As highly-skilled health professionals, nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system and their unique skills can be used on any board as well.

Consider these skills*:

  • A holistic view. RNs recognize the implications of decisions on others.
  • Compatibility. Nurses excel at working in teams across varying disciplines — they do so every day.
  • Accountability. The nature of a nurse’s work dictates that when he or she says they’ll do something, they do it. Their day jobs have little room for unreliability.
  • Ethics and integrity. According to Gallup, nursing is considered the most honest and ethical profession and has been for the past 15 years.
  • Operations experience. RNs bring an ability to proactively anticipate and make decisions with full consideration of risks and other contingencies.
  • Strong communication. This includes listening skills at a strategic level — an ability to hear what is being said as well as what is not.
  • The ability to take bold action when necessary.
  • A focus on outcome-based decision making and servant leadership.

*outlined in Connie Curran’s book, Nurse on Board

“A board member or trustee with a nursing background brings a unique voice to governance….[including] expertise in and valuable perspectives about community health, quality, safety, patient experience, workforce development, staff engagement, and financial stewardship. Nurses can offer new ideas to address challenges and frame opportunities as health care transformation occurs.”

Kimberly McNally, RN, MN, BCC

Executive Coach, Consultant and Author

The bottom line?

Having a nurse on a board provides an essential set of skills certain to benefit nearly any organization. Nurses are natural leaders and through board service they can advocate for their patients, profession, and their communities.

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