Promoting Nursing Leadership

For our nation to be its healthiest, nurses should serve in leadership positions.


Goal and Impact

In a world in which the health care system is more complex and all play increasingly interdependent roles, nurses offer a unique knowledge of the consumer, family, and community. That is why nurses at all levels need to understand the value of their distinctive perspectives and be trained for leadership roles, while community organizations, business leaders, and health care providers need to understand the crucial insights nurses bring.

The community and consumers alike benefit when nurses take on leadership roles in full partnership with physicians and other health professionals. And it’s not just health care settings: Communities, schools, boards, and political and business organizations achieve more when nurses have a voice in making decisions.

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Promoting Nursing Leadership


To improve the health of communities and the nation, national organizations collaborated to form the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) with a goal of ensuring placement of 10,000 nurses on boards and other influential bodies by 2020. The NOBC, which includes conveners AARP, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and 19 nursing organizations, is a direct response to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that nurses play a more pivotal role as decision-makers on boards and commissions.

In addition, most of the Campaign’s Action Coalitions have leadership or mentorship programs. In 2014, the Campaign introduced Culture of Health: Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing, a scholarship program that has selected 20 nurses each year so far to attend intensive training at the Center for Creative Leadership. Also, the Campaign’s Champion Nursing Coalition, comprising large national companies, has increased from 10 to 45 the number of nurses on the boards of its member organizations.


This graph is a part of the Campaign for Action Dashboard, a series of charts and graphs that show goals by which the Campaign evaluates its efforts to implement recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing, Leading Change, Advancing Health.

Related Resources:

  1. Colorado Hosts Leadership Salons

    Feb 02, 2017

    The Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence, co-lead organization of the Colorado Action Coalition, hosted a series of salons to support new and younger nurses in developing skills needed to serve as leaders on boards.  Salons provided a structured gathering for interested nurses more

    Issues: Promoting Nursing Leadership, Tools & Tips: Grantee projects, Location: Colorado,

  2. Oregon Launches Website to Help Nurses Get on Boards

    Feb 02, 2017

    The Oregon Action Coalition and its co-lead, the Oregon Center for Nursing, have created a website with resources nurses can use to learn how to serve on nonprofit, corporate, and governmental boards. A skills assessment and an orientation checklist are just two of the tools on a more

    Issues: Promoting Nursing Leadership, Tools & Tips: Communications and marketing, Grantee projects, State Implementation Program (SIP), Location: Oregon,


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