Kim Newlin February 11, 2019
Credentials: RN, ANP-C, CNS, FPCNA, FAHA
Place of Employment: Sutter Roseville Medical Center
Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of: PCNA, AHA, AANP
Board(s) currently serving on: Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
I started attending PCNA educational sessions in 2000 and officially joined the organization in 2003, after completing my Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist program and recognizing that PCNA’s mission was aligned with my own. I had been working with other PCNA Members to start a chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area, so when I moved to Sacramento, I started a new PCNA chapter within 2 years. As a chapter leader I worked closely with the PCNA office staff and board members and was given several opportunities to participate on committees, develop educational materials and attend meetings as a PCNA representative. I loved how the work I was doing with patients and developing programs complemented the work with PCNA and made me a better clinician. After 10 years of various commitments, I was asked if I would be interested in joining the PCNA board. Even though my family and work life were busy, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to work with the amazing board members who have dedicated much of their lives to PCNA and cardiovascular nursing. In April I will start my two year term as President!
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Sutter Health has invested in developing leaders by creating fantastic leadership courses, programs and annual management symposiums, which I have been fortunate to be part of for the past few years. I use the skills learned during these sessions in my every day work and in my role as a board member. I also read leadership books to explore different styles and both observe and meet with mentors to incorporate what resonates with me and can complement my current leadership approach. And more specifically for the PCNA board, I ask a lot of questions of the current board members and office staff and continue to listen and learn and say “yes” to new opportunities and projects!
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
During my 6 years on the PCNA board, I have brought my clinical expertise to various projects and programs, which in turn has added value and depth to what was developed and presented to thousands of health care providers. I also have recruited and mentored PCNA members who are assuming leadership positions, helping to ensure we have a strong succession plan.
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Before joining a board, find out as much as you can about the mission, vision and style of board. If you don’t know the other board members, take the time to get to know them, personally and professionally, especially if you will be working on projects with them and may not always have in-person interactions. Also, listen. There is so much to learn and you will have time to contribute, but you must first listen to the board to learn how they interact, make decisions, and determine where you can make the biggest impact.
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?
First I think you have to identify your leadership style and your strengths and weaknesses. There are several books available and websites you can explore where you can learn about different styles and tools to help you become a better leader. Your employer may also have classes or access to journals or books. And if there is something you are passionate about, personally or professionally, find an organization or two that aligns with this passion and start reading about them, volunteering with them and getting to know the staff and board members.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
Nurses bring a unique perspective to any board, with the special blend of clinical knowledge and direct patient care experience that allows for insights into complex issues that many boards are trying to address. I am also currently the team coordinator for our local Girl Scouts service unit and troop leader, and my educational and professional experience allow me to bring depth to the STEM and healthy behavior focus of this organization.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
Time and support! Board meetings can often be during work hours, at the end of long days, or require travel away from home, which can make it almost impossible for nurses to serve on a board. Our PCNA board had a discussion a few years ago about what is required to be a good board member- and we all identified a supportive employer and family are essential!Boards: Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses AssociationContinue 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