Katie Morales PhD, RN, CNE August 17, 2018- PhD, RN, CNE
Credentials: PhD, RN, CNE
Place of Employment: Berry College
Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of: Berry College
Board(s) currently serving on:
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
I am passionate about nursing and nursing education. I believe in nursing autonomy. Who better to represent us than an experienced, educated nurse such as me?
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Now that I have completed a terminal degree, I have developed a 5-year plan and would like to advance to help shape the future of nursing and nursing education.
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
My service included serving the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) as the 2009 – 2010 President Atlanta chapter, 2009 – 2011 National AALNC Chair of Education Committee, and the 2009 – 2011 Member Advocacy Committee. Here I helped set the standard for the legal nurse consultant (LNC) profession. There are many entry pathways and not all are as rigorous as others. I also helped develop educational materials to aid professional development of LNCs. I was the 2012-2014 Sigma Theta Tau International Vice President Tau Psi Chapter. Here I promoted scholarship among the nursing population. I served the Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) as the 2009-2011 GNA ad hoc committee for Nursing Practice and Reference Committee, and 2005-2015 Legislative ad hoc committee. Here I helped establish standards and advocated for the nursing profession. I served the Georgia Association of Nurse Educators (GANE) as the 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 Chair Nominating Committee. Here I helped recruit future leaders for nursing education. Finally, I served the Graduate Nursing Student Academy as the 2015-2018 Liaison Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University. Here I served to connect graduate students with the resources necessary for academic success.
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Begin with a position that helps you learn the culture of the organization. Follow the nursing process. Assess the current status. Develop a plan of action, Implement the plan following a change theory. Evaluate the results and adjust as necessary. Senator Renee Unterman is a nurse. She said she when she began her public service life she felt overwhelmed and wasn’t sure what to do next. So, she developed a care plan for the city.
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?
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Seek the professional resources (Such as AALNC, GANE, GNA) and surround yourself with other professionals to mentor you. Iron sharpens iron.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
I am passionate about nursing and nursing education. I believe in nursing autonomy. Who better to represent us than experienced, educated nurses? Although we are a major part of the healthcare workforce, we are under-represented politically and socially. The image of nursing cannot be entrusted to social media. Senator Renee Unterman is an excellent example of a nurse serving as a leader.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
Time and education: As most nurses are women, we are pulled in so many directions and are often too tired and exhausted to take on another thing. Additionally, women as a whole are often under-represented on boards. We may think we are not qualified, or others may think nurses are not qualified to serve on boards. We need to seek the additional education which may be required to serve on some boards. For example, business classes may help nurses understand healthcare from another point of view. As an associate degree nurse, I was personally convicted when we were hiring an emergency department registrar which required a bachelor’s degree. I decided the nurse should have at least the same education level as the emergency department registrar and today I have a PhD.
“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