from across the nation as well as from around the world, with diverse areas of practice and roles within. We have formed partnerships with like-minded organizations, to expand our reach within the orthopaedic communities and in those championing for musculoskeletal health.


Ever Strong. We are a strong organization, fiscally sound, and with outstanding offerings to our membership. We follow the ANCC guidelines to ensure the highest quality products and resources for your use in education and patient teaching. NAON members also contribute to its strength, passionate in their fields, and increasing our collective knowledge and expertise. This year we begin our next strategic plan, with the ability to expand our vision and enhance the delivery of our high-quality products and services. Areas of focus will be delving into more research to provide additional avenues for evidence-based practice and to embrace state-of-the-art technologies to enhance our roles and practices. NAON has published the seventh edition of the Core Curriculum this past year, an outstanding resource, and has won a silver place award in an industry competition. We also just signed a contract with an eBook platform, to bring products such as the Core Curriculum to your iPad, iPhone, and online reading. Other items that will be added to the application include the revised Scope and Standards, Infection Prevention Clinical Practice Guidelines, Patient Education Manuals for the Hip, Knee, Spine and Shoulder, and Core Competencies. Imagine all these fine resource materials at your fingertips and wherever you are in practice.


Ever Green. The symbol of orthopaedics is a braced tree, and I tweaked that concept for my theme. My last name came from a custom in Eastern Europe to place an evergreen tree on a home, since that was the only tree in the forest that pointed upward. In fact, when a new building has completed construction, an evergreen tree is placed on the last steel beam raised as a nod to that tradition. NAON is consciously aware of our impact on the environment and have taken steps over the past several years to decrease our carbon footstep. For example, members will remember past Congress course materials, thick binders full of all the presentation handouts, and a muscle-building exercise to carry around to the sessions. We started to streamline the handout materials, with changing to a CD format, and now having the handouts available online where one can download just what sessions they are attending. We have adopted most forms and applications to a digital format, completing these items online and submitting electronically. Our acclaimed Orthopaedic Nursing Journal is being sent to subscribers electronically, as well as in a traditional periodical format, and with the ability to read it on a mobile application.


But in order for any organization to grow, be strong, and be green, we absolutely rely on our members, and that is you. I thank you for participating in the town hall meeting, done in a webinar format for greater access to the membership. I thank you for attending Congress, with or without employer sponsorship, giving a podium presentation or sharing findings with a poster presentation. I thank you for also writing the articles for the NAON news, for conducting research and publishing in the Orthopaedic Nursing Journal. I thank those of you who gather a few colleagues together and host a meeting, twisting the arm of a favorite orthopaedic surgeon to present. I thank those of you who have kept your own chapters going, despite taking turns with each other for the various board leadership positions over the years. I thank those of you who petitioned your employers to sponsor a Bone Up program to increase orthopaedic practice on your hospital units, and those of you who enlisted your chapter to sponsor an Orthopaedic Review course, to increase the number of certified members. I thank those of you who accessed our website to purchase various publications, downloaded the new Scope and Standards, and purchased the Core Curriculum, not to mention the abundance of patient education materials available. I thank those of you who used the available contact hours from the chapters of the core and used that in a study group. I thank those who are constantly thinking outside of the proverbial box, stretching limits and changing practice. Trust me, the Executive Board listens to your inquiries and incorporates your suggestions into projects. Remember, the Executive Board members are first and foremost NAON members and respond to the needs, wants, and desires of the organization because we also have a vested interest in keeping NAON vibrant, fresh, and ever changing.


I would be remiss if not to thank those of you who have volunteered on committees and other roles in the organization. First of all, I thank the members of the Executive Board, whose hard work and countless hours freely offered help navigate the position where NAON is today. Our Director of Programs, Jan Foecke, has worked unparalleled in her pursuit of excellence in our educational products and courses. One of our members, Marj Kulesa, has achieved much in the US Bone and Joint Initiative organization, elevating an orthopaedic nurse presence to the Vice President role. There are countless others whose passion and drive place orthopaedic nurses in the midst of advocacy in musculoskeletal health, working in such areas as osteoporosis, arthritis, and fitness.


Thank you to those on the Leadership Search Committee, who work to bring qualified candidates to positions in the organization. You help us continue to bring forward the mission of NAON. I would also like to thank the members of the Chapter Advisory Team, who are there to assist the chapters, and to keep the passion alive at the local level, despite many challenges. Tremendous thanks go to those on the NAON Education Committee, which has several branches, including the AAOS (American Academy of Orthpaedic Surgeons) unit, the Congress unit, and the Activities and Products Unit. You continue to bring outstanding presentations, resources, and educational materials to the membership. Hand in hand go kudos to our Evidence Based Practice and Research Committee members, who work tirelessly on the content of the educational materials and clinical practice guidelines, for example. Your professionalism and dedication are evident in the high quality of our resources. Many thanks to the Local Affairs Committee members, who have pulled together specifically for Congress and who have worked to bring us the flavor of the city. Many great and innovative ideas are sure to make our experience in Las Vegas memorable!


Many thanks to the ONCB, the Orthopaedic Nurse Certification Board, who offer three levels of certification, a rarity in professional nursing organizations. They continually streamline the process of maintaining contact hours and offer innovative tracking methods. Thank you for elevating our profession of orthopaedic nursing.


Finally, I thank the NAON Foundation, the organization behind the scenes that pulls so much together. Through unwavering efforts, the Foundation has brought many grants forward, sponsored countless scholarships, and assisted orthopaedic nurses in their careers.


In May, I will take my place on the dais and, at the close of Congress, will proudly place the President of NAON pin on Julie Twiss, or JT, as the incoming President. This will be an exciting transition, where we will have a new Strategic Plan to guide the next 3 years. The emphasis will be on three main areas of focus, Research, Membership, and Technology, with groundwork from the past year where we can transition to the tasks ahead, forging NAON into the unparalleled organization it is today. We cannot achieve without the strength of our membership and our incredible volunteers. Thank you.


Ever Growing, Ever Strong, Ever Green