Serving on Organizational Boards: What Nurses Need to Know

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If you have ever thought about serving on a board or being actively involved in meetings aimed at making policy decisions, but are not sure you have the knowledge, skills or abilities to serve competently, this article is for you! In this article, the authors describe six competencies needed by nurses who are serving on boards and/or policy committees so as to contribute in a productive manner. These competencies include a professional commitment to serving on a governing board; knowledge about board types, bylaws, and job descriptions; an understanding of standard business protocols, board member roles, and voting processes; a willingness to use principles for managing and leading effective and efficient board meetings; an appreciation for the ethical and legal processes for conducting meetings; and the ability to employ strategies for maintaining control during intense/uncivil situations. They also discuss strategies for demonstrating these competencies and describe personal responsibilities of board members. The authors conclude that a knowledge of these rules and standards is essential in order for nurses to assume leadership roles that will enhance the health of today’s and tomorrow’s societies.