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Diversity and Inclusion Header

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the Perioperative Community

AORN’s pledge to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare is based, in part, on the ANA Code of Ethics that governs our profession. 

This includes advocating for a diverse perioperative workforce that can provide care in their patient’s native language, understand cultural differences, or suggest appropriate resources to help fill the gap for better health literacy and peri-operative care.

We are ethically responsible to provide leadership in the development and implementation of changes in public and health policies that support this duty and maintains the integrity of our profession.

Our unwavering commitment to DEI is reflected in these resources and perspectives:

What is DEI?

Diversity: Broad concept that embraces individual differences.

Equity: Fairness and respect. Individuals feel supported, valued, and trusted.

Inclusion: Involvement, engagement, and empowerment of all individuals. Leveraging everyone's’ talents and strengths so that they can contribute to his or her full potential.


In July 2020, AORN’s Executive Team and Board of Directors created a comprehensive DEI plan that established the following goals:

  1. Have a diversified staff, reflective of the community it serves.
  2. Maintain a diversified membership, reflective of the national benchmark.
  3. Have a diversified board of directors, reflective of its membership makeup.
  4. Develop and implement programs locally and nationally to support communities of color.
  5. Educate perioperative teams on the impact of health care disparities for the surgical patient and strive to improve the outcome of care for diverse patients.

Please contact us for more information on AORN’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts.

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Group of diverse team members

Barba Edwards

The AORN Foundation is proud to announce the Barba Edwards Scholarship Fund

Edwards served as president of AORN during the 1976-77 term and, in her honor as the first and only African American to serve in this position, the scholarship will fund students and nurses of color who are in pursuit of a Master’s, Bachelor’s or Doctoral degrees in the field of nursing.