The Nurses On Boards Coalition (NOBC) is deeply grateful and proud of nurses all across the country for their dedication, service and sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic. We honor all nurses, medical professionals, staff and volunteers serving on the frontlines and those supporting them behind the scenes in their local communities. NOBC is committed and available to support our members, partners, nurses and community members. Please contact us at email@example.com if we can help you in any way. Especially now, we thank you for your interest, support and engagement in support of our mission. We hope you and those you hold close are protected, safe and healthy in the coming days.
Lynn George- PhD, RN, CNE
Credentials: PhD, RN, CNE
Place of Employment: Carlow University
Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of: NLN, AACN, ANA, CCNE, Sigma Theta Tau
Board(s) currently serving on: Heritage Valley Health System (HVHS) and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Health Careers Futures.
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
My journey began as a volunteer community member on the Patient Safety Committee of HVHS. I was very impressed with HVHS’ commitment to healthcare quality and safety. When asked to become a board member, I considered serving an honor. I was invited to join the JHFHCF board because of my role as a leader in the preparation of future healthcare providers. I respected the work of this organization that has a history of making significant impact on healthcare that is patient focused.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I continue to read, talk with others, listen to wise leaders and participate in board development opportunities. HVHS also provides ongoing board development for members. This is an important part of keeping members engaged and well informed… essential for making good decisions. Personally, my service as a board member at both HVHS and JHFHCF has been a valuable learning experience.
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
I am the only nurse on the board of HVHS a regional health care system. Each member brings an important perspective to their role in governance. As a nurse, I became visible to other nurses in this role. They often ask me questions about “what it is like” and “why do I serve”…. Nurses at HVHS tell me they are proud to have a nurse on the Board… They feel like I represent them. That is a big responsibility and I take it very seriously. Eventually, when I was asked to serve as Chair of the Board… I started thinking about all the reasons why I should say no to the additional responsibilities… and then I thought about nurses and the importance of serving in this role and said yes. I will become chair January 1, 2019.
At the JHFHCF I serve with other community and healthcare professionals to support innovative practices that result in a better prepared, patient focused workforce development… personally enriching and inspirational.
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
A nurse by discipline and a member of the largest group of health care professionals, nurses are important stakeholders on health care related boards. Take advantage of the opportunity to make a difference at the board level. Also understand that it will be a learning process and to take advantage of every opportunity to learn more about the role of a board member.
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?
Here is a list of some resources that I have found to be very helpful:
Trustees Magazine https://www.trusteemag.com/
Nurse leaders make great board members… so continuing to grow as a leader is also important.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
Nurses provide an important, unique perspective, but are often overlooked as board members. They are great analysts and problem solvers. Boards typically provide governance/oversight to assure that services are provided to constituents in a way that is consistent with the mission and vision of the organization. Nurses are wonderful advocates and think about what is in the best interest of those served by an organization. These are important characteristics of effective board members.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
Lack of experience and lack of confidence … not lack of aptitude to serve on a board.
Lynn George PhD, RN, CNE April 2, 2019Boards: Heritage Valley Health System (HVHS) and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Health Careers Futures.Continue 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