Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of: ANA, CAN, NANN, NEANN
Board(s) currently serving on: Farmington Valley VNA
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
The Nurses on Boards initiative substantiated my desire to use my nursing experience and expertise to serve my community in ways outside of direct patient care. Serving on the board of the local VNA was a perfect opportunity that I identified through the local United Way “volunteer opportunities” online.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
One growth step was to commit to serve on an additional board. In addition, fortunately the VNA Board has partnered with the local Foundation for Non-Profit organizations. Through this group we have had educational series available that are directed at Board activities. Primarily this has been beneficial in developing knowledge of related financial matters.
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
I am the voice of clinical nursing on both boards. Especially on the VNA board there is a very diverse group of members, but most have no nursing background. On that Board I have chosen to contribute by being the secretary. Holding an executive office has exposed me to a higher level of Board related activities; many “people-related” skills have been key.
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Absolutely NEVER underestimate yourself or your skills.
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?
There are a variety of online sites that are helpful. My first experience in something directly healthcare related was appropriate to expand my skills and knowledge. I would now be ready, I believe, to assume a role on a non-healthcare board.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
Because we are the BEST!! Actually, we bring such a wide variety of experience to the table and so many people skills. The rest, we learn. In addition, every nurse brings their professional self, but they also bring their personal self and experiences. What a complete package we are!!
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
Lack of knowledge r/t financial matters/business related matters. On the other hand, Boards are focused on finding members that fill those needs – and not only do we learn but we bring another dimension that they simply are not in a position to learn.
“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.