I hope you have leaped into March relishing in the thought that spring is upon us and had the opportunity to enjoy an extra day this leap year. How fitting that February 29th – March 4th has been designated as “Leap into Leadership” week! I am especially enthused about this theme because the OADN 2016 National Convention is focusing on leadership. The OADN Board of Directors strongly supported the theme of leadership because not only is important to our profession, but also to healthcare as a whole. Nursing leadership skills combined with being the most trusted profession can truly create and advance so many areas related to healthcare in this country.
As you are aware, the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommended increasing the number of nurse leaders in pivotal decision-making roles on boards and commissions that work to improve the health of everyone in America. The Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) was created in response to this recommendation, as a way to help recruit and engage nurses to assume leadership roles.
OADN was one of the twenty-two national founding members of the NOBC when it was formed in November, 2014. The NOBC represents nursing and other organizations working to build healthier communities in America by increasing nurses’ presence on corporate, health-related, and other boards, panels, and commissions. The coalition’s goal is to help ensure that at least 10,000 nurses are on boards by 2020, as well as raise awareness that all boards would benefit from the unique perspective of nurses to achieve the goals of improved health in the United States.
I know many of you are involved in school, community and health care related boards. The nursing profession has facilitated the development of a set of skills not found in other professions. As a result, we play a crucial role in developing high-quality systems of care that offer better outcomes and increased satisfaction for people, families and communities. However, being in a leadership role does not come without its challenges. Nurses are often seen as passionate and being a leader brings out the ability to articulate that passion to others.
Leadership is an attitude cultivated over time that requires the ability to have a vision and a strategic direction. This often involves taking risks, and assisting others in understanding the direction. Leadership can also allow us to be creative in helping others see a new and unique perspective. But it is still vitally important to be supportive of others as you lead the way, being cognizant of their own passion and point of reference.
I encourage each and every one of you to become involved, and to begin take a few moments to visit www.nursesonboardscoalition.org, sign up to be counted if you are on a board. You can also read more about the efforts being made to help build the future of our profession. One of my favorite quotes in relationship to leadership is from John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire other to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Each of you has the capability to lead and along with the NOBC, OADN is working to help the profession “leap into leadership”.