The turbulent, ever-changing world of healthcare is causing more and more healthcare boards to examine their governance effectiveness and ability to lead through rapid change while continuing to care for their communities. More than ever nurse leaders need to be poised to assume leadership roles within governance boards as healthcare redefines systems of care through the continuum.
The evolution to a value-driven delivery system, where healthcare costs, quality, and accessibility are critical, will require nurse leaders to guide the governance process. Nursing leaders are visionary, strategic thinkers who are innovative and results oriented. They have business acumen, build and lead teams, develop leaders, effectively lead change, influence others, and leverage resources. Because nurses have a close proximity to patients, families, and physicians--and because of their scientific understanding of care processes across the continuum--nurses have a unique ability to partner with other healthcare professionals and lead in the redesign of the healthcare system at a governance level.
Building the case for nurse’s relevancy on healthcare boards is logical and a sound business strategy. Nurse leaders can help shape healthcare through innovative and expert leadership--guiding policy decisions, improving patient care, and improving the health of the community. However, a nurse’s role in this capacity remains largely untapped. Nurses themselves need to focus on the advantages of serving on boards and better understand what it takes to be an effective trustee/director. Waiting for a board opportunity to present itself is no longer good enough. Nursing leaders need to broaden their scope and develop board aspirations. Those who desire to assume these roles need to assess their skills and consciously and strategically develop and implement plans that demonstrate their commitment and capability to lead in the board room. M.A. Ponti & Associates assists nurse leaders in understanding the value nursing brings to the board table and provides a framework for promotion and progression of nurse leaders to the highest level of organizational leadership: a healthcare trustee/director.