Place of Employment Newton Wellesley Hospital Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of? APNA, ANA, Sigma Theta Tau Board(s) currently serving on: Covenant Health, Youville Assisted Living
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position? I was asked to join the Youville Board based on my area of expertise (geri-psych). That led to a parent organization (Covenant) asking me to serve. When I was asked to serve, I felt that it was a way that I could advocate for populations through my role as a clinical leader. Most of the Board members are either attorneys or bankers!
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader? The Covenant organization sends all Board members to sponsor formation retreats. Also was recently asked to serve as Board Chair for Youville, so am getting some mentoring around that.
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example? I have advocated for more patient and family centered care; have advocated and participated in community service offerings; have mentored other nurses and have ben the ‘clinical voice’ that speaks to relevant issues at Board meetings.
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time? Find one other person on the Board to whom you can speak freely about confusion, concerns, etc.
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? The Board Member’s Book by O’Connell; talking to other colleagues with Board experience.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards? We need to be advocating for our patients and their families, especially in this era of change. We need to be sure that the full impact of decisions made is clear as opposed to just looking at fiscal impact.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards? Time, concern about potential need to donate funds.
“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.