Candidates Q&A

Understand the roles of the AORN Board of Directors and Nominating Committee.

Candidates running for the 2018-2019 term will answer member's questions about their vision for the perioperative profession and their ideas to support AORN’s future. The questions and answers are posted below for your review.

President-Elect

  • What is the vision that you have for the Association and what is one thing you propose that the association could do to meet that vision?

    Missi Merlino, MHA, RN-BC, CNOR, CSSM


    In 1999 the membership voted to change the name of the Association to include all nurses providing care throughout the perioperative arena, not just the operating room. If we are to fulfill our mission of promoting safety and optimal outcomes to our patients and the vision to be the indispensable resource in the delivery of perioperative nursing care, we must actively engage our colleagues in the preoperative and postoperative phases of care as well as other outpatient settings where invasive procedures are performed.

    An increase in practice resources and collaboration, possibly through affiliation, with associations who have been dedicated to these diverse settings, as well as expanding our ambulatory surgery offerings have the potential to increase our membership based on the needs of these perioperative nurses. It is through inclusion and teamwork that our patients and members will not only benefit but thrive.

    All perioperative nurses regardless of their specific practice setting must see the value of membership in order for AORN to remain relevant and viable in the future.

    Dawn Yost, MSN, RN, BSDH, RDH, CNOR, CSSM


    In my Election Statement, I pledged to listen to the membership, contribute to patient safety developmental materials, and to provide a sound fiduciary base for AORN. Since AORN is a membership organization, I would like the vision to focus on the membership and providing resources for the membership to use daily while providing optimal surgical care to our patients when they are having their surgical and invasive procedures.

    Some of the areas of focus may include:

    • Continued review of the AORN Guidelines to provide current direction for perioperative nurses when rendering optimal care to the patients we serve.
    • Expansion of Tool Kits and other educational resources.
    • Enhancement of Local Chapter Services and assistance in obtaining higher star ratings in chapter accountability reports.
    • Engagement of AORN membership in obtaining life-long learning by seeking and maintaining certification in perioperative nursing.
    • Continued recruitment of new AORN members that work in the perioperative settings in the United States and globally.
  • What is another area of importance to you as a perioperative nurse and president-elect that you would like to have the Board of Directors focus on during your term as President?

    Missi Merlino, MHA, RN-BC, CNOR, CSSM


    In today’s marketplace technology is a make or break area for any company. Over the past 4 years, AORN has been working on our digital presence and has made headway in providing resources to our members. We have invested in a new web platform, continue to work on our database to ensure correct member information and services, and updated our online community in ORNurseLink. We have seen the launch of mobile applications for the Journal and the website as well as access to the Guideline Essentials.

    Members need access to information at their fingertips. We have a diverse board that represents many areas of practice and settings, but in order for the board to make informed decisions during strategic planning we also need to input from the members. It is the frontline nurses, educators, and nurse leaders who must communicate their ideas on what will make their work easier. Perioperative nurses are creative problem-solvers – we work with what we have and manage to make it better for our patients and facilities. Information technology will continue to increase the use of clinical decision support systems and AORN must be prepared to adapt and incorporate our resources to new technologies.

    Dawn Yost, MSN, RN, BSDH, RDH, CNOR, CSSM


    To remain relevant as the leading authority in providing evidence–based guidance materials and information for perioperative nurses globally, AORN Board of Directors is challenged to provide quality information and data to the membership. The AORN Board of Directors must focus on keeping the Association fiscally viable while keeping the membership at the forefront of every decision they make in the boardroom. Staying true to the core values of communication, quality, innovation, and collaboration, the Board of Directors will have to work with industry leaders, other professional and regulatory organizations to remain abreast of political and socio-economic issues that shape healthcare daily. They may seek to diversify their fiscal core to include additional income options, like they have in the recent years of development of Syntegrity and Pfiedler Enterprizes.

    Awareness of the ever changing political arena and healthcare regulation is a must for every AORN Board member. By knowing the changes that may affect healthcare and the healthcare industries, the Board of Directors will be able to make decisions that will have a positive outcome for the AORN membership and the AORN fiscal bottom line.

Vice-President

  • List two (2) skill sets of the office of Vice President and give descriptive examples of each, highlighting evidence that you possess these two skill sets.

    Holly S. Ervine, MSN, RN, CNOR


    Two skill sets of the office of Vice President are active listening and prudent decision making. Active listening requires concentration, understanding, responding and remembering. Prudent decision making necessitates that any decisions are always made in the best interest of the Association using the information given to the Board at the time. While working as a member of the Board, these two skills are consistently used simultaneously. During the last four years on the Board, I have entered each meeting and conference call prepared for the agenda. Using active listening, I focus on the information being presented, ask crucial questions and vote in a manner that will be in the best strategic direction for the future of AORN and our members. During my tenure, and after careful deliberation, I voted to support the decision to invest in myAORNguidelines, Pfiedler Enterprises and to allocate money to improve the AORN website.

    Carrie Simpson, BSN, RN-BC, CNOR


    1. Collaboration
      I am a collaborative leader who values teamwork and recognizes that brainstorming and diverse perspectives always bring unique insights to problem-solving and decision-making. I understand that the decisions we make as a board rely on the collaborative efforts of a diverse team of individuals and can only be made after careful thinking, reflecting, and consideration of alternatives from everyone involved.

    2. Communication
      True to AORN’s value, I am an open, honest, and respectful communicator. I believe that a good communicator transcends written and verbal communication by being a good listener, thinking before they speak, and conveying a sense of openness and non-judgment to those they speak with. I communicate deliberately and with integrity, always with the membership in mind.
  • Using quality and outcomes as a basis, how would you describe the value of AORN membership and participation to hospital executives.

    Holly S. Ervine, MSN, RN, CNOR


    I believe you get out of your involvement what you put into it. According to the ANA, professional organizations and associations in nursing are critical for generating the energy, flow of ideas, and proactive work needed to maintain a healthy profession that advocates for the needs of its clients and nurses. Nurses who are engaged in AORN, have a knowledge of the Guidelines, can access the Guideline Essentials and have the ability to utilize the resources as part of AORN membership. Participation also provides nurses with an international network of colleagues that can be called on to discuss practice issues, solve mutual problems and implement change processes. Attending AORN events allows nurses to participate in the highest caliber of educational topics on perioperative practice. The value of AORN membership and participation allows the nurse to provide their patient with the utmost level of quality care, the nurse’s highest duty.

    Carrie Simpson, BSN, RN-BC, CNOR


    Today’s health care challenges hospitals to provide high-quality care, defining value as improving patient outcomes while reducing costs at the same time. AORN is a vital resource for hospitals in these challenging times, and, by encouraging and supporting their team members to be active, engaged members, they will have better access to this resource. AORN is not only a driving force behind quality improvement and positive patient outcomes but also a membership organization that exposes nurses to resources and networking with like-minded professionals around the world to share best practices and insight into improving perioperative patient care. Members have access to critical resources that empower them to speak up for their patient, leading to behaviors that improve patient safety and the provision of high-value care across the perioperative continuum, ultimately contributing to successful hospital performance.

Secretary

  • What do you think is the most important duty when representing AORN as AORN Secretary?

    Elizabeth Pincus, MBA, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CNS-CP, CNOR


    AORN’s secretary ensures that integrity is never compromised. First and foremost, I will guarantee that all documents including minutes, motions and role calls are accurate and free from error or bias. Dissemination of information and updates to our members is imperative to AORN’s mission and ongoing success. In addition, the Secretary is a member of the Compliance Committee, which is responsible for ensuring that AORN acts in accordance with all laws, rules and regulations.

    This role requires someone who will speak up and ask the difficult questions that people are afraid to ask. The Secretary is a voice of reason and helps enforce the notion of always doing what is right, rather than what is popular. I have held steadfast to these principles as a board member and will continue to do so as your Secretary.

    Mary C. Russell, MN, RN, FNP-BC, CNOR


    As AORN’s Secretary the most important duty is to clearly articulate the mission of AORN. As the recognized leader in perioperative practice, we must continue to pursue excellence in our own practice as well as the health care setting. By listening to our members and always remaining a steadfast champion for patient safety. We will continue to utilize AORN’s resources such as our tool kits, publications and position statements to strategically move our organization forward in today’s ever changing health care arena. We need to increase our membership in areas where perioperative care is delivered, providing nurses with the most current and evidence based standards to guide their practice. But always keeping our patient’s safety first and foremost in all our decision making.

  • List two (2) key components of effective communication and how do you plan on applying them in the role of Secretary?

    Elizabeth Pincus, MBA, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CNS-CP, CNOR


    The first component of effective communication is sharing clear & concise information. We have many opportunities to reach our members using various forms of media, but media can leave a message open to interpretation. My objective would be to share information that is factual, ensuring that members clearly understand every correspondence.

    The second component is providing a mechanism for feedback. AORN is a membership organization and each member has a voice. When we disseminate information, it is vital that we have ways that members can provide their thoughts and comments. As nurses, we know that the most effective communication is closed loop communication. We must close the loop to be certain that our message was received and be sure that opportunities for feedback are not only available but easy to find and also easy to use. This would be a priority to me as your Secretary.

    Mary C. Russell, MN, RN, FNP-BC, CNOR


    The key to effective communication is driven by two components: active listening and ensuring accurate communication. Active listening is vital to gather information in order to make sound decisions in the board room. I will bring your concerns forward, making sure your needs are heard. By listening to you the members my voice will be your voice in the board room and all healthcare setting. Second by ensuring accurate communication. As your Secretary I will share your stories and concerns with other organizations, in the board room or any location perioperative nursing voices need to be clearly heard. My tools will include accurate information utilizing our standards, tool kit, guidelines and evidence based practice to advocate for perioperative nursing and our patients.

Board of Directors

  • A new innovative product or service comes before the Board for consideration. What things will you consider when deciding if this is a good investment for the association?

    Elizabeth (Liz) Austin, DNP, RN, CNOR


    Important investment decisions require evaluation of product alignment with AORN purpose, principles, and people. AORN’s core value of innovation must be applied with the other values of quality, communication, and diversity in mind. Knowledgeable Board members should ask about long term benefits for patients, the members, and the AORN organization. Guiding principles for consideration of new products or services are the item history and sponsoring company, and analytic investment tools that can be used for cost/value/maintenance review of the product. It is important to be open to new technology, however with the caution of financial requirements for quality and future return on investment or the potential for out-of-date or requiring upgrade. Member experience or knowledge is invaluable and careful consideration of the protection of personal information and proprietary information are important people-centered considerations. At the core of the perioperative nursing standards is the mandate of all decisions, safe care.

    Lisa Bailey, BS, RN, CNOR


    When I am approached with a new innovative product or service, I consider how this impacts patient care. I will ask many questions with regards to patient safety and cost. As for the association, I would consider how the product or service benefits the members, such as impacting continuing education, the way perioperative nurses deliver care, or simply how the membership communicates with each other. Another key consideration is the financial impact and risk associated with the decision.

    The association currently has innovative products and services to bring perioperative nurses to the cutting edge of our profession. I will strive to use good judgement and insight when faced with these types of decisions as a member of the Board.

    Stephen Balog, MSN, RN, CNOR


    When an investment opportunity, either a service or product is brought before the Board of Directors there are several considerations to be evaluated. How does the opportunity fit with the core values of AORN? Is the service or product of high quality? What is the cost to the Association to partner or purchase the service or product? What is the value to AORN and the membership? Can the membership use the service or product in a way to enhance their care of patients in the OR? Can the opportunity be marketed to generate a revenue stream and increase the viability of the Association? Has the Chief Financial Officer and finance team reviewed the opportunity with due diligence regarding financial stability, cash flow and market strength? All of these questions and more need to be considered before the Board gives its final approval to invest in these various opportunities.

    Laura Gayton, MHA, BSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM


    I would ask does this product/service align with AORN’s vision and our clear strategy for where we need to grow our services/products. What services/products should we focus on? What evidence shows there is a demand and it benefits AORN membership? Does the comprehensive return on investment analysis show it will create return business from our members or new markets?

    With the evidence given to make this decision, I will fact check the data, ensure that we have gathered information from several sources and ask are we relying too much on what has worked in the past? Will this product provide growth for AORN and potentially evolve into multiple new products/services? The licensing agreement and business plan must include a robust marketing plan and support a healthy return on investment for both member and financially be beneficial to AORN as a value add to AORN membership.

    Merideth Lewis-Cooney, BSN, RN, CNOR


    The most important consideration about any new product or service is to ascertain alignment with our mission and vision as an association. A next step would be to determine the function of the product or service and explore the costs, risks, benefits and alternatives along with the potential unforeseen consequences. The overriding consideration is: is this particular product or service in line with what our membership values? Critical consideration is paramount. The basic questions include: Why is this something to consider; what are the costs and value for what it may do for the association; How will the implementation occur; and When might this happen. Lastly, if the product or service is viewed as beneficial, having regular evaluations for efficacy that promote the continued use of the product or service is paramount. Staying focused, nimble and innovative will help guide decisions along with the approval and support of the membership.

    Darlene B. Murdock, BSN, BA, RN, CNOR


    Innovation is one of our core values which include creativity, risk taking, and leading edge. Innovation is a complex process that requires research and development. The first thing I would do as a Board member would be to consider whether the product/service is consistent with the needs of perioperative professionals and with our mission, vision, and values. Next an in-depth cost-benefit analysis must be performed ensuring all risks are identified such as pricing, marketing, distribution, third-party vendors, implementation, and long-term strategies. I would also research the answers to the following questions to consider in the final decision-making process:

    • Is it a strategic good fit?
    • Does it complement existing products/services?
    • Can it be easily integrated into the existing product/service line?
    • Is the timing right?
    • Is it a good strategic direction for the association?
    • What is the product/service life cycle?
    • Is it really innovative?

    Kristy Simmons, MSN, RN, CNOR


    First, is it a recognized need? Is it essential to the growth and success of our organization? Query our members to see if the need is there. Use data from these queries to make the decision. Does it serve the majority of our members?

    Second, is it a quality product? Do the research, ask around, and look for comparisons. Seek out those experienced with the item or service and ask end users' their opinions.

    Third, what is the true cost? If it is something tangible? For equipment, are there maintenance costs? Replacement parts? Warranties? For services such as consultants or insurance, are there hidden fees? Training costs? Finally, does it help us fulfill the mission and goals of our organization and serve our members by promoting safe patient care? The answers to these questions will help the board make a clear decision in importance and relevance of the product or service.

  • Quality is one of Our Core Values. Tell us how you will be a reliable and accountable member of the Board.

    Elizabeth (Liz) Austin, DNP, RN, CNOR


    Open communication is a key characteristic of accountability. The AORN Organization strategic plan and the president's agenda provide a calendar for Board members’ expected action plan, including ongoing communications, and member interaction. I am recognized for meeting AORN organization deadlines and goals and would suggest implementation of an online dashboard for further accountability and inter-accessibility. AORN facilitated a mentorship program for new Board members and current and past leaders to offer advice for assuring quality, reliability, and communication methods for accountability and continuity of excellence. Authenticity is a reflection of reliability and accountability, demonstrated by my leadership in the AORN organization and charitable non-profit organizations where I can be counted on to consistently show up and deliver. I’ve worked with many Board members over the years and learned from them the methods of checks and balances that maintain reliability with their role and contribution to the organization.

    Lisa Bailey, BS, RN, CNOR


    Board members must be decisive and responsible when decisions affecting the membership and the association are to be made. The expectation of being prepared, on time, and respectful during deliberations in the boardroom and on calls demonstrates dependability and accountability to the positon we have been elected.

    In my role as an educator and manager, I have proven integrity when dealing with confidential matters affecting my staff and will take these experiences with me into the boardroom. I weigh all options and potential outcomes presented and make the best decision based on the facts. Patient care is focused on quality and safety; representing the membership and making decisions that affect the association must also have the same focus.

    Stephen Balog, MSN, RN, CNOR


    Reliability and accountability are key tenets in my approach to being an Operating Room nurse and I would use the same focus as a Board member. As a Board member I will be tasked with responsibilities and deadlines that need to be met. This can be a variety of details from adding to the meeting agenda, preparing for Board meetings, attending assigned committees and taskforce calls and reading information that has been sent for review and comment. I will stay in contact with my colleagues to discuss points that need clarification or expansion. I will use my time management skills to ensure that all of the business is completed in a timely fashion.

    As I ask the membership for your vote and confidence I will also promise that I will be reliable to perform the duties of the office of Board and to be accountable for my actions.

    Laura Gayton, MHA, BSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM


    Serving AORN on the Board is an honor that comes with a responsibility to be accountable to the membership. I am a person who shows up for events, runs meetings, plans an agenda and commits to be present and fully engaged. As an accountable board member, I will be prepared for meetings, show up early, read all circulated documents, and further personal research to review and reflect on my contribution to the agenda discussion. I will fully participate in meaningful ways, by contributing to the decision making process to achieve the efficient and effective business of the board. I engage in thoughtful conversation, listen to all debate, seek clarification around an issue, and articulate my ideas respectfully demonstrating my commitment to good meeting practice. The quality of my participation and respect is how I will uphold the office of the Board of Directors.

    Merideth Lewis-Cooney, BSN, RN, CNOR


    Serving you on the Nominating Leadership Development Committee (NLDC) gave me ample practice and guidance in many leadership skills including coherence with our mission & vision, collaboration, and consensus building. I am present, prompt and prepared while being receptive, thoughtful and articulate. The ability to contribute to the vision, vibrancy and far reaching vitality of AORN in that capacity has poised me for service as a member of the Board of Directors. When at the table, I know I will articulate, promote and engage in discussion that will ensure your voice is heard. To put voice to that which is already unfolding in the collective of our shared contributions is an endeavor that can only be filled with the collaborative efforts of ALL of us. I am so thankful for the mentors who are the reason I have been able to serve you, the membership, in multiple capacities.

    Darlene B. Murdock, BSN, BA, RN, CNOR


    Quality—reliable, timely, and accountable, is one of AORN’s principle core values. I have proven myself as a person of high integrity with an established reputation of excellence. As a reliable and accountable member of the Board I will do what I say I’m going to do, when I say I’m going to do it, and strive for excellence in everything that I do. I will be vigilant in maintaining a high level of positive professional presence and work tirelessly to uphold the mission, vision and values of AORN. As a new integral part of AORN’s leadership team, I will function as a transparent and engaged team member. I will also take into account the Board’s dynamics to foster teamwork and cohesiveness to ensure the ongoing success of AORN.

    Kristy Simmons, MSN, RN, CNOR


    I will be accountable by maintaining open and honest communication, thereby building trust with our membership. I want our members to know where I am and where I stand, and I will seek feedback. I will earn our members' trust as someone who listens, doesn't get distracted by politics, and can be relied upon to speak the truth, as my leadership mentors did. In the past I have admired leaders who know the everyday challenges of patient care, and kept the real world in mind when making decisions.

    I have always seen myself as a front-line nurse, in the middle of the situation, relying on my skills and experience to work with others to solve problems. This perspective keeps me focused on the important things. Good leaders always remember where they've been, support life learning, and strive to leave a legacy. I will strive to do the same.

Nominating Committee

  • What ideas do you have for making the election process more transparent to the membership?

    Nanette Hanauer, BS, RN, CNOR


    Since I became a candidate last year I have spoken to many members and asked them this same question. I was shocked to learn just how few members actually voted, especially the members at Expo. Out of 5000 nurses attending Expo only 1200 voted! This year candidates are allowed to use social media so why not for the election process. Have a Candidate Facebook page where members can get to know the candidates. Post the speeches on Facebook. In addition, the voting site on AORNs web site needs to be easier to locate. Send the link to the members with direct access to the voting site without a separate login, since the email is going to members anyway.

    Nicole Meredith, BS, RN, CNOR


    I believe in the power of personal connections! As we (each candidate, chapter officer, and member) share our journeys from novice periOperative nurses to national candidates, my hope is to inspire others to join us with the charge of maintaining our organization’s strong reputation.

    I recommend a fun, interactive kiosk at the expo manned by members and candidates of the NLDC and a downloadable mobile app feature. This kiosk (and app.) would provide members with an opportunity to explore the election process, ask questions, and have immediate feedback.

    Ramie Miller, MSN, RN, CNOR


    Social Media has now become a universally accepted form of communication that bridges generational gaps. It’s very important to note that I can communicate with my mother, great aunts/uncles, and my teenaged godchildren all on the same social platforms. AORN has been actively expanding and improving their social media presence as well as using their website, blogs, and ORNurselink to reach members with interesting, engaging and pertinent information. The election process is a vital part of that online presence. As an active member of various online platforms, I hope to help bring greater transparency in the process by posting vacancies, deadlines, informational webinars, and making the election information more accessible to members. Enhanced information will increase participation.

    Heidi Nanavati, MSN, FNP-BC, CNOR


    Last year only a little over 5% of the 43,000 members voted. As an organization run by members for the members we can do better than that. Those members not as active that do not serve as a delegate do not believe they can vote. Many do not feel they know the candidates well enough. In the age of technology a survey to all members to find out why they don’t vote is a start. Next we need to make the candidates known. There should be a small section on the opening page of the website highlighting a different candidate every couple of weeks. Having a short statement will allow the members to get to know them on a personal level. When voting opens an email should be generated to all members with a link to click, they will still sign in, but bring the ballot to them.

    Shirley Pollard Ramsey, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC


    I was invited to several chapter conferences this year. I would have loved to attend these awesome meeting. Regretfully, for me this travel was cost prohibitive. Therefore I would like to propose a better way to make the AORN election process more transparent. Given the restrictive nature of “campaigning” I would like to hold the “in office” leadership responsible for the “campaign” of each candidate thus ensuring that the membership really has an opportunity to know the candidates.

    The current leadership would have a presentation focusing on each candidate on the AORN web page and Facebook each week through congress. This would be a short infomercial on each candidate. The infomercial could include a variety of topics starting with where the candidates work and how they really spend their days. Next, an infomercial to include what the candidates do with their free time. Questions could be submitted weekly for discussion and presented by each candidate.

    Jamie Ridout, RN, MSN, MBA, CNOR, NEA-BC


    This is a tough question, as I believe AORN does a great job of communicating the election process and candidate information to the membership. Last year, approximately 5% of the 43,000 AORN members voted; the majority of which occurred during Expo.

    My suggestion is to consider engaging a third-party election management company. This company can enhance materials already posted and published by AORN by sending direct mailer information, a ballot and a pre-postage return envelope to the entire voting membership. Additionally, the company can manage a phone election process, either before or during Expo, and coordinate election-related events during Expo. Third party vendors can securely administer an election process with an unbiased perspective that lets the membership know the voting process is secure and conducted in a non-partisan manner, provide a sense of fairness in the tabulation of votes and a sense of privacy for the voter.

    Leilani Salimone, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CNOR


    AORN has made strides to educate members on the election process through the Virtual Town Hall and Live Expo Candidate Q&A Sessions. Based on data from AORN, 2,288 (5.3%) members voted last year and 88% (2,010) voted during Expo. An opportunity for transparency is to raise awareness of upcoming elections during the course of the year via print, online, and in person. Ideas such as “Ask a Candidate” or “A Minute With” in AORN Journal and the website would bridge this gap. If the information is not regularly shared with members, the information will be forgotten. This is of particular concern with members who do not attend Expo as they will not have contact with the candidates. Another opportunity is to build momentum during Expo and provide formal, scheduled opportunities for attendees to meet the candidates. Transparency is key! Access to candidates and why this matters serves to remove barriers.

  • Out of 40,000 members, this year we had 116 names submitted to run for office. What strategies would you use to increase the number of nominations?

    Nanette Hanauer, BS, RN, CNOR


    I believe every organization struggles with this issue. The process needs to be simplified and start earlier. Instead of accessing the web site, hunting for the nomination page, trying to find the correct name, etc. Why not have an email sent to members with a direct link to the site, thereby bypassing all the extra steps. Or just send an email with the questions “Who would you like to nominate for National Office?” Then all the member has to do is reply with names. No more trying to remember the full name or state the potential candidate is from.

    Also, I still believe the process should start earlier. Why not start in January and continue till May with the online process. Have an area at Expo to nominate, maybe near or in the bookstore or on the Expo floor.

    Nicole Meredith, BS, RN, CNOR


    In this era of social media, it is essential to use this platform to reach all generations of our membership. As leaders within our organization, it is our responsibility to embrace, coach, and mentor others therefore, I suggest creating an application similar to the exhibitor “Sail the Hall” app. encouraging members to meet the nominating and leadership committee to gain “points”.

    I also recommend recognizing periOperative nurse leaders through an AORN surgical conference and expo conference-wide attendee nomination and awards social media application feature. Nurse leaders in each specialty area (such as pediatrics, trauma, etc.) who attend the expo submit a statement noting their impact in areas of patient safety, community service, and team work (for example). The top three members (indicated through votes in each area) would receive certificates and team highlights. This process will both identify and increase the number of nominations.

    Ramie Miller, MSN, RN, CNOR


    AORN’s strength lies at the local level. Engagement with our Chapter membership is vital to recognize and support members up the ladder into State and National Leadership positions. Reaching out to members via AORN’s website, blogs, ORNurselink, as well as face-to-face events, are just a few ways to make the virtual and physical connection that’s needed to inspire members into service. An open and accessible Nominating Committee helps members feel valued and builds confidence in being a first time AORN nominee. Being nominated is an intimidating process, but I can be the cheerleader to get new nominees through the process!

    Heidi Nanavati, MSN, FNP-BC, CNOR


    The average age of the operating room nurse is on the rise, so is the age of our members. These individuals offer an abundance of knowledge and experience but do not necessarily want to be in a national level leadership role at this point in their career. As leaders we have to embrace the younger generations of nurses engaging and mentoring them. We need to encourage them to get involved with their specialty assemblies, chapters, and let it be known they are interested in working on a task force or other national level project. We all bring different skills to this amazing field to be utilized in different capacities. I would encourage the more experienced leaders to mentor the younger nurses they see working towards leadership roles. The majority of nurses are humble and are not apt to nominate themselves so we need to encourage others to do so.

    Shirley Pollard Ramsey, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC


    I would institute a “current leadership” forum every day at Congress. This forum would be an informal and open venue to all of the AORN membership. This gathering would be an opportunity for members interested in running for office to ask questions of those currently elected leaders. The conversation could begin with the basics including officers sharing their experiences including time commitments, unreimbursed financial obligations incurred, and where or how to begin service as an elected officer. The forum would allow for a level of mentorship that would encourage our future leaders to step into the arena.

    Jamie Ridout, RN, MSN, MBA, CNOR, NEA-BC


    First, don’t get hung up in the numbers. Leadership is for the few. It takes courage, commitment, resilience and vulnerability to put oneself in a leadership position. According to a Career Builder survey, the majority of workers don’t aspire to leadership roles; reasons cited include an unwillingness to sacrifice work-life balance, satisfaction in current roles and not possessing the necessary skills and/or education.

    Following are my primary strategies to increase the number of nominations:

    1. Open the ballot to direct self-submission. Allow candidates to place themselves directly on the ballot.
    2. Eliminate the step of candidate screening prior to determining whether they will make it to a ballot.
    3. Define specific selection qualifications per office. Candidates should have prior knowledge if they are qualified prior to self-submission. Modify the role of the Nominating Committee to verifying those that have submitted their names have the qualifications for the role.

    Leilani Salimone, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CNOR


    The 116 names submitted to run for office represents 0.29% of AORN members. One strategy to increase the number of nominations is outreach. This would serve to promote the purpose, accomplishments, and visibility of the elected roles.

    Outreach should happen at the local and regional levels so members can learn about the election process. A second strategy is to have current and former elected members share their personal experiences at local or regional AORN meetings in person, by phone, or via web-based audio or video technology. Experiences would include why they became involved and how they made an impact while in office.

    One last strategy is to build upon these shared experiences. The elected members would serve as mentors to nurses at all levels who show potential for serving in an elected role. Nurses may not be initially interested, but with individualized mentoring to include shadowing, we can be successful!