The Nurses On Boards Coalition (NOBC) is deeply grateful and proud of nurses all across the country for their dedication, service and sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic. We honor all nurses, medical professionals, staff and volunteers serving on the frontlines and those supporting them behind the scenes in their local communities. NOBC is committed and available to support our members, partners, nurses and community members. Please contact us at nobc@nursesonboardscoalition.org if we can help you in any way. Especially now, we thank you for your interest, support and engagement in support of our mission. We hope you and those you hold close are protected, safe and healthy in the coming days.

The Reason I Serve

For advice and inspiration, we invite you to read the real life experiences from nurses serving on all types of boards, large and small, local and national, healthcare and non-healthcare related to learn more about their paths to the boardroom.

Tina Marie Baxter APRN, GNP-BC

Pulling nurses away from patient care may not seem to be in the best interest of the organization, but I would say, having the input of the nurse, ultimately is patient care because nurses are the ones who spend the majority of the time with the patient. Continue Reading

- APRN, GNP-BC
Boards: Meals on Wheels of Hancock County, Anderson/Madison County Black and Minority Chamber of Commerce
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Thomas Veeser RN, MS

My first Board was on the American Heart Association. I learned that at the Board level I could influence more directly where an organization put its energy to achieve its mission. I also learned skills and communications that aided me in all activities professionally and personally that allow me to better effect change. Continue Reading

- RN, MS
Boards: Ascension Quality, Gold Cross Ambulance Company, Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives, Wisconsin Center for Nursing, Appleton Homeless Connections
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When you first join a board, especially as a nurse, take the time to observe the process for a few meetings and personally introduce yourself to other board members and staff assisting the board. Include a personal introduction to the secretary taking minutes. After you have a good sense of the board’s culture and procedures, don’t sit quietly through meetings: establish your presence! First: interact, ask questions, challenge assumptions. Asking questions is a powerful and non-confrontational way to learn and, often, contribute to discussions. Second: be knowledgeable about board business – and that often goes beyond clinical issues and nursing. Get involved in discussions that involve infrastructure, physician relations, risk and malpractice, strategy, etc. If you only speak up on nursing and clinical issues, you will lose credibility among your board peers, and lose the opportunity to bring the nursing perspective to broader issues. For example, I served on the Summa Health System Board of Directors for 13 years.  My contribution to board activities and priorities most often concerned clinical and personnel issues, which I understood in much greater depth than other board members did, who lacked this background.One time, I brought the results of my own research to a discussion on reducing hospital readmissions results: namely, that polypharmacy in our patients contributed significantly to our readmission rate. This issue was not strictly a “nursing” issue, but my nursing perspective completely changed the way the board thought about the problem. The other board members had an “a-ha!” moment, and we were able to propose a solution that included my research as a nurse.Being a nurse on the board of a large organization can often mean that you’re the underdog.  Instead of staying in that intimidating space, try to see it as an opportunity to surprise your fellow board members with your unique perspective and contributions.  As nurses, we all know the value and knowledge we bring to to the strategy table, it’s time to confidently assert that knowledge to the broader world!

Teresa Garrett DNP, RN, APHN-BC

It’s time to leverage the trust that patients and families give to our profession by serving our communities on boards. We offer a unique, caring perspective not available by any other professional group. Continue Reading

- DNP, RN, APHN-BC
Boards: American Public Health Association Action Board, Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders, Utah Action Coalition, Holy Cross Ministries, YWCA Public Policy Board, Salt Lake City Police Civilian Review Board
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Terence Mason RN, BSN

No voice for staff RNs. Continue Reading

- RN, BSN
Boards: Arizona Emergency Medical Systems
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Nurses on Boards Coalition