The History of OSTNL
In 1986, a group of Trauma Nurse Coordinators from around the state began meeting to discuss trauma program issues, such as the role of the trauma coordinator, performance improvement, injury prevention, and Trauma Center verification. Initially, these were informal meetings, with a focus on networking and sharing information. In 1988, this informal group became a formal organization known as the Ohio Society of Trauma Nurse Coordinators (OSTNC) and later changed to OSTNL (Ohio Society of Trauma Nurse Leaders) in 2006 to better reflect the dynamics and direction of the membership. In 2008, OSTNL became a 501 (3) (C) not for profit organization in Ohio.
Over the years, the purpose statement, bylaws, goals and objectives were continually enhanced in order to accurately reflect the progress of OSTNL. Historically, the fundamental purpose of OSTNL is to serve as a resource regarding the care of the injured patient. Membership continues to be limited to registered nurses (RNs) who function in the administrative trauma role within an organized trauma program or regional trauma system. The membership meets bi-monthly with officer elections held annually.
As OSTNL matured, ad-hoc subcommittees were developed, as needs were identified in the state of Ohio. In addition, OSTNL members have strategically been placed on state committees, such as the Ohio Trauma Committee, Ohio Trauma Registry Advisory Subcommittee, the Ohio EMS Board, etc. This multidisciplinary interaction with other colleague interested in trauma program development has allowed greater nursing influence in the state of Ohio, Consequently, members of OSTNL have had the opportunity to become politically involved, actively supporting the development of trauma legislation. This activity, undertaken over a period of 10 years, eventually led to Ohio trauma legislation (H.B. 138). OSTNL members worked to educate the public regarding the need for a trauma system, met with legislators, testified in support of the bill, and collaborated with other professional nursing organizations in support of HB 138.