The rationale for nurses on boards in the voices of nurses who serve

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Inclusion of nurses on boards (NOB) to enhance health care transformation is recommended; however, there is no research-based rationale for NOB. Purpose: To articulate the rationale for NOB in the voices of nurses who serve. Methods: An explanatory sequential mixed methods design was used with priority on the quantitative strand (Delphi method). The qualitative strand was accomplished with focus groups. Findings: Twenty-nine NOB participants (Delphi phase) and nine NOB participants (focus groups) agreed the rationale for NOB is embedded in specific knowledge, skills, and perspectives that nurses contribute for boardroom discussions and policymaking. This study supported anecdotal literature promoting nurses for board leadership. Discussion: Nurses should be appointed to boards of directors based on their knowledge, skills, and perspectives about health care. Board leadership leverages the public's trust in nursing, advances the profession, and positions nurses to influence health care transformation. Further research is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-232
Number of pages11
JournalNursing Outlook
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Feminism
  • Healthcare governance
  • Mixed methods research
  • Nurses on boards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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