Kathleen C. Law, DNP, MS, RN, CNOR
Director of Operative Services at Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Candidate for Board of Directors (Four to be Elected)
Kathleen C. Law, DNP, MS, RN, CNOR, is the director of Operative Services at Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pennsylvania. She earned an associate degree in nursing from Wesley College, Dover, Delaware; a bachelor of science and a master of science from Penn State University, State College, Pennsylvania; and a doctor of nursing practice-health systems executive leadership from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Law has been a perioperative nurse for 42 years and a member of AORN for 26 years. She is a member of
- AORN of Central Pennsylvania (2013-present).
She has been a member of
- the Leadership Specialty Assembly (2015-2022),
- the Pediatric Specialty Assembly (2013-2022), and
- the Sterile Processing/Supply Chain Management Specialty Assembly (2020-2022).
Law has attended Congress 10 times in the past 10 years, each time as a delegate.
Law has received
- a Dress for Success Partner in Success Award (2015).
Highlights of Law’s service to AORN include that she is
- a member of the AORN Syntegrity Board of Directors (2019-present);
- a member of the AORN Nurse Executive Roundtable (2015-present);
- a member of the Surgical Services Summit Board, in affiliation with Cardinal Health (2015-present); and
- a member of the AORN of Central Pennsylvania Nominating Committee (2022-present).
She has been
- a member of the AORN Task Force to Define the Role of DNPs in Perioperative Services (2020-2021),
- a member of the AORN of Central Pennsylvania Board of Directors (2018-2020),
- secretary of AORN of Central Pennsylvania (2014-2018), and
- president of AORN of Central Pennsylvania (2013-2014).
In other leadership roles, Law is
- a member of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Board of Directors (2018-present) and
- a member of the Safe and Effective Prescribing Practices Task Force, Pennsylvania Department of Health (2018-present).
She has been
- a member of the Vizient Perioperative Council (2017-2019);
- an academic representative for the Harrisburg Area Community College Surgical Advisory Committee (2015-2019); and
- a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Executive Sponsor, Penn State Hershey Medical Center (2017-2019)
In her community, Law has been
- secretary of the Mountville Community Services Foundation Board of Directors (2013-2021);
- a volunteer administering COVID-19 screenings and vaccines (2021);
- a volunteer for annual flu campaign (2013-2019);
- a nurse volunteer, Parish blood pressure screenings (2015-2021); and
- a volunteer for MOM-N-PA Dental Clinic, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (2015-2017).
What does the future hold for the perioperative nurse? This is a question many OR nurses ponder as we find ourselves challenged with overwhelming demands in the workplace, new technology and innovation, an aging workforce, and the ever-present nursing shortage. Nurse burnout in our specialty is on the rise. What can and should we do to address these concerns?
Our professional organization has the reputation of being a leader among the nursing workforce and other professional organizations, promoting ideas to support our colleagues and placing patient safety at the forefront. We can accomplish this through our membership and leadership by increasing employee engagement, mentoring new members, and providing a solid framework for our practice as a perioperative nurse. Many AORN leaders past and present, including myself, have identified these same issues/concerns and the need to establish programs and build relationships with other organizations, colleges, and universities, to meet the needs of our perioperative workforce. As an AORN Board member, this would be a primary focus for me. Perioperative nursing is not an “observational” experience but needs to be seen as an integral part of nursing higher education’s core curriculum.
I am proud of the perioperative nurse leader that I have become. I hope to share my enthusiasm with our membership.