The poster abstract deadline has passed. Submissions are currently being reviewed. AORN will send acceptance emails to key contacts by the end of the year.

Guidelines for Poster Presenters

Watch our webinar to learn key elements in an abstract; categories of posters; poster construction; and how to engage your audience.

View Webinar

  • Submission Process Overview

    The following information is required in each online submission.

    Key Contact

    The key contact is the author that is logged in submitting the abstract. The key contact is the only link between AORN and all authors, and is responsible for sharing all information with everyone involved on the poster. Please confirm the key contact email address is correct. This will be the sole means of communication from AORN regarding the abstract.

    Poster Title

    The title should not exceed 75 characters.


    Each poster author must submit:

    • Bio that describes expertise in the subject matter
    • Conflict of interest (COI)
    • Education

    If there is more than one author for a poster, every author must submit the above during the submission process. Additional authors may not be added after the abstract is submitted. Only authors designated during the abstract submission process may have their names included on the poster.


    It is recommended that you first type your abstract somewhere other than in the application (Ex. Word Document, Notepad, etc.). Then copy and paste your abstract into the application.

    Please review the "Poster Criteria by Type" information below. No more than 3,000 characters (including spaces) may be used in the abstract. Typing your abstract in a word document and then copy/pasting into the online submission is recommended.

    If you already have a complete poster that you have displayed elsewhere, you must still submit an abstract to be reviewed for acceptance. Late-breaking submissions will not be accepted.

  • If Your Poster Abstract is Accepted

    The key contact will receive an email being notified of acceptance before the end of the year.

    Creating Your Poster Display

    • Poster dimensions may not be larger than 6 feet wide by 3 feet tall.
    • Display boards are cloth covered tack boards that are 7.5 feet wide by 3.5 feet tall. A 22 inch wide by 4 inch tall title sign will be placed at the top of the board and may not be moved or removed.
    • Fabric posters work best because they are easy to transport and do not crease. They are available from retailers like PosterSmith and Laminated posters are another good option. Posters made from foam core are not ideal.
    • T-pins are the best way to attach a poster to the boards. Velcro does not stick well to the cloth board. Please bring your own T-pins.
    • Complete displays must fit within the allotted area; no additional space will be provided.
    • You may display handouts and business cards but you will need to reduce the length of the poster to accommodate them. They must be attached to the board in the allotted space.
    • Lettering, charts, graphs, drawings, and/or photographs must be of quality form (not blurry).
    • Poster text should be readable from a four to six foot distance.
    • The name(s), credential(s), and facility(ies) of all authors must be listed on the poster.
    • A facility logo may be placed on the poster but may not exceed 2 inches x 4 inches.
    • Absolutely no commercial support may be shown on the poster. Product photos may be used only if the manufacturer name cannot be seen in the photo. Using company names/specific products in the poster text is also prohibited.
    • Non-compliance with these rules will result in the poster being removed from display without warning!

    Displaying Posters at AORN’s Global Surgical Conference & Expo

    • The poster author(s) are solely responsible for displaying the poster at the Surgical Conference & Expo. DO NOT send posters to AORN Headquarters or the convention center.
    • You must have a badge to be at the Surgical Conference & Expo. Please register here to attend or apply for a Foundation grant.
    • Poster author(s) are required to hang poster(s) prior to 12 p.m. on the Saturday before the Surgical Conference & Expo begins.
    • Poster authors are asked to be at their posters on Monday from 12 – 1 p.m. to answer questions from attendees. Be sure to bring business cards/contact information for attendees that may have questions after the Surgical Conference & Expo.
    • The poster must be picked up between 12 and 2 p.m. on that Wednesday.
  • Poster Criteria By Type

    Please address each section of the criteria separately in your poster abstract based on poster type.

    All abstracts should accurately reflect the latest AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice and identify which Guideline is being referenced. Clinical process abstracts that might not fit into a Guideline should identify if the intent of position statements or other tools such as orientation resources are reflected.

    Clinical Improvement/Innovation Poster (Clinical issue, Performance Improvement, Quality Initiative, Patient-Centric Care)

    The abstract will be reviewed for acceptance based on the below. It will be reviewed by the Global Surgical Conference & Expo Advisory Task Force. What to include in the abstract:

    • Description of team
    • Preparation and planning
    • Assessment
    • Implementation
    • Outcome
    • Implications for perioperative nursing

    Research Poster

    The abstract will be reviewed for acceptance based on the below. It will be reviewed by the AORN Nursing Research Committee.

    • Problem/Purpose
    • Literature Review
    • Research Question/Hypothesis
    • Conceptual Framework
    • Methodology
    • Data Analysis
    • Results
    • Conclusions/Discussion
    • Perioperative Nursing Implications

    *Abstracts for concept posters may be submitted. A concept poster is a research poster in progress. It has all the components developed and the results are the only portion missing. These posters, once completed, may be submitted again for the following year.

    Design/Concept Poster

    The abstract will be reviewed for acceptance based on the below. It will be reviewed by the AORN Nursing Research Committee.

    • Study question and background information
    • Design description
    • Methodology

    Evidence-Based Practice Poster

    The abstract will be reviewed for acceptance based on the below. It will be reviewed by the AORN Nursing Research Committee.

    • Clinical Problem/Significance
    • Background
    • Clinical Question
    • Description of Evidenced-Based Protocol
    • Implementation of Evidenced-Based Protocol
    • Results
    • Conclusions/Discussion
    • Perioperative Nursing Implications

    View an Example of a Research/Evidence-Based Practice Poster (posted with permission from ENA)

  • Virtual Posters

    Posters will also be displayed through AORN’s virtual poster gallery for conference attendees to review and evaluate for 30 days after the close of the annual meeting.

    View Expo 2017 Posters

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  • Poster Judging

    The posters will be judged online in the virtual gallery prior to the conference. It is highly recommended that the poster is complete by December 1 to ensure ample time to upload a PDF of the poster to the virtual poster gallery. The virtual gallery opens for poster uploads in January.

    After poster judging is complete, the top poster in each category (Clinical, Research, and Evidence-Based Practice) will be asked to present as part of a Hot Topic Session at the conference. The key contact of each top poster will receive complimentary registration to the event. The top posters in each category will be notified in February 2018. Other award winners will be notified onsite.

    Clinical Improvement/Innovation Judging Criteria

    The Global Surgical Conference & Expo Advisory Task Force will judge each poster virtually. Judging criteria is below.

    • Poster is captivating
    • Title and heading fonts are clear and effective
    • Project title and author(s) are prominent
    • Body font is clear and effective
    • Figures are clear and effective
    • Display is free of spelling and/or grammatical errors
    • The poster structure leads the judge through the content
    • Submitted abstract summarizes the poster
    • The content includes a statement of the problem
    • The content explains the method
    • The content summarizes a user-centered result
    • The content is logically connected
    • The outcome is clearly stated

    The top 10% of Clinical Improvement/Innovation posters will receive an Award of Excellence.

    Research and Evidence-Based Practice Judging Criteria

    These posters will be judged virtually by members of the AORN Nursing Research Committee using the below methodology.

    • The content includes a hypothesis or clinical question
    • The content provides the methods used or design
    • The content explains results/findings or analysis of data
    • The content includes implementation/dissemination/conclusions
    • The content demonstrates implications for perioperative practice
    • The overall impression of the poster

    The top three posters in each of these categories will receive an award.

    Design/Concept Judging Criterion

    These posters will be judged virtually by members of the AORN Nursing Research Committee. Judging criterion is below:

    • The abstract captures the study question, design, and methodology

    The top three posters in this category will receive an award.

  • Policies

    Any and all expenses associated with the poster display (including conference registration and travel) are the responsibility of the poster author(s). AORN does not reimburse any expenses or financially support poster authors.

    • Absolutely no commercial support may be shown on the poster. Product photos may be used only if the manufacturer name cannot be seen in the photo or if the product is the only one on the market. Using company names or specific products in the poster text is also prohibited.
    • Poster author agrees when submitting abstract that they retain copyright ownership of the abstract and poster. They warrant that the poster is factually accurate, and that nothing in the poster violates any proprietary or personal rights of others.
    • All content must accurately reflect the most current edition of AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice.
    • AORN assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen posters.
    • AORN will not print or copy materials for you onsite.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding poster abstracts or would like to share suggestions for improvement, please contact Beth Wolter.