Boards come in all shapes and sizes. If you have never served on a board, you might find it beneficial to begin with a nonprofit social service or community board. Serving on these types of boards would give you excellent experience in board work and allow you to demonstrate your board competencies. Boards are also a great place to meet executives from other organizations who might be interested in your service on their boards. Incidentally, that’s how the authors of this document got started in board work.

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The Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) represents national 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, and efficient and effective health care systems at the local, state, and national levels.

The Nurses on Boards Coalition first convened in 2014, and later that year publicly announced its partnership and goal to help ensure that at least 10,000 nurses are on boards by 2020. Nurses represent the largest segment of the health care workforce, are considered the most trustworthy of all professions1 and play a huge role on the frontlines of care in our schools, hospitals, community health centers, long-term care facilities and other places. Their perspective and influence must be felt more at decision-making tables.

The Coalition’s guiding principle is that building healthier communities in America requires the involvement of more nurses on corporate, health-related, and other boards, panels, and commissions.

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Serving on a board is an important civic activity as one has the opportunity to provide guidance on a number of topics. For instance, serving as a member of the West Liberty, Iowa Community Advisory Committee, provided me with the opportunity to learn about sociocultural and health-related issues experienced by Latino families. This work has led to the development of various community-based partnerships and initiatives to improve the health of Latinos residing in rural communities in Iowa.

Jimmy Reyes

DNP, Nursing, University of Iowa
Nursing Faculty, American Sentinel University

Dawn M Specht

MSN, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Rowan University
Nursing Faculty, American Sentinel University

The Authors

Colleen Conway-Welch served as Professor and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing for 29 years, 1984-2013. She served on President Reagan’s Commission on the HIV Epidemic in 1988, the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare in 1998, and the Governor’s Tennessee Commission on the Future of TennCare in 2000-01. In 2001-02, she served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Evaluation of Federal Quality Oversight, Improvement and Research Activities. In 2002, she was appointed by DHHS Secretary Tommy Thompson to the Secretary’s Council on Public Health Preparedness, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness. In 2003 she was named to the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee (MCAC) of DHHS and in 2004 as a member of the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute. She was named by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2006 as a Member of the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the premier graduate education program for military health care providers. In 2016 she was honored as a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing, for her extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession, as well as being inducted in the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame. 



Dr. Richard W. Oliver is founder and CEO of American Sentinel University. American Sentinel has over 6000 graduates and some 2600 students primarily in BSN, MSN and DNP programs. Dr. Oliver was previously a professor of management at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, and a visiting professor of management at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Business. The MBA business strategy program he developed and co-taught at Vanderbilt was ranked 3rd in the world by Business Week. He also taught courses in corporate governance. Dr. Oliver holds a BSc from Cornell University and a PhD from the State University of New York. He served 23 years in management with Nortel Networks and the Dupont Company. He is the author of eight books and more than 50 management articles and book chapters. He has served on the boards of seven public company and numerous private and non-profit boards. He was Chair of a NASDAQ high-tech company in Silicon Valley and has served as Chair of public company Audit, Compensation and Governance Committees.

Dr. Colleen Conway-Welch

Dr. Richard Oliver

2260 S. Xanadu Way, Suite 310 Aurora, CO 80014 

A practical guide for CNOs & Senior Nursing Professionals

In cooperation with:

  • The value of participation both to the board and participant
  • Responsibilities of Board and Directors
  • Key Boardroom Players, Schedules and Agendas
  • Board Committees
  • Important Board Documents
  • Additional references and links to online resources

HOW TO: Assemble Your Board Resume

This e-Book provides a brief overview of important legal and operational issues associated with public company boards that are regulated by governments and listing agencies such as the New York Stock Exchange. There are many other types of boards, however, that need your service. They include for profit corporate, community and public service boards, government and NGO (Non-Government Organizations) boards, panels and commissions, academic boards of trust, advisory committees and panels, coalitions, health institutes and many more.

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I am the Past President of New Jersey Emergency Nurses Association and current President of the Southern Chapter of New Jersey ENA and Trauma chair for the State of New Jersey ENA.  Active participation in my professional association has provided networking opportunities with leaders across the United States. I serve as a delegate to the National Emergency Nurses Association where we decide on future impact of the association. Last year, we embraced the opportunity to improve care of geriatric emergency room patients through educational offerings. I am committed to improving the care geriatric patients receive in our community.

I currently serve on two boards and have served on others in the past. For the Council on Aging, which is an agency which supports our aging population where I live, it is rewarding to see all the services that we can provide for the elderly in my home county. I feel like my input and work is valued when I see all the services the agency supports. This includes, but is not limited to: Home Health aides, Daily programs offered at the center, Meals on Wheels, etc. The National Education for Progression in Nursing (NEPIN) is a new one to me. The goal of this organization is to develop and advance strategies that help nurses to advance their education. 

Dr. Elaine Foster

Dean, Nursing and Healthcare Programs, 
American Sentinel University

Why Serve?



American Sentinel University delivers accredited online degree programs in nursing (BSN, MSN, and DNP) and healthcare management (MBA Healthcare, M.S. Information Systems Management, and M.S. Business Intelligence and Analytics).

 Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), of One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036.

 The DNP program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) of 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326.

 The University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, DEAC, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 234-5100, and is a candidate for Institutional Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC): 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL, 60604 (800) 621-7440. (MBA Healthcare Project-Based program is pending review for inclusion in the university’s programs covered by the Higher Learning Commission designation of candidate for accreditation.)

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CNOs on Boards - A practical guide for CNOs and Senior Nurse Professionals

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