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

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As NAON embarks on its 28th year, I am honored and proud to become the 28th President, and am grateful for the supportive network of the past presidents, the executive board, and the membership as I move into this position.

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In fact, one of the greatest benefits of NAON is the opportunity to network with fellow orthopaedic nurses and healthcare professionals. Personally, serving on two concurrent boards, NAON and the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade, has afforded me valuable opportunities to network with other healthcare organizations as well. As I contemplated this year's theme, it was these experiences that led me to choose: The NAON Network: Gateway to Excellence.


The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes a network as a fabric or structure of wires or cords that cross at regular intervals. You may ask: What is the NAON Network? The NAON network consists of a diverse membership, spanning all subspecialties, geographic locations, and backgrounds, with a common link to the specialty of orthopaedic nursing. Think back to when you were first informed about NAON, most likely from a NAON member, perhaps a chapter member who invited you to a local chapter meeting. This is grassroots networking, on the local level.


The Chapter Advisory Team provides regional networking opportunities for local chapters to share concerns, challenges, advice, and support with each other. Many chapters also offer regional workshops/conferences that attract members from different chapters, even across state lines. NAON is currently exploring a partnership opportunity to provide additional regional educational offerings.


National-level networking is accomplished through many venues: the Special Interest Groups, the online forum, committees, task forces, and of course networking is evident at our annual Congress. The NAON Executive Board also comprises diverse members who are interlinked to support the strategic plan and uphold the mission for the success of the organization.


NAON boards of the past dreamed of reaching out to international members and sharing information. We have now achieved partnerships with international associations, and I hope that we will continue to be able to partner with them in educational endeavors. As I meet international members, I am excited to network with them in person and via e-mail.


NAON is fortunate to have an enthusiastic Executive Board. This group of individuals is the network that will continue to position NAON as the nursing organizational leader so that our members can continue to advance the mission and vision of NAON.


A gateway is a device that allows for management of communication between networks. NAON is the gateway to excellence in orthopaedic nursing education, research, and practice. Join us this year as we continue to energize our association by networking from the gateway to the west in St. Louis to the gateway to the bays in San Jose.