President's Message ~ February 2012


Welcome fellow Texas Council members.  
With 2011 behind us, TCORN is moving forward in 2012.  Last weekend, TCORN held its yearly conference at The Methodist Hospital in Houston.  The conference was an outstanding event for everyone who attended and I would like to thank Cheri Ackert-Burr, TCORN Past President, for hosting this year’s conference and ensuring that everyone had a great weekend.  In addition, I would like to thank each of the speakers who took time out of their busy schedule to share their knowledge and wisdom with the attendees.  I would also like to thank our Allied Medical Partners and our Allied Partner Member, IMS for their sponsorship of our event.
As you may recall, TCORN applied to become an Associate Coalition Member Organization with Texas Team and I am proud to announce that as of January, TCORN is now a member of Texas Team.  Texas Team will be important for all nurses in Texas as we seek to implement the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.  I have asked Rebecca Churchman to Chair our Texas Team Committee and other members will include the current TCORN President, the President-Elect, the Past President, and the TCORN State Legislative Coordinator.  If you have any questions or comments regarding Texas Team, please contact Becky .  You may also visit Texas Team on Facebook  or at the Texas Team website  for more information.
Also in December, TCORN invited IMS to join with us as an Allied Partner Member within Texas Team.  We are excited to announce that IMS and Art Klebba have graciously consented to join with our organization in order to support best practices and nursing education in Texas. (Please see page 4).
As you know, March is a busy month for TCORN.  Our annual meeting will be held at Congress in New Orleans on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.  Our meeting and dinner will be held in the Convention Center from 6:30 PM until 9:00 PM in rooms 338/339.  Click here to register and to obtain more details.
March also brings the TCORN Election of Officers for 2012-2013.  I ask that you consider serving our state’s organization as this is an exciting time to join the leadership of TCORN as we move our goals forward.   Service to TCORN as an officer is an opportunity for you to help drive the decisions of our State Association and it is a chance to grow both personally and professionally.  Click here for more information and to complete your Willingness to Serve Form .  This year, the following positions are open: 

  • President-Elect:  serves for a total of three years (one as President-Elect, one as President, and one as Past President.). 
  • Vice President:  serves for a period of two years
  • Secretary:  serves for a period of two years
  • Board Members (2):  One serves for one year; one serves for two years
  • NLDC Chair:  serves for a period of one year

I would like to recognize Carol Athey who has agreed to serve as Chair for the new TCORN Awards Committee.  The purpose of this Committee is to recognize the achievements of periOperative Registered Nurses within the State Of Texas.  We are quite certain that there are many nurses in Texas doing great things for our profession and our patients and it is time that they are recognized appropriately.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact Carol by email .
The Leadership Team continues to consider a TCORN Endowed Scholarship for Texas periOperative Nurses who seek to further their nursing education.  At the current time, there are 2,882 periOperative Registered Nurses who are eligible for TCORN membership and of these, 33% can pursue their BSN, 43% could advance to the Masters level, and 14% are eligible for Doctoral studies.  (9% degree unknown, 1% hold a Doctorate).   
The TCORN website has been completely revamped to provide our membership with a professional platform which allows for enhanced interactions and streamlined ability to obtain information and we have been successful in adding several local chapters to our site.  Please welcome 4406 Fort Worth, 4407 Greater Houston, 4409 San Antonio, 4417 Greater Austin, 4432 AORN of North Texas, and 4433 Brazos Bend.  One of the TCORN website goals is to become a centralized information point for all perioperative nurses in Texas as the mission of TCORN is “to establish and maintain communication among Texas perioperative nurses, AORN Chapters, and National AORN regarding legislative and professional issues impacting perioperative nursing at the State and National levels”.  
While TCORN Membership is purely optional and service is voluntary, our mission is supported through relationships between members, between partners, between legislators, and between other organizations.  At any given time, our membership roster fluctuates between 80-90 members however, last weekend, our membership stood at 68 members.  That means that less than 3% of Texas AORN members are members of TCORN.  With that said, the goals of TCORN require each member to become more actively involved in the work of our organization to protect and enhance the role of the Texas periOperative Registered Nurse.  
I personally challenge each member to:  

  • Seek out opportunities introduce our organization to nurses at the local level
  • To become more actively involved in safeguarding our practice as well as ensuring patient safety
  • I further challenge you to serve on a committee or to run for an office within the Texas State Council

I thank you all for the hard work you do each day and I wish each of you continued success,
Mark Phillips, BSN, RN, CNOR