1. Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN


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INS and the American Nurses Foundation (ANF) are strong partners. Among the many interests and commitments we share are research grant funding and membership on the Nurses on Boards Coalition.

Mary Alexander, MA, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowMary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN INS Chief Executive Officer Editor:

ANF is a primary resource for researchers and scientists seeking funding to support their research efforts. Since 2009, INS has been a proud sponsor of an ANF research grant that is awarded to those interested in research related to infusion therapy. To recognize our commitment to ANF, they have made annual awards for scholarships from the Gardner Foundation. These activities demonstrate the mutual benefit that collaboration offers.


It goes without question that research is needed to support our professional clinical practice. As more research is done, more questions arise or gaps in knowledge are identified that need to be explored and filled.


An exciting new initiative we share with ANF is being members of the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC). Three years ago, the NOBC was founded in response to the 2010 Institute of Medicine report, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health," which recommended nurses play "more pivotal decision-making roles on boards and commissions in improving the health of all Americans."1


The coalition's goals included raising 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."2 They were rooted in the belief that "in the modern health care system, nurses are uniquely qualified to integrate their experience and decision-making skills and are increasingly looked to for their influence in reducing medical errors and patient safety, improving quality of care, reducing costs, and increasing access to health care."2


Based on that belief, NOBC launched a nationwide campaign to encourage nurses to serve on a wide range of boards that could benefit from the expertise of nurses and have "strategic influence to improve the health of communities and the nation, including any private and public corporate boards; boards of nonprofit, nonnursing organizations; advisory or governance boards; and commissions and appointments that have fiduciary and/or strategic responsibilities."2 The aim of the initiative, "10K Nurses by 2020," is to help ensure that at least 10,000 nurses are on boards by 2020.


"From my own experience, first as a nurse, and later as a board director, I know firsthand what it means to bring the nursing perspective into the boardroom," says Laurie Benson, executive director of NOBC. "With 3.5 million nurses in our country, nurses represent the largest segment of our health-care workforce. It simply makes good business sense to have the nursing perspective represented in all places where decisions affecting health are made."2


NOBC is counting the presence of nurses on boards, and with 2020 approaching, there's a lot to accomplish. For those nurses currently serving on boards, whether in an organization, school, or community, to name a few, you are encouraged to have your contributions counted. To date, NOBC reports that more than 2700 nurses are on boards.


Strategies have been identified to further NOBC's ambitious goal of nurses on boards. They include building a pipeline of qualified candidates, increasing the number of board appointments, matching the needs of boards and opportunities with nurse leaders, and strategically targeting key board positions.


Infusion nurses-all nurses-bring unique and needed perspectives and skills to any table they sit at. So, I encourage you to seek opportunities and appointments on boards where the voice of nursing can make a difference to the health of our nation. Share with your colleagues information about NOBC's campaign. For nurses interested in board development and competencies, check out the numerous resources offered by NOBC, which can be found at


And researchers, be on the lookout this spring for the grant and scholarship application deadlines. INS and ANF respect the research being done to advance patient care and the health of our nation.


Mary Alexander




1. American Nurses Association. National coalition launches effort to place 10,000 nurses on governing boards by 2020. Published November 17, 2014. Accessed February 2, 2017.[Context Link]


2. Nurses on Boards Coalition. 10,000 nurses by 2020. Published 2016. Accessed February 2, 2017. [Context Link]