1. Section Editor(s): Roberts, Dottie MSN, MACI, RN, BC, ONC CNS, Editor

Article Content

Marshall and Kneale Visit Hong Kong for AADO Conference

It was on the way to the airport that it finally sunk in... I was on my way to Hong Kong. After months of preparation and arrangements, I was headed across the Pacific. Members of the Asian Association for Dynamic Osteosynthesis (AADO) were holding their second nursing conference in October. I was privileged and honored to be representing the Canadian Orthopaedic Nurses Association (CONA), the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), and NAON as a speaker. In the past, I had traveled to several conferences in both NAON and CONA jurisdictions, but this was very different. I was following in the footsteps of Geri Tierney and Dottie Roberts, who had been there in 2000. I was able to carry greetings from them and CONA President Ann Bourgeois that were well received and appreciated.


Julia Kneale, from the Royal College of Nursing's Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing, would be there as well. Using the Internet, Julia and I developed a 1-day program we called Orthopaedic Nursing-the View from Away. Topics included evidence-based care, pin-site care, development of nursing standards, reflective practice, public policy, and nursing recruitment and retention. We shared the perspective of our local practice.


Our second day was a wonderful tour of three hospital sites to meet our hosts' colleagues and have a chance to talk individually with many of them. The welcome was very warm. It also included ample time for tea and cakes. Some of the situations were familiar, but there were things that were so unique to that site. One hospital had a museum dedicated to Traditional Chinese Medicine in the middle of its grounds.


Our third day was spent participating in the formal conference. Julia presented on trauma care, and I discussed the best-practice guidelines for fall prevention, developed by RNAO (available at One of the highlights of the day was the presentation by individual nurses of a series of short, concise papers that discussed a variety of projects. Julia and I were very pleased to be asked to sit on the judging panel. It was a formidable task to assign a winner. All the participants had so much to share with the group.


The connections we share as nurses from all over the world are so strong. This was very evident in the time that we were priviledged to spend with the orthopaedic nursing community in Hong Kong. I use the word community deliberately. The ability of nurses to come together to share common challenges and solutions shows the unity of the profession. Perhaps some day you will have such an invitation. If so, do not hesitate to accept. Your world will be much richer.


Mary Marshall RN, BA


NAON International Member


Toronto Chapter Member, CONA


Co-Presenter with


Julia Kneale, BA (Hons), RN, RNT, ONC


Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing,


Faculty of Health,


University of Central Lancashire


(Preston, England)


Associate Editor,


Journal of Orthopaedic Nursing


NAON Invited to Join AAOS Patient Safety Coalition

In November, NAON President-Elect Geri Tierney and Director Mary K. Wollan represented the association at the first meeting of the AAOS Patient Safety Coalition in Rosemont, Illinois. NAON was among more than 35 orthopaedic associations, including the various specialty groups of the AAOS, the Canadian and Puerto Rico Orthopaedic Associations, and several state orthopaedic groups, invited to discuss ways in which we can work together to improve orthopaedic patient safety. NAON was pleased to be included with the physician groups for this discussion and to have the opportunity to work with physician colleagues on such an important project.


Each organization was asked to share any patient safety initiatives in which they are currently involved. Although most of the physician groups focused on the areas of surgical or physician errors (e.g., wrong site surgery), Geri discussed NAON's focus on prevention, including its work on osteoporosis (the OPTIONS program and Strong and Sure) and its interest in fall prevention and home safety. We also identified the nursing shortage as a major area of concern affecting patient safety. Copies of NAON's position statement Role of the Orthopaedic Nurse, Health Policy Statement, and H.R. 3695 (The Elder Fall Prevention Act of 2002) were available for those in attendance.


The Patient Safety Coalition is an important initiative, and NAON was proud to bring nursing's perspective to the table. Many of the physician groups commented during the roundtable discussion about the role that nursing can play in moving forward with this issue. Along with Hal Blank, president of the American Society of Orthopaedic Physician Assistants, NAON pledged to work with the Academy to be active participants in the coalition. We look forward to hearing more about this in the future and to the continued growth of our working relationship with the AAOS.


Geri Tierney, BSN, RN, ONC


NAON President-Elect


Mary K. Wollan, BAN, RN, ONC


NAON Director


SIGs Preparing Preop Teaching Guides

NAON's SIG facilitators have teamed up to create preoperative patient education guides. A template and sample guide are being developed for SIG discussion and input at the 2003 Congress. Team members include SIG Facilitators Donna Sharp (Staff Education), Amy Cable (Sports Medicine), Rita Bendekovitz (Chair; Home Care/Community), Toni Cawley (Spine), Julie Welcheck (Patient Education), and Peggy Beavin (Pediatrics).


ONCB Connection

Bring the ONC Exam to Your Colleagues

Host a Test Site Through ONCB

Thinking about hosting your own test site? It's easier than you might think to apply to the ONCB and become a one-time test site for the ONC examination. It doesn't matter whether there is 1 person taking the exam or 30! How do you begin the process?


First contact the ONCB (888-561-ONCB, to request a copy of the ONCB Examination Test Center Guidelines and the application to host a test center. Next, select a contact person who will be in charge of handling the arrangements for the examination and completing the application. This person will be responsible for handling all correspondence with the test agency C-NET and ONCB about the test site. This person may also be the one who assumes the duties of Test Center Manager on the day of the examination.


Determine an appropriate place to hold the examination. It should be in a convenient location for the majority of candidates and must meet the requirements of the ONCB regarding physical layout and set-up. Any associated costs will be assumed by the test center applicant, not the ONCB. The examination room should be able to handle the expected number of candidates. The ONCB has suggested guidelines for table set-up, which will be included in the packet. Other factors to consider are room lighting, access to the room temperature control, drinking water, noise levels, and restroom availability. A large clock should also be available for the examinees to check during the examination.


Fill out the application and return it to the ONCB. The examinations are given twice a year. For the fall examination date, you must complete and return your application by July 1. For the spring examination, the deadline is February 1. If your application is accepted, you will receive written notice from the ONCB. At this point, you should reconfirm the arrangements, begin to find proctors, and determine who will be the Test Center Manager on the day of the examination. The ONCB will also forward your information to C-NET and provide you with the test agency's contact information.


One month before the exam, you will need to send a list of proctors to the ONCB. You need one proctor for every 25 registrants. C-NET will procure a Test Center Examiner for you. The host test center will pay a $100 fee for the examiner and a $30 fee per proctor. These roles will be explained to you in the Examination Test Center Guidelines.


On the day of the examination, you will need to have a registration table set up for the examinees at least 30 minutes before the examination start time. Many people arrive early, so be prepared. The Guidelines contain a list of responsibilities and instructions that the Test Center Manager can use as a reference and a checklist. A review/evaluation form is also included and should be returned to the ONCB to report any problems or provide suggestions for future examinations.


Sound complicated? It really isn't. Most of your questions are answered in the Guidelines packet that you will receive when you request the application. Nurses are often able to find an employer, local sales company, or hospital that is willing to cover the costs of the process. For an added savings, the test takers can apply as a "group" and receive the ONCB's group discount rate while it is still in effect.


Debbie Hawk RN, ONC, CNOR, RNFA


ONCB Secretary-Treasurer


Group Discount Lowers ONC Examination Fee

Don't miss your chance to use the group discount for the ONC examination! Whenever a group of three or more nurses submits applications together for the ONC examination, each candidate can take $25 off the test price. You and your colleagues can create your own study group and support each other to success! Contact ONCB (888-561-ONCB) for more information.


Practice Corner

Retention Is the Key

During the Management Special Interest Group meeting at the 2002 Congress, many topics were discussed concerning the problems of our current nursing shortage. One wise participant requested information and feedback regarding the important concept of retention.


Among the audience suggestions about strategies currently in place in their organizations was benefit enhancements, particularly education. Improved tuition reimbursement based upon the recipient's GPA, loan forgiveness programs, and onsite RN mobility programs were some of the examples. Administrative leave for management staff returning to school was also mentioned as an educational retention strategy. Some organizations used career track programs that encouraged nursing techs or unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) to pursue registered nursing through increased tuition reimbursement payments. One collaborative endeavor between hospitals and schools of nursing offered formal mentoring courses for senior nursing students in the clinical area of their interest to improve both retention and recruitment. Increased preceptor incentives, such as bonus pay or increased hourly wage, were among additional ideas.


An innovative approach detailed by one participant was a no-lifting procedure developed to decrease staff injury and improve working conditions. A lifting team that assisted with patient mobility and movement successfully decreased nursing staff shoulder and back injuries while improving unit retention.


Perhaps one of the most impressive alternatives for staff retention was increased organizational interest in obtaining Magnet designation. Numerous participants indicated that their facilities had expressed the interest or intent or had applied for this prestigious recognition. More hospital leadership realizes that achieving Magnet status not only retains the best nurses but also attracts the best. As recently as September 2002, 60 acute care hospitals, 2 specialty facilities, 1 system-wide, and 1 VA facility in 20 different states received Magnet designation. Benefits of Magnet status affect patient, employer, and nurse outcomes. Nurses employed in Magnet facilities have increased satisfaction, increased RN skill mix, higher perceived quality of care, and increased perception of productivity. Patients benefit from lower mortality rates, shorter lengths of stay, and increased satisfaction. Employer outcomes include lower incidence of needle stick injuries, significant relationship between Magnet designation and JCAHO scores, lower RN burnout rates, increased ability to recruit RNs, and improved RN retention rates.


Regardless of how your hospital chooses to enhance nurse retention, a key element is to focus on achievement-individual and organizational- through employee attention and investment.


Christy Weaver, BSN, RN, ONC




Management Special Interest Group


Magnet Information Source


Linda D. Urden, DNSc, RN, CNA-BC, FAAN




Commission on Magnet Recognition


American Nurses Credentialing Center


Washington, DC


On the Hill

NAON Offers Health Policy Mentorship Program

Eileen Meier, NAON's legislative consultant, is seeking NAON members to be part of a mentor program in health policy. Special alerts, letters, advocacy opportunities, and programs will be sent to interested nurses. Topics will include osteoporosis, domestic violence, children's orthopaedic issues, pain, highway safety and drunk driving, and disability as the main focus points. Detailed information on testifying, writing, and advocacy will also be given. Interested members should send their e-mail addresses and telephone numbers to Eileen Meier (



The national parks of the West have been a favorite backpacking destination for Marie Bass and her family for many years. Along with the ruggedly picturesque terrain, Marie and her sons have especially enjoyed white-water rafting. "My husband," she smiles, "isn't much of a water person and likes to stand on the side and take pictures." Marie loves to travel, and she happily remembers wonderful vacations traveling through Europe and across the U.S. with husband Tom, twin sons Kevin and Martin, and daughter Kathleen. Indoor hobbies include cooking and live theatre. With several friends, Marie has season tickets at the famous Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. She also attends events at the Victory Gardens Theater and the Shakespeare Theater. Marie also enjoys the opportunity to travel to New York and experience the live theater there. "You don't just attend live theater, you experience it," she notes. "It's stimulating, invigorating, and reminds me to enjoy life, music, family, and friends."


Marie's career path included several steps toward managing a health care association. With a focus on medical technology, she earned a biochemistry degree from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) in 1972. "It's a tough curriculum, just like the nursing curriculum," she remembers. After finishing her BS, she spent a year in a hospital laboratory as part of an intense practical internship that would allow her to sit for the certification examination (MTASCP) from the American Society of Clinical Pathology. In her first position in the special hematology laboratory at the University of Chicago, Marie's certification gave her the unique opportunity to establish new clinical studies, such as hemoglobin electrophoresis.


Marie and Tom Bass married in her senior year of college and, after the birth of their twin sons 3 years later, Marie decided to take some time off work. She later returned to work part-time in a suburban hospital, keeping the position following Kathleen's birth in 1980. When her daughter started first grade, though, Marie decided to go back to school herself. By 1985, she had earned a master's degree in Continuing Education Management from the University of St. Francis (Joliet, IL). Her graduate degree allowed her to return to the hospital with full-time positions in management and quality assurance until 1991, when she decided to enter the field of association management.


During her completion of a graduate certificate program in Technical Communication (Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago), Marie had gotten involved in a volunteer group of technical writers and was in charge of their monthly meetings. "I thought this was great! I really liked being around energetic people who were focused on the future of the profession," she recalls. She accepted a position as Manager of Educational Programs for the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP), participating in the creation of hundreds of clinically focused workshops for the 80,000 members of the association. Marie was serving ASCP as Director of Marketing a few years later when she realized, "It was time to stretch a bit."


Marie studied to take the certification examination offered by the American Society of Account Executives (ASAE), earning the respected credential of Certified Association Executive (CAE) in 2001. She soon accepted a position with Smith, Bucklin & Associates (SBA) as executive director for a multidisciplinary health-care association. Recently, Marie was hired to serve as the executive director for the new SBA clients NAON and ONCB. Being closely involved with the transition of management services, she notes, "Our goal was to have the move be transparent for the individual members of NAON and ONCB. While moving an association is a huge undertaking, members should really not see any gap in services." Of the opportunity to work with both orthopaedic groups, Marie says, "There are some real synergies between NAON and ONCB, and some real opportunities for both organizations to grow and support each other." Marie looks forward to serving NAON and ONCB and anticipates an exciting future for the two organizations. She is eager to meet the membership at the Orlando Congress.


Spring Examination Application Deadlines

May 3, 2003 (Multiple permanent sites)


May 18, 2003 (Orlando, FL)


March 22 postmark


April 4 postmark



Figure. Elsa Chung, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Elsa Chung, Margaritta Chui, Dr. L.Y. Leung, Mary Marshall, Julia Kneale, and Paula Li pause during a tour of Yan Chai Hospital, Hong Kong.
Figure. Marie Bass... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Marie Bass