1. Pearce, Angela N. MS, RN, FNP-C, ONP-C
  2. NAON President

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Last year, I was asked to speak at the Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nurses meeting in Cardiff, Wales. They were celebrating 100 years of the Royal College of Nursing, a 432,000+ membership organization and trade union that represents nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice and shaping health policies in the United Kingdom. Because I started my nursing career in England, it was a privilege to be able to return and give a presentation. The meeting was held in Cardiff city hall, a building erected in 1906 and an early example of the Edwardian Baroque style. The interior included the magnificent marble hall lined with columns of Sienna marble mounted in bronze and statues of Welsh dignitaries.

Angela N. Pearce, MS... - Click to enlarge in new window NAON President

I was able to network with some of my English nursing friends and also met orthopaedic nurses from Australia. Because of this collaboration, I am now planning a trip to Perth, Australia, to present the keynote speech at ANZONA, the Australian and New Zealand Orthopaedic Nurses Association, in October. The title of my talk is "Let's Articulate, Align, and Unite," which has a clever connotation of speaking collaboratively and describing bones. It is an honor to be asked to speak internationally and especially when it is so close to International Orthopaedic Nurses Day.


A little history of International Orthopaedic Nurses Day is that it was established in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush after a proclamation was presented by Senator Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan. It originally was Orthopaedic Nursing Day and became international when recognizing our global colleagues from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Malta in 2001.


NAON is listed in the U.S. Congressional record under Citation 136 S16279-01 in recognition of the work the association has done to advance the orthopaedic profession.


Using the familiar nursing process including assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation, I've been working on my trip to Australia. I have always wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand but never had an opportunity until now. To fulfill the obligation and see as many of the sites as possible, it was important to prepare. One of the first things I did was to line up my wingman to help me travel to such a vast continent. My husband was delighted to be able to join me, and we certainly made some memories in the process. I bought a travel book to identify key places that we wanted to visit, which has been very helpful. Australia is part of the Commonwealth with a constitutional monarchy but gained independence in 1901 and has a wide and varied history. The first fleet of British ships arrived in Sydney, New South Wales, in 1788 where a penal colony was established.


It was interesting to note that in 1776 when America gained its independence because it had beaten the British, the British then established another stronghold in Australia almost at the same time!


I then needed to set my itinerary visiting Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, with the culmination of this fabulous trip speaking at the ANZONA meeting.


It is nearly 40 years since I left England and started my orthopaedic nursing career in America. I have a good friend from New Zealand, and we have worked locally on many projects. Both of us realize that patients are patients no matter where they are in the world and that they all have the same basic needs of caring, compassion, and competence. This global connection through orthopaedic nursing has helped both of us, as we learn from each other and embrace our differences.


NAON's mission of excellence in education, research, and clinical practice is not that different from the mission of the Royal College of Nursing. As an organization, we need to find creative ways to increase our membership in NAON and be recognized as the voice for orthopaedic nursing in the United States. NAON provides value for its members, with discounts for membership in many ways including continuing education, position statements, webinars, review courses, and patient education materials, to name a few, as well as this scholarly journal. We also need to look forward to our exciting new opportunities as we develop the nurse navigator role. At the Fall Symposium, a group will be meeting and role delineation will be explored.


The definition by Merriam Webster of a member is one of the individuals composing a group. NAON is your group, and we do want to hear from you. I encourage each member to invite at least one new orthopaedic nurse to join NAON this year to increase our membership to 10,000 members.


In closing, please tell your friends and colleagues about International Orthopaedic Nurses Day. There will be products for sale through the NAON website. Please take pictures and be willing to share your local activities with NAON. I hope to post a picture of me taking a walkabout with a kangaroo or a koala bear on our NAON blog with Louis Bonestrong and Audrey Hipbone. I will also send greetings from NAON to ANZONA as we continue our global collaboration and friendship. "G'day, mate!"