About NAON

About Us

The National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that enhances the lives and careers of orthopaedic nurses. Formed in 1980, NAON was designed to promote the highest standards of nursing practice by educating its practitioners, promoting research and encouraging effective communication between orthopaedic nurses and other groups with similar interests.

NAON membership consists of more than 4,000 RNs, LPNs, LVNs, student nurses and associate members from across the country and around the world who share an interest in musculoskeletal healthcare.


NAON’s mission is to advance the specialty of orthopaedic nursing through excellence in research, education and nursing practice.

Value Statement

NAON promotes a culture of professional collaboration developed through trust, respect, integrity and passion for the specialty of orthopaedics. NAON values integrity, trust, vision, innovation, and stewardship.

Vision Statement

NAON is recognized as a renowned orthopaedic professional society.  

We are an inclusive community of orthopaedic nurses and allied health professionals, regardless of setting, who are passionate about the care of all people with musculoskeletal conditions. We deliver value through relevant and timely information, education and research on musculoskeletal conditions and provide a meaningful experience for our members and the patients and caregivers we serve. We have strong partnerships and alliances that play a role in our success.

Patients and caregivers see NAON as a trusted source for information on musculoskeletal conditions and care options helping them to feel empowered about their health and well-being.

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan of NAON is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses is, what it does and why it does it, all with a focus on the future.

The Executive Board along with Executive Management develops a long-term vision and a short-term plan to address the needs of the Orthopaedic Nursing community and the patients they serve. This plan establishes goals over a period of years that assumes the organization will need to respond to a dynamic, changing healthcare environment. View our current strategic plan here.

To review NAON's Bylaws and current policies click here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commitment

In order to advance the specialty of orthopaedic nursing, NAON is committed to fostering a culture of community where our members, partners, and stakeholders share a sense of belonging; respect what makes us different; support different experiences; and correct lasting impacts of systems that marginalize groups. To view definitions of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), click here.

We strive to be an organization with a diverse membership by reaffirming and respecting what people need. Our differences provide energy and strength to build dynamic teams, cultivate leaders, and ultimately provide better care for all patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

NAON History

After the Nurses Association (ONA) unexpectedly dissolved, members Nancy Hesselbach and Barbara Fiehler gathered with fellow orthopaedic nurses at the AAOS Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on March 8, 1980. Hesselbach and Fiehler were among many orthopaedic nurses who were continuously requesting development of an orthopaedic nursing specialty organization that would meet the needs of their members. Determined to create an association that had a strong and firm foundation for orthopaedic nurses, Hesselbach and Fiehler established and incorporated the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) in Missouri on April 14, 1980.

Click here to view an electronic version of NAON's History Scrapbook. 

Click here to see how NAON celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2020.

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