About NAON


NAON is the premiere organization for orthopaedic nursing, but just like in practice, we can’t do it all alone. NAON partners with other key associations and organizations to bring orthopaedic nurses a wide range of educational opportunities as well as to spread the word about quality orthopaedic care from a nursing perspective.



Founded in 1933, the Academy is the preeminent provider of musculoskeletal education to orthopaedic surgeons and others in the world. NAON partners with the AAOS to present nursing education as part of the Nursing and Allied Health Courses held at AAOS’s Annual Meeting.


Founded in 1887, the AOA was the first orthopaedic association in the world. The AOA’s mission focuses on engaging the orthopaedic community to develop leaders, strategies, and resources to guide the future of musculoskeletal care. NAON jointly provides education with the AOA as part of their Own The Bone Symposium.


Founded in 1974, the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses was on the forefront of the movement to have rehabilitation recognized as an interdisciplinary healthcare specialty. Rehabilitation nurses help individuals across the lifespan who are affected by chronic illness or physical disability to achieve their greatest potential, adapt to their disabilities, and work toward productive, independent lives. NAON and ARN are collaborating on a forthcoming Clinical Practice Guideline addressing orthopaedics in the rehab setting.

Fragility Fracture Alliance

NAON is a participating organization in the Fragility Fracture Alliance. NAON’s role is an organizational agreement to provide and lead professional nursing education on fragility fracture care, secondary fracture prevention, and community messaging in coordination with public education programs through USBJI.  To assist in the development of standards for quality patient outcome measures and initiatives related to fragility fracture liaison service structure.  Other participating organizations include: AAOS, AOA, OTA, ABOS, IGFS, NASS, USBJI and AGS.


The International Collaboration of Orthopaedic Nursing (ICON) is a coalition of national and regional associations of orthopaedic nurses dedicated to the advancement of orthopaedic nursing through strategic partnerships that promote and support excellence in evidence-informed practice through education, research, knowledge translation and innovation.


The National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) Foundation was established in 1994 as a 501(c)(3) organization. This designation allows the Foundation to receive tax-deductible contributions to fund scholarships to advance orthopaedic nursing practice and education. Since its inception, the NAON Foundation has awarded more the $400,000 in educational scholarships to orthopaedic nurses. The NAON Foundation awards the Clara Donahoo, RN & Joseph Dimon, MD Memorial Clinical Legacy Lectureship, which is presented as the NAON Foundation sponsored General Session at NAON’s Annual Congress.

NSO logo.JPG

Nurses Service Organizations (NSO) is the preferred provider of malpractice insurance for more than 30 nursing associations.NSO has been meeting the insurance needs of nursing professionals for more than 40 years.


Since 2010, Movement is Life has been focused on the elimination of musculoskeletal disparities. Limited mobility due to joint pain has a dramatic impact on co-morbid health conditions to include obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. NAON Director Donna Kurek serves on the Planning committee for the National Caucus on Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Health Disparities, which NAON promotes. Visit the MIL Caucus Site and MIL Patient/Community Site for more details.


Establishing in 1982, NAOT is dedicated to the continued educational development of orthopaedic allied health care professionals who specialize in casting, splinting and bracing. NAOT presents casting and splinting courses for OT’s and nurses as other half of the Nursing and Allied Health Course at AAOS’s Annual Meeting.

ortho tech board.JPG

The National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Technologists, Inc. (NBCOT) is a not-for-profit credentialing agency that has provided certification for the Orthopaedic Technology profession since 1982.  By approving programming at both the AAOS Annual Meeting at NAON’s Annual Congress, NBCOT provides Occupational Technologists the opportunity to join their nursing colleagues for orthopaedic specific education.


Established in 1986, the ONCB promotes the highest standards of orthopaedic nursing practice through the development, implementation and coordination of all aspects of certification for orthopaedic nurses.

The Orthopaedic Nursing Certification Board (ONCB) has a certification exam that nurses take to obtain the Orthopaedic Nurse Certified (ONC) credential, indicating proficiency within the specialty. This certification is the only credential that documents expertise in the practice of orthopaedic nursing. There is one advanced practice nursing certifications offered: Orthopaedic Nurse Practitioner (ONP-C). 


The Osteoarthritis (OA) Action Alliance is a national coalition of concerned organizations mobilized by the Arthritis Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This coalition is committed to elevating OA as a national health priority and promoting effective policy solutions that aim to address the individual and national toll of OA. In addition, the OA Action Alliance, with the public health community, is working to ensure people with OA have the access, skills and capacity to benefit from effective and proven interventions.

safe patient handling profs.JPG

The Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals, Inc.  was formed as a non-profit corporation to provide a venue for individuals interested in the science of safe patient handling to share experiences, access education and information, and if they choose, to advance their professional status through a Certification Program based on recognized standards. Members of the ASPHP have been instrumental in creating NAON’s Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Course.

joint commission.JPG

An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. NAON has partnered with The Joint Commission to provide education and resources for hospitals seeking certification for their orthopaedic joint replacement, spinal surgery, fracture rehabilitation, and orthopaedic trauma programs.


The United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) is the U.S. National Action Network of the Global Bone and Joint Decade, a multi-disciplinary initiative targeting the care of people with musculoskeletal conditions - bone and joint disorders. NAON assists USBJI with the recruitment of presenters for the Fit To a T program as well as having Angie Pearce, a NAON past president, serving as a Member-at-Large on the USBJI Board of Directors to provide a voice for nursing at the multidisciplinary table.

If you are interested in hosting a Fit to a T program in your area, please visit USBJI's website for more information. 

University of St. Augustine

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) is a graduate institution that emphasizes health science education through innovative quality classroom and distance education. Founded in 1979, USAHS has locations in San Marcos, CA; St. Augustine, FL; Austin, TX; Dallas, TX; and Miami, FL. USAHS offers degree programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, education and health science, as well as continuing education programs. 

Learn more about NAON's partnership with University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences here.


The American College of Perioperative Medicine (ACPM) is a non-profit, inclusive organization, dedicated to providing an educational and collaborative experience for all healthcare stakeholders. ACPM is on a mission to transform the way care is delivered across the surgical continuum by breaking down the silos in our fragmented healthcare system to achieve a patient-centric system of care.

© Copyright NAON 2022. All rights reserved.