Karen Garvey

Karen Garvey BSN,MPA/HCA, DFASHRM, CPHRM, CPPS October 30, 2017

Place of Employment: Parkland Health & Hospital System
Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of? None- but belong to others representing patient safety (NPSF) and healthcare risk management (ASHRM).
Board(s) currently serving on: American Society of Healthcare Risk Managers (ASHRM).

Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
I had a great boss and leader whom I respected and aspired to be like in my professional career.  She gave me an opportunity.  I also took time to shadow executive leaders to determine which direction to navigate my career. I’ve had several formal and informal leaders (nurses, physicians, operational leaders, team members, peers) along the way that have assisted in my leadership growth and have been supportive of me. My family and husband have also been extremely supportive at each juncture. All of these along with my inner drive to make a difference has allowed me to be in the position I hold today.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I continue to teach and mentor which keeps me current in the ever-changing healthcare landscape. I also attend conferences on leadership and am an avid reader on leadership and team building to further develop my skills. I also have enlisted a coach to assist me with my excelling my growth potential.

What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
My tenure is very young (6 months) but the impact personally has been extremely beneficial.  I realize how many brilliant minds are on our board and am excited to learn from each of them.  I also understand the unique voice I bring working in a public safety net hospital.

What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Being a first-time board member and new into the role, keep an open mind, listen and learn from others. Collective work towards common goals creates great respect for one another and momentum towards the mission of the organization.

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?
Leadership and teambuilding books, Harvard Business Review, various journal articles. Finding a strong mentor.  Letting someone know of your aspirations; many leaders are willing to help but just don’t know of one’s personal desire or goals.

Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
Nurses have such influence with the diversity of their work.  I’m an example as I’m a nurse leader but dont work in a traditional nursing role; Always a ‘nurse first’ though!

What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
Time and energy and lack of support by immediate leaders or the organization where one is employed. It may also be the conceived lack of alignment by nurses themselves.



Nurses on Boards Coalition