1. Johnson, Charla B. DNP, RN-BC, ONC

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I was completely energized after attending the 41st Annual Congress for the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON). Although the programming was virtual, the synchronous and asynchronous format allowed time to celebrate with the stars and connect with colleagues across the country. The poster and podium sessions both enhanced and validated my orthopaedic nursing knowledge. The closing speaker, Colette Carlson, provided an engaging and uplifting message to help each nurse grow as authentic leaders who influence and create impact through connection.

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During the closing ceremony, I was able to share my presidential theme, Dare to Lead, and the stories and inspiration behind the message. For me, setting goals was key to my professional growth and leadership development. Understanding my motivations, goals, and aspirations required a great deal of self-reflection. Take time for self-reflection on your journey. It is the best gift you can give yourself. Knowing your values, passions, and aspirations will help you set realistic and achievable goals. Achieving goals will require hard work and you may encounter setbacks, so develop a plan, be prepared, and persevere through rough times. Your goals should align with your purpose and character. You can leverage your interests to complement your gifts and talents (or your workplace skills). Know your strengths and build on those.


When setting goals, ask yourself some questions:


* What is my goal(s) and why?


* Is this goal from a selfish motive or are am I operating with a healthy heart?


* What are my passions and things I really care about?


* What do I value? Reflect on your wants and needs.



When we set goals, we begin to perceive and behave in ways to achieve them. Writing your goals down is essential in providing clarity and motivation. In a study by Gardner and Albee (2015), a positive effect in goal accomplishment was seen from participants who wrote their goals as compared with those who did not. An even greater effect in goal accomplishment was seen with sharing and accountability. When goals were written down, shared with a peer, and updates on progress to goals were provided weekly to a peer, a highest level of achievement was seen (Gardner & Albee, 2015). Once you create your "bucket list" of goals, you need to evaluate your current state. Write down your abilities, skills, natural gifts, qualifications, and achievements. Understanding your current state will help you identify potential opportunities to gain knowledge, experience, and additional skill sets for your future. There is a scripture in the Bible, Isaiah 32:8, "But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand."


Are you looking to add new skills or refine your skills? For professional development, you may need to acquire enhanced technology skills, improve interpersonal skills, master specific skill sets, accept a chair or cochair position, advance academic degree, and/or obtain board certification. NAON is the right place to help support your professional growth. Opportunities are available at the national level and at the local chapter and affiliate levels. Do you need opportunities to work with and/or lead teams? Join a NAON committee or task force such as:


* Acquiring Interested Members Committee (AIM)


* Advancing the Career of Orthopaedic RNs (ACORN)


* Chapter and Affiliate Team (CAT)


* Leadership Search Committee (LSC)


* Local Affairs Task Force


* NAON Education Committee (NEC)


* Research Committee



Your nursing career can sail to new places and in the right direction as you begin to Dare to Lead.




Gardner S., Albee D. (2015). Study focuses on strategies for achieving goals, resolutions. Press Releases, 266.[Context Link]