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NYAM’s Nursing Special Interest Group Hosts Workshop: “Preparing Nurses for Board Governance”

Dr. Connie Vance, chair, NYAM Nursing Special Interest Group; Dr. Donna Costello-Nickitas, program co-chair, "Preparing Nurses for Board Governance; Dr. Connie Curran, program presenter

On April 3, NYAM’s Nursing Special Interest Group hosted a full-day leadership training event designed to equip nurses with strategies and tools necessary to plan and navigate a path to a board appointment.

“NYAM's sponsorship of this important workshop helped emphasize the need for well-prepared nurses to serve on boards of directors,” said Program Co-Chair Suellyn Ellerbe, MN, RN, NEA-BC, President & CEO, Suellyn Ellerbe & Associates, Inc. and and Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University College of Nursing. Through this service, nurses will influence the course of health care in organizations that provide health care to employees, that set policy on health care delivery, and that serve the recipients of health care."

The day’s program addressed the need for nurses to move into board roles, reviewed the essentials of board governance, compared and contrasted nonprofit, governmental and corporate boards, helped each participant identify and analyze a “target board,” and addressed approaches to personal branding to maximize contacts, networks, and mentors.

“Since it is estimated that only 3-6% of members on health care boards are nurses, it is clear that nurses are an untapped resource for governance roles,” said Connie Vance, EdD, RN, FAAN, Chairperson of the NYAM Nursing Special Interest Group.

The event featured keynote speaker Diana Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing at Hunter College and President of the American Academy of Nursing, and program speaker Connie Curran, EdD, RN, FAAN, CEO of Best On Board and Editor Emerita of Nursing Economics.

“Nurses have been quietly defining and expanding their roles through championing quality care improvements, spearheading innovative research, and advocating for greater access and equity in health care; Drs. Curran and Mason reminded the program participants that serving on governance boards is one way that nurses ensure their voices carry the power and influence to change organizational policy, programs, and procedures,” said Program Co-Chair Donna Costello-Nickitas, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNE, FAAN, Editor of Nursing Economics, Professor at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, and Executive Officer at the CUNY Graduate Center.

In the afternoon session, participants separated into breakout sessions for non-profit, government, and private/corporate boards. The participants were challenged to develop personal strategic plans for preparation and service on a board.

“The participants were inspired to seek opportunities and additional training to serve on governing boards,” Dr. Vance said. “Strengthening network connections with organizations, such as NYAM and experienced mentors, will be extremely important in gaining access to these board roles.”

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Posted on April 7, 2014

Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285


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