In addition to her presidency for AORN, a 40,000-member organization, Graling is a clinical nurse specialist at Inova Fairfax Hospital in the Washington, D.C. region where she is responsible for more than 30 operating rooms. Graling has recent experience in disaster preparedness. She was instrumental in reacting to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and in preparing her hospital for Hurricane Isabel in September 2003.
"Paula Graling's extensive experience as a clinical nurse specialist will be invaluable to the leadership of our organization," said Tom Cooper, executive director of AORN.
Graling addressed the more than 12,000 nurses and healthcare professionals who attended the Congress March 20-24, 2006.
"Perioperative registered nurses are anonymous in our success and famous in our failure," Graling said. "In addition to promoting protocols that focus on improving patient safety, I intend to promote understanding of the protective role that nurses play as they care for patients when they are most vulnerable, before, during and after surgery."
"We're extremely happy and excited for Paula and her prestigious appointment," said Toni Ardabell, vice president of Inova Health System and chief operating officer for the Inova Fairfax campus. "This will give Paula the opportunity to showcase the great work she does for our hospital and the work she's done to advance the field of perioperative nursing."
Graling has experience in academic teaching, professional seminars, community presentations and journal publication. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from George Mason University.