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Education Session Guidelines

Education sessions should be based on current issues and trends related to perioperative nursing practice, such as executive leadership, performance improvement, education, simulation, patient centric care, leadership, management of the perioperative arena, accountable care, value-based purchasing, health care reform, performance improvement, evidence-based practice, and research. 

If you have a submission for a 60-minute session and a similar proposal for a full-day session, please submit them separately.

Quick Links: 


The online application submission process is open year-round, but submission deadlines vary. Deadlines will be noted on the Call for Proposals page.

AORN Surgical Conference & Expo Education Session Information 

  • Our annual AORN Surgical Conference & Expo is our largest event with the widest variety of session topics. The AORN Surgical Conference & Expo proposal submission deadline is in May each year. Submissions received after that date may be reviewed and considered for the following year.
  • The majority of the concurrent education sessions are 60 minutes in length. There are few sessions that are 90 minutes in length.
  • Two-part presentations may be considered when noted as such.
  • Proposals submitted for presentation may also be submitted as Poster Displays.
  • Standard audio/visual equipment will be supplied for each presentation. Additional A/V requests, such as Internet access, may not be available. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • AORN Surgical Conference & Expo presentations are professionally recorded, and will be made available for sale with the related PowerPoint.

Pre-Conference Certificate Programs 

These workshops provide in-depth information about important perioperative topics, including tools attendees can modify and implement for their practice settings. Workshops are a minimum of 3.5 hours and a maximum of a full day (7.5 - 8.0 CH). Be sure to note the length of the session in your abstract.

Proposal Review Process 

AORN Education staff and a representative from the Evidence-Practice members work with an Education Advisory Task Force to identify topics and review session proposals.
Submission Guidelines

  1. Education session proposals are accepted through the AORN online submission process.
  2. Submissions that do not meet the criteria outlined in the submission process may not be reviewed.
  3. Each proposal is reviewed in relationship to participant input, trends in health care, and needed professional development.
  4. Acceptability of each proposal will be evaluated and rated on the organization and clarity of the proposal content and the relationship of the behavioral learning objectives relating to the proposal’s content.
  5. Please be sure to proofread your abstract and check your spelling prior to submission.
  6. All submissions are retained by AORN.
  7. Invitations for AORN education activities are made by AORN Nursing Department-Education staff members only. Other invitations are not valid.
  8. The contact person identified for each presentation will be informed of proposal status after the review process is complete. Please do not contact us for a status update.

Presentation Title

Capture the gist of your session in a few words-- the recommended title length is 30 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation. Short, direct session titles are more effective during the marketing process.


Provide a detailed narrative description of the presentation while keeping it short and simple-- the recommended overview length is a maximum of 200 words. Submit text only; proposals with graphs, tables, photos, etc. may not be reviewed.


Distill objectives from the overall purpose and/or goal(s) of the presentation. Describe the learner-oriented outcomes which may be expected as a result of participation in the educational activity. These statements should:

  • describe knowledge, skills, and attitude changes that should occur upon successful completion of the activity
  • express learner-oriented outcomes in measurable terms, using measurable, behavioral verbs such as classify, compare, demonstrate, describe, develop, differentiate, discuss, explain, identify, list, name, state
  • identify observable actions
  • specify one action or outcome per objective
  • for a 60-minute session, one or two objectives is reasonable

It is not necessary, nor is it recommended, to begin an objective by saying "The participant will be able to..."

Moderator Name 

At the end of the abstract section, you may enter the name and contact information of a colleague or friend you would like to introduce you and your program. All Moderators are required to be registered for the event and will be required to attend a webinar identifying their roles and responsibilities.

Speaker Information 

All speakers must be identified in the original submission with a maximum of two speakers per session, unless otherwise approved during the invitation process. All proposed speakers are required to enter their contact information, education, and narrative biography, and complete a conflict-of-interest form.

Please note:

AORN cannot accommodate session scheduling changes after the program is done. If you plan to be a delegate and to attend the AORN Congress Forum and AORN Congress House of Delegates at Congress, include the information with your overview so your status may be considered during the program planning.


It is suggested that you type the content of your abstract in Word or another word-processing program. By using word-processing software, you may run spell and grammar checks to be sure your abstract is in quality form before submitting it, and you will have a copy on file in case of any problems with the submission process. Just copy and paste the abstract into the overview/abstract text box when entering your submission online. 


For questions about the online proposal submission application for AORN Surgical Conference & Expo, please contact Susan Love (800-755-2676 x320).

For questions about the online proposal submission application for Pre-Conference Programs, International Summit, and Posters, please contact Beth Gabrysiak (800-755-2676 x233).

Important notes about the online process

Application Title

The “application title” requested when you begin the process is for your reference only. If you were to submit numerous proposals, all of them would be listed in the “My Applications” which is linked to your AORN record using the “application title” as reference. The actual “session title” is required in the Activity Documentation area at “new session” (see below).

Activity Documentation Section

  • Click on “new session” to begin the form and enter your “session title” in the pop-up.
  • Only one “new session” is required per submission.
  • Once you have saved the session title, you may add the objectives one at a time. For a 60-minute presentation, one or two objectives are recommended.
  • You must scroll down in the objectives dialog box to the see the save button.
  • The contact hour calculation in the Activity Document calculates the contact hours as you enter the timeframes of your objectives.

Contact Susan Love (slove@aorn.org  or x320) if you require assistance.

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