By Colin Berry
A father of two, David Silva brings two key qualifications to his position on the Oregon Action Coalition Steering Committee: Deep experience in OHSU’s ambulatory/outpatient surgical unit and, as a DNP candidate, the perspective of a graduate student with a strong interest in nursing’s future.
Born in Portugal, Silva came to the US in the 1990s. He always intended to work in healthcare, and took a path that included social work, volunteer firefighting, and EMT training, where a group of nurses encouraged him to join their ranks. After earning his BSN from Linfield College in 2004, he received an internship at OHSU, which set the stage for a staff nurse position at its Portland campus. He’s been at OHSU ever since — as a clinical team leader for six years and, since 2012, a nurse manager in ambulatory surgery. He also co-chairs the school’s Hospital Based Nurse Staffing Committee.
Of broadening his education, Silva knew he wanted to be challenged. “My Bachelor’s gave me the basics, and my Masters gave me the language and the science behind it,” he says. But he wanted more, and enrolled in a new MN/DNP program intended for managers that appealed to his growing sense of his own leadership. “I wanted to stay current,” he adds, “and explore in more depths the things I care about.” He’s slated to complete the program in 2018.
Silva believes adding nurses’ voices to the boardroom will achieve two things. For them, spending time with business leaders will provide new ideas and theories for their work on the job. For the boards, nurses will deliver a necessary perspective missing from many organizations. “Nurses are at the forefront of people’s most vulnerable times,” Silva explains. “Most boards will be greatly enriched by that perspective — by the humanity we bring.”