Place of Employment: SSM Health St. Mary’s, St. Louis
Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of:
Board(s) currently serving on: Ethics Committee at St. Mary’s
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
I was blessed to have been asked by my previous manager if I would like to serve on the Ethics committee. She believed I was a good fit for this position.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I have taken classes towards a Medical Ethics Certificate through the St. Louis Archdiocese.
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
We meet monthly to discuss the ethical cases that have come up in the previous month, how they were resolved, and what can we learn from these lessons. Yearly, we do an outreach for Healthcare Decisions Day trying to get as many people from the community to begin to think about having those “end of life” conversations, as well as encouraging POA for Healthcare paperwork to be filled out.
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Be excited for that great opportunity. Generally, staff nurses are not readily given that opportunity. I am thrilled that I was. Take advantage of every opportunity offered to you through this avenue, you may never get another one.
What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader and eventually obtaining a board position?
Access leadership courses through your facility, Mo. Center for Nursing website, or your state Nursing organization website. Becoming a member of your state organization if it is affordable.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
Few nurses are afforded this opportunity. Nurses are a vast source of information and knowledge on many subjects. Nurses knowledge is currently underutilized.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
It seems that if you are not in management, have a BSN, or a MSN then it is assumed you have nothing to offer.
“Board service can be rewarding to nurses both personally and professionally. It not only requires them to exercise leadership; it expands those skills and advances their capabilities and knowledge. It gives nurses the chance to meet people and enhance their professional networks. And it can be inspirational and empowering.” -Sue Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) represents national nursing and other organizations working to build healthier communities in America by increasing nurses’ presence on corporate, health-related, and other boards, panels, and commissions.