1. Howe, Cynthia M. MSN, RN, ONC

Article Content

As I write this final president's message, it is hard to believe that a year has past. Thanks to you, the members and the NAON network of dedicated volunteer leaders, it has been a very fruitful year for NAON and much progress has been made in implementing the organization's Strategic Plan that was outlined in my first message. We should all take pleasure in reflecting on our roles this past year that helped advance NAON's mission. Each and every contribution is important and appreciated. I would like to acknowledge the following NAON accomplishments achieved in the past year.

Figure. Cynthia M. H... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Cynthia M. Howe, MSN, RN, ONC

Immediately following Congress 2007, NAON proudly launched our redesigned Web site full of great improvements and additions. Erin Hart, RN, CPNP, was appointed NAON web editor to ensure that our new Web site would stay current and updated with pertinent information for our membership.


Another new position was developed in 2007-Director of Programs. This is an expanded role from the previous Director of Education position and incorporates all three branches of NAON's mission: Education, Research and Nursing Practice. NAON was pleased to appoint Jan Foecke, MS, RN, ONC, into this role in the Fall of 2007. Jan has brought fresh, innovative ideas and has made great strides moving NAON forward as the premier provider of orthopaedic nursing education, research, and practice.



Our education division has been busy developing new programs, as well as new methods for delivering learning opportunities to members including:


* online courses with instant contact hours on the NAON website


* Teleconferences (the first on February 20, 2008-The Role of Nurses and Medical Assistants in the Orthopaedic Office Setting; A Cohesive Approach; followed by April 8, 2008 - Sports Medicine: Female Athlete Triad; and planned for September 18, 2008 - Boning up on Patient Education);


* eCongress courses (Fragile, Handle with Care; Congress 101; etc.)


* Stryker Grant/ NAON Regional Symposiums at various locations around the country. Thus far 3 regional conferences, Effective Management of Traumatic Hip Fracture and Lower Extremity Patients, have been held in CT; Ft. Lauderdale, FL.; Elmhurst, NY with future regional symposiums planned for August 23, 2008 - Chicago, IL; October 4, 2008 - Denver, CO; and November 22, 2008 - Los Angeles, CA



NAON's Nursing and Allied Health Program held in conjunction with the AAOS annual meeting was a huge success once again with more attendees than 2007-thank you to the co-chairs. The Congress education committee has also planned outstanding topics and speakers for the 28th Annual Congress. Visit to read the details on this year's Congress, which will take place May 17-21, 2008 in San Jose, CA. While you're visiting the NAON website, be sure to register for the event!!



The research division is evaluating the current structure of the Research Committee and the Research Objectives and Plan for 2008-2009. One of their goals is to help nurses understand Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) and to utilize research in their practice.


The first in the series of NAON's Smartcards (evidence-based quick reference cards) were introduced in 2007 and focused on Deep Vein Thrombosis and Compartment Syndrome. The next Smartcards in the series, Pressure Ulcer and Fat Embolism Syndrome, will soon join them. NAON members are also fortunate to have access to the cutting edge research articles published in our own prestigious, Orthopaedic Nursing Journal (ONJ).


The NAON Safe Patient Handling and Movement taskforce, developed in 2006, has completed it's work with the American Nurses Association, Dr. Audrey Nelson and colleagues from the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, and members of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to prevent work-related musculoskeletal injuries from orthopaedic high-risk tasks. NAON's work on this initiative provides evidenced-based and practical ergonomic methods for safe patient handling of orthopaedic patients to prevent injuries in nurses and patients. These algorithms will be shared with NAON membership at Congress and made available on the Web site.



NAON's practice initiatives include enhancing the role of the Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The SIGs are offering educational sessions at this year's Congress. NAON has added functionality to the SIG Discussion Forums that now allows documents to be attached; this will enhance use of the Discussion Forums.


NAON completed the revision of the 6th Edition of Orthopaedic Nursing Core Curriculum and revision of the Orthopaedic Nursing Review Course is well underway. The ONCB has seen a great increase in Orthopaedic Certified Nurses and this past year has added the Advance Practice ONP and OCNS exams. The ONCB is proudly celebrating their 25th anniversary this year-congratulations!!


Growth of the NAON network

This past year proved to be a year of growth for NAON under the theme, "The NAON Network: Gateway to Excellence". NAON enhanced networking opportunities among members, chapters, international colleagues, and other professional organizations.


NAON has enjoyed continued membership growth, and ended 2007 with 6444 members-the highest in the past 5 years!! This success is due in part to the "Each One, Reach One" recruitment campaign that enrolled 191 new members in 2007 and continues to be strong in 2008. NAON's new banners displayed in exhibit halls have brought in a great deal of interest to the NAON booth from fellow healthcare professionals. Congratulations to the Professional and Public Relations Committee on a very successful year!!


NAON has also worked with the Chapter Advisory Team to support and strengthen chapters, such as: tutorials offering assistance with Chapter Web sites; Lunch and Learn educational conference calls to assist chapters with completing Annual Reports and IRS form 990; and this year's Annual Congress Leadership Seminar will focus on Chapter Leadership Development.


The International Collaboration of Orthopaedic Nurses (ICON) was formed in 2000 and now has representatives from eight different countries. Recently, The Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing (SOTN) secured funding from the Royal College of Nursing to set up an international E mentoring project over a 2-year period. ICON members have been invited to participate in this endeavor, and NAON is proud to have Anita Meehan, one of ICON's founding members, serving as the NAON representative on this project.


This is only a partial list of all the NAON accomplishments this past year, but as you can tell, it has been a busy and productive year!! In addition to thanking all of our volunteer leaders, I wanted to extend an enormous thanks to our Headquarters Staff and Management Team at Smith Bucklin for an outstanding job. Together, we have opened the gateway to orthopaedic excellence for a successful NAON future.


It has truly been a privilege to serve the NAON membership as the 28th president. I am now proud and honored to take my place among NAON's past-presidents and continue to support the organization.