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Specialty Assemblies

Changing technology and medical care needs are creating new demands for education and more focused specialization within the perioperative nursing field. There are 16 specialty assemblies that offer a formal structure within AORN to facilitate national networking of AORN members interested in a subspecialty or interest area. Now AORN is offering more ways than ever to get in touch with your colleagues through specialty assemblies including:

  • Access to nursing practice consultants for each specialty assembly

  • ORNurseLink, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for you to participate in discussion groups; share documents, information, and ideas; and network with peers in your practice area

  • Face-to-face educational conferences focused on specific practice areas

Purposes of the specialty assemblies include providing and promoting a dynamic network, serving as a forum for communication, identifying and exploring patient care issues, addressing current trends and issues, and promoting specialized education programming. Each specialty assembly is governed by a group called the coordinating council, which is comprised of volunteer members. You must be a member of the specialty assembly to volunteer to serve as a coordinating council, committee, or task force member.

Specialty assemblies offer you an opportunity to interact with other nursing leaders from across the nation who share an interest in your specialty. AORN nurse members are provided with membership in one specialty assembly as part of their annual AORN dues. Members may choose to join additional specialty assemblies and may belong to as many as they wish.

Specialty Assembly Mission Statement & Purpose

To meet the unique needs of the specialty by providing a voice for the specialty within AORN and a community for discussion, networking, and mentorship.

  • Promote communication among RNs with similar work interests.

  • Provide a forum for networking.

  • Identify and explore patient care issues and promote specialized education.

  • Support the mission of AORN.

Specialty Assembly Governance

Want to become more involved in a Specialty Assembly? Volunteer for a leadership position on the Coordinating Council! The first step for successful participation is to complete the Willingness-to-Serve form. The electronic version of the form will automatically enter your information into a centralized database for five years. You will receive a confirmation of receipt from AORN Headquarters and the form will be forwarded to leaders in the Specialty Assembly. If you prefer, you can download a copy of the form from the "Supporting Documents" section of this page. Please contact the Member Groups Governance Coordinator at 800-755-2676, Ext. 427 if you have any questions.

There are currently 16 Specialty Assemblies which are led by a Coordinating Council, each structured as follows:

  • Chair as the coordinator, usually a one-year term

  • Past Chair (to assume Election Coordinator role)

  • Education Chair coordinates efforts to assess, study, discuss and exchange information pertinent to educational issues and activities

  • Communications Chair gathers and disseminates information to the SA membership

  • Professional/Practice Issues Chair will explore practice issues and concerns, which are identified by the membership

  • Chair Elect, identified from one of the following coordinating council positions, education chair, communications chair or professional/practice issues chair

  • Board Liaison, assigned by AORN President

  • Member Groups Governance Coordinator serves as staff consultant for all SA's

The AORN Board approves Specialty Assembly operating guidelines when the Specialty Assembly is approved for formation. Operating guidelines are different than bylaws because they are updated by the Coordinating Council rather than by a vote of the general membership. Open dialogue is welcomed between the Coordinating Council and Specialty Assembly members regarding changes to the guidelines.

Guidelines for Perioperative Practice


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