Interested in Being an Ambassador?
Read the description below…if this sounds like a role for you, please complete the linked Willingness to Serve Form and return to ONCB at your earliest convenience. We’ll send brochures for you to use in promoting orthopaedic nursing certification with your colleagues.
What is an ONCB Ambassador?
A nurse who holds an ONCB credential can promote orthopaedic nursing certification at work, in the community, or in the local chapter of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) by serving as a volunteer ONCB Ambassador. Ambassadors mentor other orthopaedic nurses by explaining the importance of certification, helping with the application process, and assisting with exam preparation. They also communicate with the ONCB regarding ideas and activities to share with other Ambassadors to help promote orthopaedic nursing certification.
Ambassadors are orthopaedic-certified nurses and enthusiastic about promoting orthopaedic nursing certification. Complete the Willingness-to-Serve Form and submit it to ONCB.
Other ONCB Ambassador Activities:
- Guide nurses through the application process.
- Coach nurses through the process of studying, staying calm, and sharing study materials.
- Encourage nurse leaders and physician colleagues in the work setting to help with the process by paying for the exam, buying study materials, or sponsoring a preparation course.
- Bring information to local chapter meetings or workshops.
- Provide ongoing support to certified nurses and provide resources for CE, and obtaining recertification.
Are you a certificant or exam candidate with questions about the exam or recertification? In addition to staff contact through the ONCB office, you are welcome to contact an ONCB Ambassador from your state for additional support. Click here for the list of ONCB Ambassadors.
Looking for ideas to promote orthopaedic nursing certification in your work setting? Read these reports from current ONCB Ambassadors!
“I have been a strong supporter of continuing education since beginning my first position as a graduate nurse on the Orthopaedic unit. It was overwhelming! My preceptor was an outstanding mentor. She took every opportunity to teach me the many facets of caring the orthopaedic population and instilled that “hunger” to want more knowledge and skill to enable me to provide outstanding care to my patients. New graduate nurses in today’s environment are often overwhelmed with nursing orientation, unit specific competencies, learning the operation of the unit and who’s who. I am a charter member or NAON. In my role as director of the Ortho-Trauma unit, I utilized many materials from NAON to provide education to staff, Our staff soon felt empowered by their knowledge and skill competency. I became certified as an ONC in 1988, along with five other colleagues. I continue to actively participate in presenting Orthopaedic education in my employment setting mentoring and supporting nurses in their pursuit of specialty certification, as well as taking every opportunity to provide “real time” case discussions in small groups and 1:1. I involve the orthopaedic surgeons and other colleagues of the Orthopaedic care team to interact in the same manner with our nurses, taking every advantage to encourage them and use “teach” opportunities. Our hospital system recognizes Certified nurses by means of their ID badge, scholarship opportunities to take the initial exam, recognition on National Certification Day, and encourages certified nurses to sit on system wide Professional Practice committees. The certified nurses are the “go to staff”. The certification process is overwhelming to the novice nurse, providing support of the process is integral to the role of the Ambassador. Communicating on a regular basis is valuable and provides that listening ear and sage advisor support during the process. Additionally, the same support is ongoing for all certified nurses, assisting with support during the phase of recertification, assuring they are aware of and comfortable with the log forms for their CEU and the importance of the distinction of the Category A and B. The role of ambassador does not end once the nurse has successfully completed that first exam.”
“I have always supported certification. I am currently working with a fairly new nurse to apply and obtain study materials, and encourage him on toward certification. Our organization pays $2 per hour for certification, so most people are motivated. I also have helped my certified colleagues to navigate the computerized entry of contact hours and the recertification process, helping to determine Category A or B designation for those hours, when to send in, how many hours, etc. I enjoy helping them through the process. I am so proud of each of them for taking on this challenge.”
“Some of the things I do is promote certification at each new employee orientation at our hospital. We also promote at our annual conference and events. Also, I talk to nurses in the hospital–mine and others–when I stop by and just t say hi. If I am at another hospital visiting family, I always go by the ortho floor and introduce myself, NAON, and certification to them. Great way to meet other nurses and make a friend! Also we have had an ONC review course that I did with one of the local rehab centers and I talked to the staff about certification because they get a lot of our postop total knees and hips once discharged from the hospital. We had about 35 at that class.”
“It’s all about ortho education. My experience as an ONCB Ambassador stretches to the fact that the ONC is tied directly to education focused on orthopaedics AND sports medicine nursing practice. As a clinical nurse educator who has maintained competency with ONC certification since May 16, 1997, I appreciate the empowerment from learning involved in the process. As an ONCB Ambassador, I nurses and nursing students to seek the ONCB site and begin the certification process. My learners light up with excitement being with an instructor and mentors who are certified in orthopaedics. They know they can count on certified nurses to guide them clinically through the current best practice in orthopaedics. I believe it is important for current and future nurses to reap the educational benefits of certification. Learning to me is everything and it’s even better when it’s focused on orthopaedics!”
Pat Ryndak Krys