Respond to John and Tara
Nurses are key change agents in health care; yet, nurses have not been sufficiently engaged on boards to shape decision making. Without an equal voice in the boardroom, nurses cannot fulfill their professional obligation to society. Doctorally prepared nurses have the distinctive responsibility of bringing the business of caring to board agendas and bringing the clinical issues to the boardroom (Mason et al., 2013). Nurse executives are charged with the induction of non-members to the health care industry by giving those opportunities to regularly interact with patients and the professionals (Mason et al., 2013). Nurses and nurse executives also have expert knowledge of how to best achieve high-quality, safe care (Walton et al., 2015).
Advanced practice nurses can offer new solutions and understand the collaboration that will be needed between health care professionals and health care settings (Walton et al., 2015). Nurses are the front lines of safety and quality processes and outcomes, they are required to understand and develop the skills needed to improve care processes for their patients with a focus on performance and safety (Sundea et al., 2017). Nurses are known for good listening skills, problem solving and highly functional team members, they are also good board members and excellent patient advocates (Walton et al., 2015).
Nurse leaders are expected to facilitate, establish, monitor, and manage annual budgets in an effort to control costs and maximize spending in their respective areas of administration (Sundea et al., 2017). Doctorally prepared nurses are highly recommended to initiate their relationship with board service by volunteering and serving their professional nursing organizations where they can gain leadership and skill development (Sundea et al., 2017). Doctorally prepared nurses in particular are able and qualified to converse easily about data collection and analysis, outcome management, and financial management (Walton et al., 2015).
DNP nurses’ knowledge on quality, safety, and patient care at the board level of health care organizations are really beneficial for the smooth function the organization at a higher level (Sundea et al., 2017). Doctorally prepared nurses must continue to identify and develop evidence-based improvements to care, and these improvements must be tested and adopted through policy changes across the health care system (Walton et al., 2015).
By serving on healthcare boards, the doctorally prepared nurse can help to influence new policy within his or her healthcare organization (Mullin, 2010). The DNP nurse has been trained how to navigate through complex healthcare systems and understands how to launch new policy change (Sherrod & Goda, 2016). The doctorally prepared nurse’s role in this environment is to help translate new models of care to healthcare board members which can positively affect the patient population (Sherrod & Goda, 2016). The doctorally prepared nurses’ skillset allows these individuals to practice in a leadership capacity and work as change management agents while serving on healthcare boards (Sherrod & Goda, 2016). When doctorally prepared nurses are provided opportunities to serve on healthcare boards, these nurses can introduce innovative team-based care models to help improve patient outcomes, standardize practice concepts and reduce cost-of-care services with the intent to get stakeholder buy-in (Sherrod & Goda, 2016).