Nurses on health care governing boards: An integrative review

Lisa J. Sundean, E. Carol Polifroni, Kathryn Libal, Jacqueline M. McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background 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. Purpose The purpose of this study was to understand the progression in research focus and recommendations over time about nurses on boards (NOB), identify research gaps, and make research/practice recommendations. Methods An integrative review was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines (2009) for data evaluation and analysis. Eleven studies (six quantitative, three qualitative, and two quasi-mixed methods) were included in the review. Findings The focus/recommendations of research about NOB have changed from passive observation to action-oriented inquiry that considers nurse expertise and value but lacks a coordinated approach to advance board appointments for nurses. Conclusion A systematic approach to the research is needed to advance NOB as key agents in health care transformation and social justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-371
Number of pages11
JournalNursing Outlook
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Board of directors
  • Feminism
  • Governance roles
  • Integrative review
  • Nurse board leadership
  • Nurses on boards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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