NAON Member Highlight - Kathy Barbay


Number of years as NAON member: 30 (since 1985)

I joined because I wanted to be involved in a professional organization and advance my knowledge of orthopedic nursing. I started as a member-at-large when I was a nurse in Louisiana. I have been a member and involved in several local NAON chapters: Fort Worth chapter (member and secretary), Nation’s Capital chapter in Maryland and Gulf Coast chapter in Houston (member), and current member of the City of Fountains chapter in Kansas City since 1997 and secretary almost the same amount of time.

How many Congresses attended: 7 (2000 – 2005, and 2007)

Congress is an opportunity to be inspired and to network with other orthopedic nurses. I was very fortunate to receive various grants/awards to attend Congress. The two that stand out are: NAON/AAOS Research Grant and the Outstanding Orthopaedic Nurse Practice Award which was an amazing honor to be nominated by my colleagues.

How did you get into orthopaedic nursing?

After graduation in 1984, I went to my first choice hospital for an interview. They offered me a job as a RN on the orthopedic floor all 3 shifts. With much excitement, I accepted the position not knowing exactly what orthopedics was all about. It has been love ever since! This was the foundation for my nursing and orthopedic career and passion.

Something in your career that represents excellence in orthopaedic nursing:

As a bedside nurse, I always strived to provide quality and compassionate care to my patients and families. I enjoyed the teamwork among my colleagues to provide such care. As a CNS, my focus is not only the patient but nurses, nursing practice and the organization.

Specialty certification represents excellence, and I have been Orthopaedic Nurse Certified since 1992. Another milestone in my career was achieving my master’s degree in nursing, furthering my professional development. In 2009 as I was finishing grad school, I had a manuscript published in the Orthopaedic Nursing journal with the guidance of my graduate school advisor.

Something fun you would like to share (fun hobby, interests, family):

I lead a fairly quiet life. My husband and I enjoy going home to Louisiana to visit with family and friends. In the winter months, I like to cross stitch and cheer for my favorite football teams. My husband and I also enjoy being in the outdoors and hiking or occasionally biking along trails.  One of my favorite vacations was visiting the Grand Canyon and walking around its rim.

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