5 Ways Nurses Can Make Their Mark


It’s all about caring.

Regardless of what nursing specialty you work in or who you’re interacting with, kindness and caring always shine through says AORN President, Elizabeth Pincus, MSN, MBA, RN, ACNS-BC, CNS-CP, CNOR.

“I think a person who has a comforting soul and can give you a feeling of safety is so important,” she said. “They can be in a scrubs with a mask and hat on, but their kindness and heart just shines through.”

So, it’s no coincidence that you see a heart within the Making Your Mark art that is the theme of AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2024. It also carries a much deeper meaning for Pincus.

For about 18 years, she's worn a heart necklace originally purchased for her mother, who was fighting cancer. When her mother passed away, she put on the necklace – and it’s been a constant reminder of why she became a nurse.

“It’s a visual that really shows why I became a nurse, what I believe, and how I feel everyone should be treated,” she said.

Besides showing kindness, Pincus suggests there are numerous ways for perioperative nurses to make their mark. Here are her top five:

  1. Providing Excellent Care for Every Patient.
    “It’s what we do every day, but it can be one of the biggest and scariest days of a patient’s life,” Pincus says. “Having someone you have an instant connection with and who will advocate for you is huge.”
  2. Introducing Perioperative Nursing to Students.
    Nursing students might not know the perioperative specialty exists. But you can help change that. “We always talk about the nursing pipeline. Perioperative nursing isn’t a part of the typical nursing school curriculum, so having programs that will introduce them to it is vital.”
  3. Precepting New Staff.
    “You can make your mark by helping to onboard your new peers and encouraging them to ask questions,” Pincus said. “I want to train people to take care of me better than I can. And that comes with a level of humility and giving them every bit of knowledge that you can.”
  4. Being Involved in AORN.
    “We have the Guidelines for Perioperative Practice that staff and committee members participate in, we have committees that are creating toolkits, and so many other opportunities to help at the macro and micro levels,” Pincus said.
  5. Mentoring.
    A dedicated mentor not only helps you with daily challenges, but can also guide your career, help make connections, or open doors to specialized nursing roles or advanced practice opportunities. "A mentor could also just be a welcoming face. When I moved to California, I didn’t know anyone, but my local AORN chapter welcomed me, so I felt a sense of home and belonging," Pincus added.

Tell us how you’re Making Your Mark on the perioperative profession during the month of September and you could win free registration to AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2024, March 9-12, in Nashville, TN.

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