When AORN Foundation Golden Gavel Scholarship Committee Chair Sharon McNamara RN, BSN, MS, CNOR comes up with an idea for supporting the AORN Foundation and nurses’ education, she doesn’t leave it and move on. That’s the way it is with the AORN Foundation Tribute Wreath, a program she introduced in 2006 as AORN President to honor those who had passed away. This year, she suggested a program that is “an emotional and physical act that we can do to help us all heal.”
The AORN Foundation Tribute Wreath will recognize not only deceased members, but “the courage and stamina of colleagues who stood strong during this pandemic,” McNamara says. “Perioperative nurses who took on the challenges of cancelations of elective surgery, possible layoffs, moving into patient positioning teams to take their expertise to the COVID units and other foreign areas. Those working long hours wearing PPE until their skin broke down, missing family because they could not go home worried of spreading the virus to family. They all need constructive ways to ease their stress and recognize their heroes.”
How It Works
Anyone who’d like to honor or remember a family member, a peer, or a colleague can make a minimum $5 donation at the Foundation’s booth at AORN Expo and receive a silk rose – symbolizing “love and courage” – to add to the tribute wreath with the honoree’s name. All funds support AORN Foundation programs.
When choosing who you’d like to recognize, ask yourself: Are there people deceased or still living who made a difference in your professional life? What about in your personal life? It’s about who is important to you.
As for McNamara, her list is a healthy one, including current colleagues, AORN board and chapter members, and her own family. “Donating to the AORN Foundation for things like nursing scholarships assures we sustain the profession. Taking a rose to honor or memorialize colleagues or people who have made a difference in our lives demonstrates the essence of our profession, CARING.”
If you are not joining us in New Orleans, you can donate online and note this is for the Tribute Wreath and who you are paying tribute to, and we will include your rose(s) on the wreath. All donations support the AORN Foundation mission to empower perioperative nurses in advancing patient and workplace safety through education and research.