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  1. Patterson, Miki

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I think that communication is the most essential piece in a world that is continuously changing. I also think that a picture paints a thousand words, so I have drawn this mini forest to talk about the changes that have occurred with our national association. The middle tree represents NAON. It is the professional association for orthopedic nurses in this nation (welcoming international members, too). It is made up of members and associate members who believe in advancing the art and science of orthopedic care!! Our mission is to advance the quality of musculoskeletal health care by promoting excellence in research, education, and nursing practice. We have grown from a sapling in 1980 to a sturdy tree. You can see that two limbs have been trimmed to allow growth of our profession.

FIGURE. Miki Patters... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE. Miki Patterson, PhD(c), NP, ONC, NAON President 2006-2007

ONCB is now a separate tree. The Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board (ONCB) is the organization responsible for creating, maintaining, and updating the orthopaedic nurse certification exam. It has separated from NAON in order to meet criteria set by American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) for accreditation of the ONC exam. ONCB needed to demonstrate governing and financial independence from the specialty member association (NAON), which was an early step in a costly process that they are undertaking for orthopedic nursing's professional growth. They recently completed a role delineation study to provide further evidence that the nursing specialty exists (i.e., a well-defined field of nursing practice with its own body of research). This is no small undertaking, and for this NAON salutes you!! Their mission is "ONCB provides certifications that promote professional development and enhance the practice of orthopaedic nursing." In addition, another lengthy process will soon bear fruit. Certification exams, which will be offered this fall, have been developed for Orthopedic Clinical Nurse Specialists and Orthopedic Nurse Practitioners.

FIGURE. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE. No caption available.

This development brings us to the new sapling, the NAON Foundation. In order for our foundation to attain 501(c)(3) charitable tax exempt status, they also had to become a separate entity from NAON. They have been in the process of establishing governance and financial independence from NAON. Their mission is to "[horizontal ellipsis] support the goals and mission of NAON by providing funding for grants and scholarships to advance orthopaedic nursing practice, education, research and leadership." They are working hard to raise funds to support orthopedic nursing research and advanced education opportunities for NAON members. Your charitable gifts will be the water and sunshine this sapling needs to grow to support our mission!!


As you can see, we are three separate trees in a forest devoted to supporting nurses who work in orthopedics or with patients and families that have musculoskeletal conditions. We are all working together to provide funding for education and research, exams, and certification demonstrating excellence in orthopedic nursing practice and a place where education, networking, and professional growth can be nurtured. Watch these trees grow-or help these trees grow and our patients and profession will benefit.