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The Reason I Serve: Marjorie Cohen, RN, BS, MA

The Reason I Serve: Marjorie Cohen, RN, BS, MA

  • Nursing Organization: Faith Community Nursing
  • Board(s) currently serving on: Review Panel United Way 2019


Tell us how your input on the board creates new perspectives for thinking about board activities or priorities.

The focus of United Way is thriving families. Health care is important to sustain families. Organizations applying for grants service families and people in need. A nurse’s perspective is often helpful in identifying the issues relating to access to health care. Many nurses work in the community/public health/home health/school nursing and have a good idea of the needs of their community and the people they are serving.


Describe an example of how your input resulted in an ‘A-Ha!’ moment for the board members.

I supported funding for nurses working for a family agency in a low income population. The nurses role was critical in motivating/ supporting and providing continuity of care that was otherwise lacking.
I helped motivate the other panel members to allocate funding to this agency.


How is the impact of your board service unique from the impact of other board members?

Our impact is unique health care experiences that only a nurse can provide, and a completely different understanding of community health.


Please provide an example of how your nursing experience influenced change in board discussions or decisions.

Many on the panel had no idea that nurses working in public health tend to make less money, and it was my experience that helped the panel ultimately decide to fund the agency that was employing public health nurses as a part of their community outreach strategy.


What advice do you have for nurses seeking their first board role?

Board service is a great opportunity to understand your community, and an invaluable experience in assessing organizations’ function including financial operations. It will help you understand how outcomes are measured and agency priorities are established.


Any additional comments you wish to share:

I highly encourage nurses to participate. The United Way was organized and provided good training. I consider it an honor to be part of this group. This was the most valuable volunteer work I have done since I retired.

November 19, 2020

Nurses on Boards Coalition