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.

Testimonials

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!

Nursing Organization: Faith Community NursingBoard(s) currently serving on: Review Panel United Way 2019 Q1 Tell us how your input on the board creates new perspectives for thinking about board activities or priorities. The focus of United Way is thriving families. Health care is important to sustain families. Organizations applying for grants service families and people in need. A nurse’s perspective is often helpful in identifying the issues relating to access to health care. Many nurses work in the community/public health/home health/school nursing and have a good idea of the needs of their community and the people they are serving. Q2 Describe an example of how your input resulted in an ‘A-Ha!’ moment for the board members. I supported funding for nurses working for a family agency in a low income population. The nurses role was critical in motivating/ supporting and providing continuity of care that was otherwise lacking.I helped motivate the other panel members to allocate funding to this agency. Q3 How is the impact of your board service unique from the impact of other board members? Our impact is unique health care experiences that only a nurse can provide, and a completely different understanding of community health. Q4 Please provide an example of how your nursing experience influenced change in board discussions or decisions. Many on the panel had no idea that nurses working in public health tend to make less money, and it was my experience that helped the panel ultimately decide to fund the agency that was employing public health nurses as a part of their community outreach strategy. Q5 What advice do you have for nurses seeking their first board role? Board service is a great opportunity to understand your community, and an invaluable experience in assessing organizations’ function including financial operations. It will help you understand how outcomes are measured and agency priorities are established. Q6 Any additional comments you wish to share: I highly encourage nurses to participate. The United Way was organized and provided good training. I consider it an honor to be part of this group. This was the most valuable volunteer work I have done since I retired.

Place of Employment: Retired VA Senior Leadership, Current Nursing Faculty Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of? ANA/WSNA, STTI, NACNS, ACHNE, APHN Board(s) currently serving on: Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA), Support for Early Learning & Families (SELF), Council for the Homeless, Bridgeview, ACEs Action Alliance, Children’s Home Society Southwest Washington Community Council Tell us how your input on the board creates new perspectives for thinking about board activities or priorities.As a Board Certified Public Health CNS, I offer a population health perspective with special emphasis on the social determinants of health with a focus on vulnerable populations. The nursing process is integral to all my board involvement. Describe an example of how your input resulted in an ‘A-Ha!’ moment for the board members.Linking housing to health, housing is the stabilizing factor in an individual’s or family’s health … health as defined by the WHO as not merely the absence of disease, but physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well being. How is the impact of your board service unique from the impact of other board members?My perspectives on health and the SDOH. Please provide an example of how your nursing experience influenced change in board discussions or decisions.The establishment and building of Bridgeview Education and Employment Resource Center to break the cycle of poverty through education, employment & health services offered by community partners, serving VHA residents and other low income individuals and families in the community- a innovation unlike we have found across the country. Secondly, the expansion of resident services to encourage self sufficiency. Thirdly, bringing the evidence of ACEs and early learning to the community. What advice do you have for nurses seeking their first board role?Get experience in Nursing organizations, esp. your State Nurses Association, ANA, and specialty nursing organizations. Any additional comments you wish to share:Start early in you career on your unit or in you organization, then get involved in your SNA/ANA & other nursing organizations.

Q1 Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of? AANA, MANA, ANA, HVO anesthesia Which board(s) are you currently serving on? International Organization for Women and Development medical advisory Board Q2 Tell us how your input on the board creates new perspectives for thinking about board activities or priorities. I helped integrate nursing into a medically dominated direction for NGO. I assumed a position of leadership in team policy . Q3 Describe an example of how your input resulted in an ‘A-Ha!’ moment for the board members. I have been a member of MA BON in past ( 9 years) and know how to listen to others and also make unique/distinct comments.  I can’t take total credit but after listening to my discussion of empowering nurses one of the primary physician stated that he felt empowering nurses should be number one strategic priority to improve women’s health in his low resource country. Q4 How is the impact of your board service unique from the impact of other board members? As a nurse, I not only offer professional nursing knowledge, but I also give my fellow board members the ability to visualize nurses as leaders, not just participants. Q5 Please provide an example of how your nursing experience influenced change in board discussions or decisions. Integrating and actualizing the use of surgical safety checklist in practice, is one example. Demonstrating how nursing empowerment to actualize is essential is another. Q6 What advice do you have for nurses seeking their first board role? Do not underestimate the time and commitment required to make a difference.  It’s your job to make you voice heard. Q7 Any additional comments you wish to share: In addition to this current position I have served as a member of the MA BON for 9 years in the past and fill many committee positions, most involving APRNs and global health.

Name: Elyse ShelgerCredentials: MSN, RN, CCRN-P, NE-BCPlace of Employment: CHOC Children’s Hospital and Stanford Children’s HospitalWhich Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of? ACNL, ANA, AACNBoard(s) currently serving on: Hembal, Inc Tell us how your input on the board creates new perspectives for thinking about board activities or priorities. Understanding from experience the questions mothers ask about various formulas, knowing what they are looking for and what nutritional barriers exist for mothers and babies. Also, being able to critically evaluate scientific research articles and FDA regulatory requirements and standards to ensure we are in compliance and prioritizing safety in every phase. Describe an example of how your input resulted in an ‘A-Ha!’ moment for the board members. To be honest we have only had one formal board meeting due to coronavirus and other obstacles. We have no spent much time together as a group. I would say the A-ha moment that has happened was when I was able to introduce myself to the board and explain my background and why I was passionate about working with the particular company. As the only female on the board it was important to me that they understand what value I can bring. Having experience as a pediatric nurse, working in neonatal intensive care units, as well as a masters degree in Nursing Leadership, I feel like I found the perfect company to serve. How is the impact of your board service unique from the impact of other board members? The company is is still in the idea phase, and our board is brand new, established in January. I look forward to getting to know my fellow board members in time and seeing how we each can contribute in our own unique ways and gel as one strong team. Please provide an example of how your nursing experience influenced change in board discussions or decisions. I believe my nursing experience will be impactful as we get deeper into the weeds. At this point we are doing some market research, and our founder is working hard on building out the new website. I am motivated by the fact that we truly have a unique product, unlike anything else currently on the market. What advice do you have for nurses seeking their first board role? My advice is to look for positions that excite you. Many board positions are voluntary and therefore you want to gain intrinsic value from your contribution. My other piece of advice is to not allow fear of rejection to stand in your way of trying. The more you out yourself out there, the more opportunities you will find. When the right one comes along it will be worth the challenges you faced to get there. Any additional comments you wish to share: I am so grateful to NOBC for opening new doors to me. I have had the pleasure of speaking with multiple NOBC team members who have each given me inspiration and motivation to continue growing as a person and furthering my career. NOBC had also introduced me to InTouch Networks which has also been incredibly valuable in my growth. These two organizations have created an outstanding partnership.

Nurses on Boards Coalition