Dawn Gubanc-Anderson

Dawn Gubanc-Anderson

Credentials DNP, RN, NE-A, FACHE
Place of Employment: Chamberlain College of Nursing

Tell us about your journey to the boardroom – what inspired you to seek these leadership positions?
I am a huge supporter of the IOM Future of Nursing I truly feel that what we have as nurses to contribute is a unique knowledge base of skills. Serving on a board is crucial to this! I have served on the board of The Ohio Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization and have found it very rewarding. I’m very much a strategist – I love big sky thinking and challenging the status quo. Serving on a board has allowed me to meet others who feel the same way and who are looking for an opportunity to do so in community!

What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
One of the most significant barriers would be lack of awareness of opportunities as well as nurses not feel prepared to serve at that level. I have had incredible mentors to support and empower me to seek out opportunities and to reach for these positions.

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?
One of the easiest ways to engage and grow leadership skills is becoming involved in nursing organizations. Not only is this a great networking opportunity, you have many resources geared towards professional development and life-long learning. The Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) is also a great resource!

What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Believe that you have an incredible amount of knowledge to share and that you have a unique position you bring to the table. You represent communities, families, individuals, groups – you hold a very holistic view of those that you serve and this is a valuable resource to boards!

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I just finished my doctorate and am currently looking for opportunities to further engage in my own community. I am continuing to plug myself into organizations to offer my experience and leadership.

Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
Nurses offer a unique perspective, not only on healthcare, but overall wellness and wellbeing. There aren’t many other professions that can bring that to the table. We generally tend to be people who are problem solvers, creative, inclusive and who possess a great deal of emotional intelligence, all of which are valuable attributes.

What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?I have had the opportunity to sit on The Ohio Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization board of directors. In this role I was able to use my strengths of strategy and business to help build up this organization. I assisted with philanthropic opportunities, new communication strategies, recruitment, and served as a facilitator of their mission.

One of the biggest leadership lessons I learned was through building two different hospitals. Ultimately it’s about having courage not just the knowledge. Being able to take on something that is new and uncomfortable and live with the ambiguity is crucial to future success. Sometimes we feel that we feel that we need to have a great deal of knowledge, but really it’s about living with that ambiguity and being able to make decisions. Once we are at the table we realize that.


Dawn Gubanc-Anderson DNP, RN, NE-A, FACHE September 27, 2017

Nurses on Boards Coalition