Who do you ask when you have a question about caring for a sick loved one? How about if you have a question at a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office? When you want someone with a detailed knowledge of regulations or procedures in healthcare, who do you ask? Chances are, you get that critical health information from a Nurse.
As the single largest profession in Rhode Island (over 19,000 RNs practicing in RI as of 2015), nurses are on the frontlines of delivering healthcare in every zipcode across the state. Whether it’s in nursing homes, hospitals, community health centers, or even our schools, nurses are everywhere, and usually they serve as the connector of people to the care they need. In an era of increasing uncertainty and the potential of repeal of the ACA, nurses are uniquely positioned to inform those changes with an eye for quality and the consumer’s experience.
Jane Williams, RN, PhD, Dean of the Rhode Island College School of Nursing, and a Board Member for Lifespan Healthcare System and the Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College (RINI-MC) shared that nurses offer an “appreciation for the complexity of delivering high quality care in the current regulatory, economic, and social environment.”
Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer for CVS MinuteClinic and Chair of the Board of the RINI-MC shared that, “Nurses are at every level of healthcare, from the boardroom to bedside, and they are most often coordinating the work of many of their colleagues across contexts. If we empower nurses to be leaders, you will be amazed at how invaluable their expertise and experience can be in thinking holistically and practically, with a focus on the consumer experience.”
In November, 2014, 21 national organizations came together to announce a new, nationwide effort to get 10,000 nurses onto boards of directors by 2020. Members of the “Nurses on Boards Coalition” include AARP, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and 19 national nursing organizations. These coalition members recognize that nurses are historically underrepresented on hospital and other boards, where major health care decisions that affect consumers and their families are made daily. This new effort seeks to ensure that nurses—and their frontline perspectives—have a seat at these decision-making tables.
To meet the increasing demand for nurse leaders, the Rhode Island Action Coalition has developed the Nurses Lead program. The program will offer Registered Nurses the opportunity to develop the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to be an active Board participant. Following the seminar, participants will be matched with a nurse leader mentor to coach them as they seek their first board position.
To register for this full-day seminar on April 28th, plus mentor program, complete the nomination survey before February 24th at futureofnursingri.org/leadership, for questions email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #NursesLead. The program fee ($100) includes CEUs and lunch for the full-day event. Applicants may apply for a fee waiver by emailing email@example.com.
The Rhode Island Action Coalition (RIAC) is leading the transformation of healthcare and creating a Culture of Health in Rhode Island, using the Institute of Medicine Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health as a blueprint for action. We are a coalition of organizations and businesses committed to improving the health of all Rhode Islanders via the Future of Nursing recommendations.