Oct 05, 2016

“Nurse Leaders Will Deliver in the Boardroom”

Two nurses who have sat on many a board write for the Governance Institute about why others—many others—must do the same. Meanwhile, speaking up in Becker’s Hospital Review are two others also leading the push to increase the number of nurses on boards.

The piece in the Governance Institute’s October issue of BoardRoom Press lays out the many reasons nurses belong on boards while the Becker’s interview tracks the movement’s progress.

nobc“Let us be clear: we believe inviting more nurse leaders to the boardroom will improve the board’s effectiveness and efficiency in addressing the compelling business case to improve the patient experience,” write Laurie Benson, BSN, RN, executive director of the Nurses on Boards Coalition, and Susan Hassmiller, RN, PhD, FAAN, senior adviser for nursing for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. The Campaign is an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“We know the impact of the nursing perspective in the boardroom. Nurses are adept and immersed in working in teams, seeing a path forward amidst complexity, and creating and implementing plans to achieve the best patient outcomes and to improve the patient experience.”

Meanwhile, Becker’s Hospital Review magazine asked Benson’s organization, the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) about its aspirations to get 10,000 nurses on boards by the year 2020.

nobc-screencaptureAnswering questions were two NOBC representatives, one of whom also works closely with the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action: Kimberly Harper, MS, RN, is the CEO of the Indiana Center for Nursing, a co-lead of the Indiana Action Coalition, and the NOBC co-chair. Strongly supporting the initiative is F. Patrick Robinson, PhD, RN, FAAN, the dean of Capella University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Finally, Hassmiller, Benson, Harper, and Robinson come together with a number of other experts in a white paper mentioned at the end of the Q&A. The name of the paper,  which is produced by Capella University and NOBC, says it all: “Nurses on Boards: The Time for Change Is Now.”

The inspiration for these leaders to urge nurses to put their knowledge and inspiration into action is the Institute of Medicine recommendation in its 2010 report on the future of nursing that nurses have more of a voice  in guiding decisions for all sorts of organizations.

Top photo: Nurses on Boards Coalition members at a meeting in 2015.

 Bottom photo: On its website, the NOBC uses the image of a thermometer to show progress.