Credentials: DNP, FNP-BC, RN
Place of Employment: Linfield College School of Nursing
Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of: NAHN, ONA, ANA
Board(s) currently serving on: Oregon Health Authority Cultural Competence Continuing Education Review, Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization Committee International Nursing Re-entry Program Board, National Association of Hispanic Nurses Policy Board
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
As a Nurse and a Latina, I found myself frustrated that many health policies were being made without the voice that represented my experiences with many of my Latino patients. I finally thought I had the knowledge, confidence, and gumption to start serving on Boards that improve the lives of so many of my clients I take care of as a nurse. Many of our Boards need to be reflect the various populations that are now becoming majority populations.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I am a late bloomer, who failed to recognize the power of nursing can have in our community when I was younger. I am now working on motivating the next generation to see themselves as leaders from the very start. I see myself as a mentor and I try to inspire more nurses to also seek board appointments. I have attended the NAHN Leadership Institute for the past 4 years and find it extremely valuable to work with other Latinas who inspire me to do my best.
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
As a NAHN policy board member I have provided our members with information about immigrant agricultural issues that affect Oregon but also many other states. Our agricultural workers face pesticide exposures, horrible living situations and many barriers to health care. We need to provide them with a strong political voice that resists current political backlash. I have spoken out on how our Latino children are now facing ACEs in numbers not seen before due to immigration policies, we must make sure primary care providers are assessing ALL children for ACE’s and Latino children who are facing bullying, high suicide rates and chronic illnesses in their daily lives.
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Find an area you are passionate about, become familiar with this area. Represent nursing well by doing your homework, always back up your statements with evidence and don’t be afraid to challenge. Find the leasers in your area of specialty and ask them to nominate you to boards. If you don’t ask, it won’t happen. Once you are on a board, extend a hand to other nurses.
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?
A must read is Kouzes & Posner’s: The Truth about Leadership: The No-fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
We are one of the few professions that truly allows us to see our client’s holistically meaning not only as an individual but as a being impacted by their family, community and environment. As nurses our education provides us with the foundational knowledge that compassion is truly an important value to uphold. The art of caring allows us to examine potential problems by listening for various approaches to problem solving, communicating effectively and always keeping the client at the center of any management plan. These are incredible skills to have as a board member.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
We don’t have enough mentors that are helping future nurses see themselves as serving on Boards. Nursing leadership must do a better job at mentoring and providing opportunities to recognize the importance of serving on boards.Boards: Oregon Health Authority Cultural Competence Continuing Education Review, Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization Committee International Nursing Re-entry Program Board, National Association of Hispanic Nurses Policy BoardContinue Reading
“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