AORN Congress 101: What You Need to Know

Publish Date: January 20, 2017


Amy L. Hader, JD
AORN’s General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs


AORN Congress 101

When you attend the Global Surgical Conference & Expo this spring in Boston you’ll have the opportunity to actively engage in the business of AORN by attending and participating in Congress, the annual member meetings of our Association. AORN is a membership organization, and governance works best to benefit our members and your patients when more members participate.

Here’s How it Works

  • There are two Forums you can attend where AORN members will be discussing recent initiatives, task force reports, and new AORN business in a casual setting. The Forums will take place on Saturday, April 1 and Tuesday, April 4 this year. A big change in the Forum agendas this year is that each Forum will include 15–30 minutes of continuing education credits for attendees.
  • Members can also attend two House of Delegates sessions to hear the annual reports of AORN committees and departments, vote on proposed bylaws changes and any other official business before the House, learn the results of the annual Board and Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC) elections, and congratulate award winners.

All RN and retired RN members in good standing (good standing means your AORN dues are up-to-date) are automatically delegates for Congress (including Chapter delegates), which means you may vote on AORN business during the meeting.

Why Voting Matters

Each year, members also have the opportunity to vote for vacant positions on the Board of Directors and the NLDC. All members in good standing, regardless of conference attendance, can vote online for AORN’s elected leadership. Members who attend the conference who have not already voted online can vote in person onsite. When you vote in the AORN elections this year, you’ll influence safe perioperative practice, inter-professional collaboration, and the strategic direction of our professional association.

Online voting will open March 6 and run through midnight on April 4.

What are the Proposed Bylaw Changes?

This year, the AORN Bylaws Committee is recommending two bylaws amendments, both stemming from charges received from the board of directors after the 2016 Congress business sessions. The proposed changes relate to the individual qualifications to serve in an elected position with AORN, and changing the responsibilities of the NLDC to reflect a more traditional nominating committee. Members will hear from the committee about the changes during the first Forum on Saturday, April 1, and will vote on the changes during the second House of Delegates session on Wednesday, April 5.

The changes will be printed in the January issue of the AORN Journal and will be discussed during the all member AORN Virtual Town Hall and Special Business Meeting on February 21 at 6pm Central. Pre-registration for the Town Hall is required; please register here.

Final Forum and House of Delegates schedules will be printed in the February issue of the Journal and are available under the Information and Schedule tab on the Expo site.

It’s essential that our members feel empowered to be involved with the business of AORN. Knowing how AORN Congress works is the first step to having your voice heard. Attending our Global Surgical Conference & Expo in Boston April 1- 5 armed with this important knowledge will not only benefit you but your entire team as well as your patients.