Place of Employment: Georgia Southwestern State University
Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of: Georgia Nurses Association, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
Board(s) currently serving on: Phoebe-Sumter Medical Center Board of Directors, SOWEGA-AHEC Board of Directors (Chair), Emory Prevention Research Center Community Advisory Board
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
As a nurse, nursing educator, and dean, I believe that it is imperative for our profession to have a voice by serving on boards that directly impact healthcare and education. Much of my work is focused on advocating for nursing and healthcare, and this can be more effectively accomplished by serving in leadership positions. Geographically, I represent small rural underserved communities. I can advocate for the many challenges faced by populations living in these areas. Board membership provides the mechanism for me to work collectively with other members as we address the complex issues that we face. It is becoming a part of the solution.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I actively participate in board sponsored leadership/education retreats. I will be attending the National Governance Institute’s Leadership Conference. I have completed the AACN’s Faculty Leadership Development conference and attend annual meetings of AACN.
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
The voice of nursing, especially the need for preparing a more educated workforce in nursing is being heard by other board members (e.g. legislators, administrators, consumers).
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Become involved early by fully engaging with other members and committees.
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?
I don’t have any specific resources. I recommend being actively involved in the community, at regional and state levels, to become better known as to specific knowledge and expertise that one can offer those boards.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
I have already addressed this question in previous answers.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
Time and, perhaps, lack of appreciation that nurses have significant knowledge and expertise that can strengthen board membership.
- PhD, RN, Dean, School of Nursing
Boards: Phoebe-Sumter Medical Center Board of Directors, SOWEGA-AHEC Board of Directors (Chair), Emory Prevention Research Center Community Advisory Board
“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.