1. Wollan, Mary K. RN, BAN, ONC

Article Content

As NAON begins its 29th year, I am very proud and excited to be its president. This continues to be an exciting time to be an orthopaedic nurse, and thanks to the leadership and direction of those who have gone before me, NAON is in a position to continue to support us as we work to advance the specialty of orthopaedic nursing.

FIGURE. Mary K. Woll... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE. Mary K. Wollan, RN, BAN, ONC

While looking ahead to Congress 2009 in Tampa, I was impressed by the beauty, grace, and strength of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which crosses Tampa Bay. What struck me were the similarities between a well-designed bridge and nursing. Like the bridge, nursing is often the link uniting differing areas and interests. Like the bridge, at our core is our education and training, which give us our strength. This is enhanced by our caring and compassion, which gives us our inner grace and beauty.


Orthopaedics is a diverse specialty with a wide variety of functions and roles. It encompasses patients, physicians, research, and industry, and is found in acute units, the operating room, ambulatory settings, and rehabilitation facilities. It is not limited to the United States but exists around the world in areas of varying socioeconomic development. The common denominator, the one thing that unites all these facets, is nursing. We are present or involved in most all of these aspects of orthopaedics. We are the caregivers, the patient and staff educators, and the support for physicians, family, and friends. Regardless of where we practice, it is nursing that unites all of the different aspects of orthopaedics.


NAON's mission statement is to advance the art and science of orthopaedic healthcare by promoting excellence in research, education, and nursing practice. Our culture statement speaks of professional collaboration based on trust, respect, integrity, and passion for orthopaedics.


With Congress, the AAOS Nursing and Allied Health courses, as well as all the chapters and regional offerings, our educational offerings have the ability to keep members and other orthopaedic nurses up to date on the care they provide to their patients. Publications, including the Orthopaedic Nursing journal, the Core, and other products, provide the latest in orthopaedic nursing knowledge and information.


Currently NAON is actively involved with the AAOS in several areas, and we hope for more chances for collaboration in the future. We have participated in their Patient Safety Committee and are currently involved in the Bone and Joint Decade and other initiatives, giving us the opportunity to strengthen our ties to the Academy.


Along with orthopaedic nurses in Canada, the United Kingdom, Malta, Hong Kong, and Australia, we are members of the International Collaboration of Orthopaedic Nurses. As a part of this coalition, NAON is able to address issues that affect orthopaedic nurses and patients worldwide. Several of NAON's past presidents have led People to People expeditions to places such as China, Egypt, and the upcoming trip to South Africa, allowing for the exchange of information and experiences with local orthopaedic nurses.


NAON has various committees and task forces involved in many different areas of orthopaedics, including education, safe patient handling, research, and government relations. We also have our special interest groups, which focus on practice and role-related issues. These groups give members the opportunity to be involved in those areas in which they have expertise or interest. It is the involvement and participation by members in these groups that helps support the structure of NAON and enables us to remain a strong and vital organization.


As we move forward, I hope that we are able to explore the ways in which NAON and its members can continue to expand their involvement in various aspects of orthopaedics. It is an opportunity to give to others and to ourselves and our organization. I am looking forward to this next year, when we have the opportunity to reinforce the bridge that is NAON, uniting the world of orthopaedics.