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  1. Davis, Jack MSN, RN, ONC

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It is hard to believe how quickly time flies. As I write this, I am listening to the Woodstock at 50 celebrations. It has been 50 years since an estimated 500,000 showed up for 3 days of peace and music in the small town of Bethel, NY. How did the promoters attract so many? What was the secret to their "success?" As the NAON turns 40, the executive board and staff are becoming more future-focused by embracing association leadership best practices that will set an exciting strategic direction. The strategic plan must remain mission driven with an emphasis on creating value for NAON members. I will continue to use my "From the President" corner to restate the purposefully ambiguous presidential theme, "Engage Your Core" to communicate thoughts and issues surrounding the NAON. This one is a pivot to a message about the NAON membership with a pitch for all to try to recruit a new member.

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

A recent study in 2018 conducted by GrowthZone revealed that 54% of associations surveyed reported a flat or decreased number of annual memberships. The NAON lies in this category, as membership numbers have trended downward over the last 3 years from 6,300 in 2016 to 5,306 in 2018. Strategies to reverse this trend have included the creation of a membership task force, a member survey, auto renewal option, discounts, and a restructured membership tiered program. The outcomes of these efforts are yet to be determined. The NAON leadership team continues to assess, plan, and evaluate the impact of declining membership on products, programs, expenses, and revenue. Membership dues and participation are major driving factors for future direction, financial growth, and organizational stability. What else can be done to grow and maintain members?


In 2019, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) found the primary reason for people to join membership organizations was for career development, but the opportunity to give back to the organization can be the motivation to rejoin. The NAON leadership team has a renewed focus using the perspective of visualizing value through the lens of the member. The purpose is to identify significant value propositions that increase member connectivity and growth. The goal is to offer unprecedented value so that NAON members become more engaged and continue to develop a sense of belonging and positive professional experience.


Members describe the value of NAON in terms of delivering:


* Tools to enhance career development


* Speaking, Authorship, Leadership and Research


* Quality educational programs and products


* Core Curriculum, Orthopaedic Nursing Journal, Congress, AAOS Allied Health, Webinars


* Networking and mentoring opportunities


* Chapters, Affiliates, Committees, Communities, and Discussion Forums



As NAON president, I am biased but firmly believe that the NAON offers tremendous value. As a leader volunteer, my charge is to identify factors that prevent membership retention and growth and present potential solutions. Common themes and reasons for not joining or renewing membership include cost, lack of perceived value, lack of interest, and lack of time to participate.


Membership cost can be somewhat prohibitive to some. The NAON offers tiered memberships to offset cost to allow for more budget-friendly options. The lower tiers offer limited member benefits but may serve to meet needs of members with various needs. The NAON also has group membership discounts that increase savings with increased numbers. A great program called "Rave and Save" is designed for current members as an incentive to rejoin. The current member can receive 50% discount if he or she recruits a new member.


In attempts to promote the value or change the perception of value, the NAON leadership team has initiated a greater presence with marketing through social media platforms. The marketing strategy should reach a new audience and potential recruits, as well as affirming the messaging to current and recent members. Our goal is to attract orthopaedic nurses who are interested in adding value to their professional development pathway.


As we move forward and head into the NAON's 40th Anniversary year, I request that all NAON members consider ways to increase the value of the NAON and what that means to each of you and share these ideas with the NAON staff. Your outreach to potential members, especially early in their career, is valuable for our growth, and know that the NAON staff team is available to follow up with prospective members. I personally want to thank you all for your continued engagement and contributions to this great specialty organization. The challenges of membership are real, but together we will identify areas and drivers of change that leads to continued success and valuable contributions to the nursing profession. To echo the Beatle's lyrics sung 50 years ago by Joe Cocker at Woodstock, "Oooh I'll Get by With a Little Help From My Friends."


Engage your Core passion and drive to become a more professional orthopaedic nurse. Get a peer to join NAON!




American Society of Association Executives. (2019). Maximize your membership. Retrieved from https://www.asaecenter.org/membership/maximize-your-membership


GrowthZone. (2018). 2018 Association Annual survey results. Retrieved from https://growthzone.growthzoneapp.com/ap/CloudFile/Download/4rkMyaXP