Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of: NAHQ, National Rehab Association, NPSF
Board(s) currently serving on: Rise Recovery Board of Trustees
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
Given the current state of health care, clinicians are in charge of the way healthcare is delivered, the result of that delivery system in terms of outcomes and the critical need for change that improves those patient outcomes, the patient experience, and the overall cost.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Process improvement and patient safety are the foci of my business. I operate my own business that helps UT Health demonstrate their outcomes. I also serve on the Rise Recovery Board of Trustees as their expert on addiction outcomes. I’m working to focus and fund UT nursing curriculum on improvement sciences and health outcomes.
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
I just completed a retreat with Rise Recovery where addiction outcomes have moved to the forefront and aggregation and display of outcomes is paramount.
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Join a board of your interest, remain patient and quietly assess where you can contribute. Board participation is based on trust and assessment of board needs and board members skills. This takes time so stick with it and don’t get discouraged.
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?
Boards are all about raising funds to support their mission so be open to reading books on identifying donors and making the request. Again, this is foreign to most people, so it is a slow learning process. Be willing to give your own funds and ask your colleagues to contribute to your favorite non-profits. I have been pleasantly surprised how willing they are to give knowing your sympathetic view of the population you serve. This also requires assessing and rearranging your giving, sometimes consolidating when and to whom to donate.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
Nurses have knowledge, skills, and abilities resulting from their education and training, so be willing to use them in different ways. Nurses are the most trusted profession, so we have an advantage when addressing the public.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
Nurses fail to appreciate the value of their contribution. Engagement where you attend meetings and learn about the organization to moving towards activation where the board asks you to take a leadership role and perform a function on behalf of the board, to partnership where you are equally committed to the success of the organization.
“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.