Place of Employment: Baxter Professional Services LLC
Which Nursing Organizations are you currently a member of: ANA, GAPNA, AALNC, BNAA, CAPNI
Board(s) currently serving on: Meals on Wheels of Hancock County, Anderson/Madison County Black and Minority Chamber of Commerce
Tell us about your journey to the boardroom. What inspired you to seek a leadership position?
I was asked to sit on a committee with Chamber for Economic Development. I have since been appointed as a board member and chair of the Religious Affairs Committee. I got involved with MOW through the Nurses on Boards website. I happen to leave in area that is considered a food desert. I work with clientele who rely on food pantries and TANF to get the food that they need. This is a way for me to help those who are homebound and can’t readily get to a grocery store or to a food pantry.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I have attended board meetings, helped serve meals, and I attend many events in the community.
What impact have you had serving on a board? Example?
We served the clients back in October and I wanted to be one of the first to welcome the holiday spirit, so we offered to sing Christmas Carols to the clients just to brighten their day.
What advice would you give someone going into a board leadership position for the first time?
Listen. Observe. See if you can spend some time attending the meetings or work on an event before you make a commitment to be on the board. Most board commitments are 3 years.
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 have read many leadership books and coaching books. I would start however by taking an inventory of the skills you already possess. As nurses, we have skills in negotiation, organization, and crisis management. We need to put our skills to good use in other areas in our community.
Why do you feel it is important for nurses to serve on boards?
Nurses have so much to contribute. We can provide that human factor to so many boards that typically focus on the numbers. Nurses know how to advocate for their patients. They can do the same for the consumers of the services of the organization.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to nurses serving on boards?
Institutional barrier is a significant factor. Often times in the hospital or agency, the nurse represents dollars for the organization.Pulling nurses away from patient care may not seem to be in the best interest of the organization, but I would say, having the input of the nurse, ultimately is patient care because nurses are the ones who spend the majority of the time with the patient.
- APRN, GNP-BC
Boards: Meals on Wheels of Hancock County, Anderson/Madison County Black and Minority Chamber of Commerce
“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.