President's Message | 11.16.2023
Loops of Ribbon – We’re Better Together!

Loops of Ribbon – We’re Better Together!

This weekend my family and I decorated our Christmas tree, and I take charge of adorning the tree with its ribbon before the ornaments are applied (we all know that ribbon placement is critical to the overall look of the tree, right?).   After careful application of segmented strips of various ribbons were carefully placed and molded into loops throughout the tree, I sat back to admire my handiwork.  As I inspected the ribbon placement and made small adjustments, I couldn’t help but notice how the loops of ribbon randomly twist and turn, disappear into the depths of the tree branches, and then suddenly reappear in another part of the tree – perfection to my unprofessional-Christmas-tree-decorator’s eye!

Yet, something about this ribbon felt so familiar.  Although I didn’t weave the ribbon in one long strand through the tree, it gives off an appearance of an intricately woven, contiguous piece with consistency and fluidity.  With some introspection and reflection, you might recognize how life can take on similar sudden twists and turns, changing direction haphazardly requiring us to adjust to maintain stability amidst the chaos. 

Professionally, we must prioritize and adjust our time and tasks, and often less critical areas diminish, giving way to those of necessity and precedence.  Like the loops of ribbon that disappear into the tree, our non-essential matters fall by the wayside and get tucked away, only reemerging at certain points when we intentionally pull them to the surface at opportune or more convenient times. 

We should be intentional to pull NAON and orthopaedic nursing to the surface so that it stays visible, or “untucked”.  NAON is like the trunk of the tree and we are all of its branches.  For us to grow professionally and to keep our specialty strong, we must realign priorities to assure that the ornate ribbons that adorn our orthopaedic tree – membership, annual NAON Congress, local chapters and affiliates, webinars, review courses, podcasts, discussion forums, and educational materials – loop out to surface.  Take advantage of them.  Use them.  Help us create them or revise them.  As our theme this year reminds us, “We’re better together”, and your expertise, engagement and participation are needed to keep the continuous loops connected and streaming together.

We’ve reduced the cost of membership to make it more affordable without a reduction in what we offer.  We have also added the option of organizational membership so that you can strengthen your team by joining and enjoying the benefits NAON has to offer together.  Many have already submitted podium and poster presentations for our annual Congress which is taking place May 18-20, 2024 in Louisville, KY.  I am so excited to learn from all our wonderful presenters.  Join me and don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your orthopaedic colleagues and prioritize your specialty education.  Information about Congress can be found on the events tab of the NAON website.  Let’s go to Congress and weave our professional ribbons together to create an ornate masterpiece of education and professional advancement.  

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