AORN Commits to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are Integral to Our Values and Growth

In our commitment to strive for continuous improvement, AORN believes there are opportunities to strengthen the value of diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace and in our association. AORN is dedicated to building a diverse team, fostering an inclusive culture and investing in equity across our organization. We are also committed to incorporating our DEI principles into our work with our members, facilities, industry partners and our community.  

Our internal review brought us to the conclusion we can, and must, be doing more for people of color and other diverse backgrounds.

“Going forward, the AORN board of directors and our management team will define our DEI principles and build a clear action plan that creates as many opportunities as possible for all people to grow and thrive,” said AORN’s Executive Director/CEO, Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN. “We know diverse perspectives lead to better outcomes for our association, our stakeholders and our society.”

Groah cited a recent study that underscores the impact of a diversified organization. According to Bersin & Associates, a leading industry research and advisory firm in enterprise learning and talent management, diverse organizations are 1.7 times more likely to be innovative leaders in their market.

It isn’t all about profit or organizational advancement, said David Wyatt, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNOR, president of AORN. “As our board and AORN leadership evaluated strengths and weaknesses in our volunteer and committee structures, we considered if we, too, might unknowingly be creating barriers to some individuals’ and groups’ potential to contribute to the strength and influence of perioperative practice and profession. Our question was, ‘How can AORN positively impact our medical community and our patient care without a plan to improve DEI?’”

To help answer that question, AORN will create a national task force of members and others in the surgical profession to determine how AORN can become an organization that clearly demonstrates its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in perioperative nursing.  Additionally, AORN leadership is reviewing DEI practices at headquarters; the plan includes implementing DEI training, creating DEI committees, and when appropriate engaging external DEI experts to provide assistance to achieve initiatives.  

AORN members can expect complete transparency as ideas come forward and annually, we will share the results of these steps with the membership.