Serving on a board can be professionally and personally rewarding. Nurses are perfect additions to serve as board members because of their knowledge, critical thinking, and use of evidence-based practice to positively impact health outcomes of individuals, families, and communities.
Steps to Serving on a Board
Reflect on your past experience - have you gained leadership skills and experience while serving as a member of a unit/hospital committee? Local nonprofit organization? Were you able to obtain knowledge of the broader elements of these organizations and how they function together?
Find your passion - what are you most passionate about? Children’s issues, domestic violence, underserved population? Start in your local community- review organizational websites for their mission, vision and values to see if they align with your beliefs.
Create a personal strategic plan about your goals with the steps to achieve them. a. Develop a timeline b. Speak with current nurses who are on boards to understand the responsibility and time commitment c. Seek out opportunities to build your leadership skills
Broaden your social networks. a. Network at community events b. Speak with community members or others who serve on boards about their responsibilities and time commitments.
Seek out educational opportunities. a. MI BON resources b. Nurse Leaders in the Boardroom: The Skills You Need to Be Successful on a Board developed by the Center to Champion Nursing in America bit.ly/inboardroom c. Readiness Assessment For Board Service bit.ly/board-readiness bit.ly/wanttojoinboard d. Board Core Competencies bit.ly/boardcorecomp e. Impact of Nurses Serving on Boards bit.ly/nurseimpact
Nurses exhibit leadership skills and competencies to enhance any board service. Beyond their extensive experience in patient care, nurses offer strategic leadership skills, expertise in health care systems and processes, and the ability to allocate resources in a way that positively contributes to outcomes.
This information has been provided by Lisa Fetters, DNP, RN and Amy Stahley PhD, RN on behalf of the Nursing on Boards project of the Michigan Nursing Action Coalition.