Kristy Simmons, MSN, RN, CNOR

Pediatric Team Lead and Charge Nurse

Candidate for President-Elect (One to be Elected)

Kristy P. Simmons, MSN, RN, CNOR, is a pediatric team leader/perioperative charge nurse at Woman’s Hospital, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She earned a diploma in nursing from Our Lady of the Lake College School of Nursing, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana; and a Master of Science in nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond.

Simmons has been a perioperative nurse for 40 years and a member of AORN for 35 years. She is a member of

  • AORN of Baton Rouge Area (2013-present),
  • the Louisiana State Council (2013-present),
  • the Pediatric Specialty Assembly (2013-present),
  • the Ambulatory Surgery Specialty Assembly (2015-present),
  • the Leadership Specialty Assembly (2018-present),
  • the Retired Nurses Specialty Assembly (2018-present), and
  • the Integrated Health Practices Specialty Assembly (2022-present).

Simmons has attended Congress 10 times in the past 10 years, each time as a delegate.

Simmons has received

  • an AORN National Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award (2014);
  • an AORN National Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Evidence-Based Practice Award (2014);
  • Perioperative Nurse of the Year, AORN of Baton Rouge Area (2015);
  • Nurse of the Year, Woman’s Hospital (2018); and
  • Nurse of Year Honoree, AORN of Baton Rouge Area (2022).

Highlights of Simmons’s service to AORN include that she is

  • a member of the Member Engagement Task Force (2022-present),
  • a member of the Legacy Nurses Engagement Task Force (2022-present),
  • a member of the Silent Auction Committee (2013-present), and
  • a member of the AORN of Baton Rouge Area Board of Directors (2022-present).

She has been

  • a member of the Board of Directors (2018-2022),
  • a member of the Nominating Committee (2015-2017),
  • a member of the Pediatric Specialty Assembly Governing Council (2013-2022),
  • chair of the AORN National Membership Committee (2014-2015),
  • president of AORN of Baton Rouge Area (2015-2016), and
  • chair of the Louisiana State Council (2014-2016).

In other leadership roles, Simmons is

  • chair of the ANCC Magnet Champion Committee, Woman’s Hospital (2013-present);
  • a member of the Woman’s Hospital Wide Research Committee (2015-present);
  • a Competency & Credentialing Institute Nurse Champion (2013-2018);
  • a member of Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (2013-2015); and
  • a Pediatric Team Leader at Woman’s Hospital (2013-present).

In her community, Simmons is

  • chair of fundraising committee for Race for the Cure (2014-present) and
  • a presenter for College and Career Day (2013-present).

She has been

  • a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity (2013-2015);
  • founder and chair of the Future Nurse Club, Central Middle School (2013-2015); and
  • president of the Parent-Teacher Organization, Central Middle School (2013-2014).

Election Statement

In my four years as a member of the Board, I learned to advocate, shift, flex, adapt and reboot the business of AORN in today’s quick-changing environment. During my tenure, we made rapid decisions on unprecedented events; cancelled live Expos and went virtual; sold our beloved headquarters when staff went virtual and cut budgets for sustainability. AORN emerged strong.

Local, state, and national experiences enabled me to represent our member-driven organization as a whole as well as the true nucleus of AORN—the individual perioperative nurse. I am not afraid to ask tough questions: “What can we offer current and prospective members? How do we help them engage with AORN?”

My vision for the future of AORN is to develop our strategic plan to be a sustainable organization for nurse leaders and staff nurses, by reinforcing our passion, crossing boundaries, and embracing innovative ideas. We need to strengthen partnerships with other health care, nursing, or quality/safety organizations to continue improving safe patient care. Through AORN I have had the opportunity to present and collaborate with ANA, AWHONN, ASPANN, Surgical Technologists Associations, ANCC Magnet and the World Society of Disaster Nursing. Our local chapters are our foundation; we need to support them while increasing member engagement, especially in specialty ambulatory settings. During our local chapter’s renovation project, we visited every surgical facility (hospital-based and ambulatory) and invited them to join our chapter. AORN needs to have a presence in every surgical setting in each city.

Each chapter and each member needs something different from our organization. Each generation contributes its own diversity, innovation, wisdom, dedication and passion toward our mission. Our leaders need to be effective change agents in order to attract and sustain members of all ages and backgrounds. As a Baby Boomer, colleague of Generation X, mother of Millennials, and grandmother of the latest generation, I speak the diverse languages of each group daily.

I look forward to working as your President to maintain our values and mission while building upon our financial and operational successes. My heart and energy will always strive to represent our frontline members and maximize AORN’s value to them. I will listen to your present concerns, actively advocate for our future, and be your voice in the Boardroom. That is my promise as President of AORN. I believe in AORN, and I am ready to lead us into the future.