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  1. Davis, Jack MSN, RN, ONC

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I thoroughly enjoyed the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses' (NAON's) 39th Annual Congress, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia, from May 19 to 21. Congress always builds upon my orthopaedic nursing knowledge, connects me with like-minded professionals, rekindles friendships, and re-energizes my spirit of inquiry. I would like to congratulate the Congress Unit of the NAON Education Committee (NEC) who offered a program where participants could earn up to 30.5 Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) hours. The poster and podium sessions included tracks that focused on clinical practice, education, advanced practice, research, and leadership. The poster session also had a track dedicated to certification. Immediate Past-President, Mickey Haryanto's theme of "Keep Moving Forward" was threaded throughout the sessions and resonated well with keynote speaker Risa Mish's presentation on "Building Resilience." I learned and took away more than a few educational pearls.

Jack Davis, MSN, RN,... - Click to enlarge in new window NAON President

The annual event is a prime example of how we put NAON's mission; "To advance the specialty of orthopaedic nursing through excellence in research, education and nursing practice" into action. During the closing ceremony, I unveiled my presidential theme, "Engage Your Core" and plan to reinforce the principal message and underlying purpose, which is to encourage NAON members to become more engaged. I'll use this president's message forum to highlight research engagement.


NAON's mission drives our strategic plan and the current 2017-2019 plan includes the following research goal statement. The NAON will support orthopaedic nursing research that improves or impacts musculoskeletal care across the healthcare continuum. We used this goal to align objectives with outcomes, assign accountability, and allocate resources. The research objective in this strategic plan was succinct and measureable: the NAON will fund an orthopaedic nursing research project and disseminate the findings. The Research Committee took a systematic approach to achieve the objective by taking the following action steps:


* Develop an application and selection process.


* Develop a comprehensive list of research topics that would contribute to the body of research in orthopaedic nursing.


* Identify and secure funding to support the research.


* Select a research project for funding.



The application and selection process is detailed, comprehensive and outlines requirements related to grant purpose, eligibility, funding, guidelines, and expectations. Every year, the research committee reviews letters of intent (LOI), provides feedback, and determines whether the LOI warrants a full grant proposal. Over the course of the 2017-2019 strategic plan cycle, the committee reviewed 20 LOI. During this time, the number of submissions has grown from 4, 6 to 10, respectively.


The committee has also submitted budget requests and received board approval to fund research with over $32,000 in grants allocated to two investigators during this same timeline. The decision to approve grant funding is taken very seriously. Following selection of research project funding, the committee monitors the progress and routinely provides updates to the board.


The committee has been very active and busy over the last few years. For their tireless efforts, the 2018 NAON Research Committee was recognized with the 2018-2019 Outstanding Service to NAON award. In addition, the Nursing Research Committee Chair, Debra L. Sietsema, MSN, PhD, was recognized with the 2018-2019 Distinguished Service to NAON award. Both awards were announced in Atlanta during Congress. Congratulations to the entire committee!


I have sensed that NAON nursing research was gaining momentum. I went back to review Congress sessions via the fabulous NAON Congress app and discovered an increased number of accepted poster and podium sessions categorized in the research track over the last 3 Congress events:


* 2016 Research Track (7 Posters and 2 Podiums)


* 2017 Research Track (9 Posters and 2 Podiums)


* 2018 Research Track (16 Posters and 4 Podiums)



This bodes well for the NAON as the organization's membership and leaders continue to recognize the increasing value of orthopaedic-specific nursing research in the quest to advance the specialty of orthopaedic nursing. We continue to demonstrate a commitment to disseminating research-focused contributions and new evidence that advances nursing science and patient care. So, how can NAON members become more engaged in research? Here are a few ideas to consider:


* Participate in a quality improvement initiative or adopt an evidence-based practice project in your work environment.


* Collaborate with a colleague who has research experience and interest.


* Attend NAON education sessions with a research focus.


* Reach out to the NAON Research Committee for mentoring support.


* Volunteer to serve as a member of the NAON research committee.


* Review and critique Orthopaedic Nursing Journal (ONJ) research manuscripts during your journal club activities.


* Volunteer to be an ONJ manuscript reviewer.


* Submit a manuscript to the ONJ.


* Submit a poster or podium abstract to 2020 Congress.


* Submit an LOI for a future NAON Research Grant.



In summary, the NAON supports orthopaedic nursing research through mission-driven strategies. Research as a concept is designed to generate new knowledge that serves to guide nursing practice. Orthopaedic nurses are everywhere and practice continues to evolve at a rapid pace. NAON members have access to orthopaedic experts, educational content, and grant resources. I encourage all members to become more engaged and leverage the value of your professional organization to drive positive change, create influence, and achieve excellence in research.


The NAON board and invited stakeholders will meet in September 2019 to outline our next strategic plan to shape and chart our future direction. I encourage members to visit the Executive Board page on the NAON website at http://www.orthonurse.org to engage with your board members and provide feedback and share your thoughts on other research topics, ideas, or strategies. Thank you in advance for becoming more engaged in research. Engage Your Core ...