Tuesday July 23rd 2019

Nurses on Boards Coalition reports on progress

The percentage of hospital and health system board members who were nurses dropped to 5 percent in 2014 — down from just 6 percent in 2011, according to the American Hospital Association’s Center for Healthcare Governance.

The Nurses on Boards Coalition seeks to reverse that trend and begin increasing such memberships. The American Nurses Association, the American Nurses Foundation and the American Academy of Nursing are all founding members of the coalition, along with 19 other national organizations. ANA CEO Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a co-chair of the coalition and its steering committee. The co-chairs of NOBC work group committees include the Foundation’s Executive Director Kate Judge, North Carolina Nurses Association Executive Director Tina Gordon, MPA, CAE, FACHE, and AAN President Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN.

The coalition is working to increase nurses’ presence on corporate and nonprofit health-related boards of directors throughout the country with the goal of having 10,000 nurses on boards by the year 2020.

Since its creation late last year, the coalition has taken several actions.

In April, the NOBC organizations approved a guiding principle and an operational definition of boards that qualify for inclusion in the NOBC and membership criteria.

Guiding principle: To achieve the goal of improving the health of communities and the nation through service of 10,000 nurses on boards by 2020.

Definition of a board: For data collection purposes, the coalition defines a board as one that “incorporates the unique expertise of nurses.” These are boards that have strategic influence to improve the health of communities and the nation.

Examples of boards to be counted include corporate or industry boards; insurance company boards; hospital or health system boards; philanthropic boards; advisory boards; commissions, task forces or positions appointed by the president, a governor, a mayor or a state legislature; citizen-elected boards (e.g., school boards); and nonprofit, non-nursing boards.

Of note, examples of boards to be collected but not counted include nursing association boards and governor-appointed state boards of nursing.

Moving forward, new members must be a national organization (though state organizations will be allowed to join at a later date), be an organization (not an individual), name one person to represent the organization for two years and have a consistent alternate selected as needed. New members also must have a mission aligned with the NOBC’s guiding principle, acknowledge the possibility of paying future dues/assessments and be willing to pay to participate in the NOBC.

In related work by coalition members, AAN announced the launch of the Institute for Nursing Leadership in March. This complements the ANA Leadership Institute and other NOBC educational programs. The Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation made a $150,000 grant to fund the Foundation’s work over the next three years as part of the national coalition in late 2014.

Next, the NOBC will soon begin a national effort to collect information online about nurses currently serving on boards. The data will help measure progress to achieve 10,000 nurses on boards by 2020. Plans are underway to open up the coalition to ANA’s constituent and state nurses organizations.

Join the conversation on Twitter at #10knurses. Learn more at www.givetonursing.org.

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