Teresa Garrett

Teresa Garrett DNP, RN, APHN-BC February 11, 2019

Credentials: DNP, RN, APHN-BC

Place of Employment: University of Utah

Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of: American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, Utah Nurses Association, Public Health Nursing Association, Utah Association of Nurse Leaders, Utah Action Coalition

Board(s) currently serving on: American Public Health Association Action Board, Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders, Utah Action Coalition, Holy Cross Ministries, YWCA Public Policy Board, Salt Lake City Police Civilian Review Board

Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?

Thinking back on this path, my service journey began during my undergraduate program in the early 1980’s when I was elected to serve as the President of the Utah Student Nurses Association. I have served in many ways, on many boards, as a team member and as a leader since that time. Today, I focus my board efforts on two main goals – impacting nursing practice policy and serving vulnerable populations.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

Several organizations I have been involved with have encouraged board members to take advantage of education offered through our state’s non-profit association. Learning more about board service, leadership and fiduciary responsibilities has been most helpful.

What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?

I am the co-lead of Utah’s Action Coalition. Last year I partnered with our Action Coalition’s sponsoring organization to apply for funding through a national grant opportunity and we were successful in receiving the funding. This has helped the Utah Action Coalition continue Culture of Health activities.

What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?

Spend time with the Board Chair and the Executive Director prior to your first board meeting to better understand the role board takes in leading the organization. And then, jump in! Organizations are looking for your energy, enthusiasm and engagement.

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?

Many states have an statewide association that support nonprofit organizations. These groups often provide recruitment for board service opportunities and offer education opportunities for board members to learn more about roles and responsibilities. And the Nurses On Boards website is also a great place to start!

Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?

It’s time to leverage the trust that patients and families give to our profession by serving our communities on boards. We offer a unique, caring perspective not available by any other professional group. Our professional focus on prevention helps to bring a Culture of Health conversation to the Board Room.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?

Nurses need to have the confidence to know that their experience, perspective and opinion makes a difference. the relationships and expertise that we bring to the board room and organizational actions will make our communities stronger, healthier and more prosperous.

- DNP, RN, APHN-BC
Boards: American Public Health Association Action Board, Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders, Utah Action Coalition, Holy Cross Ministries, YWCA Public Policy Board, Salt Lake City Police Civilian Review Board
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