Blog » Have You Considered an Academic Voice? Nurses on Boards: Building a Healthier America

Have You Considered an Academic Voice? Nurses on Boards: Building a Healthier America

Created Oct 25 2018, 05:42 PM by Lippincott Solutions
  • nurse leadership
  • decision making
  • NOBC
  • academic nursing educators

The wide range of roles nurses serve in to contribute to board effectiveness reflects the complexity of nursing and health care.  Four key factors that contribute to a well governed board include:

  • The quality of decisions
  • Commitment of board members
  • Collective expertise
  • Foundation for decision making 

Did you know that according to the theory of bounded rationality, humans are influenced by various factors in decision making, and may not take a purely rational stance?  It is estimated that only 2% of managers and executives consistently utilize best practices when making decisions and research has shown that firms with academic board members are consistently associated with higher financial reported results.

 What Can Academic Nursing Bring to a Board?

  1. Emerging evidence that is not necessarily main stream
  2. Supportive theories applied in examination of various scenarios and circumstances
  3. Commitment to supporting practice issues
  4. Balance of academic perspective and practical experience

According to Julie Zerwic, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, Kelting Dean and Professor at The University of Iowa College of Nursing, “Individuals who work in academic settings are skilled in weighing evidence, problem-solving complex situations, educating individuals across a spectrum of health care settings, and managing teams to reach solutions. Nursing faculty are proving to be extremely effective serving on boards, whether they are community boards, corporations, or non-profit foundations.”

Call to Action:

  1. Have you invited a Dean, faculty, or professor to participate on a board?
  2. Do you need new ideas and approaches on strategic topics?
  3. Have you considered what data and research is available?
  4. Are your board members able to share observations, trends, best practices, evidence, real world examples and implications of decisions?


  1. Francis, B., Hassan, I., and Wu, Q. (2013). Professors in the boardroom and their impact on corporate governance and firm performance. Financial Management, 44 (3), 547-581.
  2. Larson, E. (2016). A checklist for making faster, better decisions. Harvard Business Review Blog. Retrieved from: 2006/11/how-well-run-boards-make-decisions
  3. Nurses on Boards Coalition (2017). Board Core Competencies.

M. Lindell Joseph, PhD, RN, AONE Board of Directors and The University of Iowa College of Nursing 
Laurie Benson, BSN, Executive Director, Nurses on Board Coalition  

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Wolters Kluwer is proud to support the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) as a Founding Strategic Partner. For additional information on how to get involved with NOBC, please visit