A 2010 Institute of Medicine report identified nurses as essential to health care leadership and decision making, resulting in a national campaign focused on increasing the number of nurses who serve on governing boards. Despite these efforts, nurses are excruciatingly underrepresented on all types of executive boards. My goal for this project was to conduct a literature search to develop a deeper understanding of the issues related to nurses on boards to support the Nurses on Boards movement. Articles were found using the CINAHL database, and then were analyzed and categorized on a matrix, which includes basic information about each article and an indication of its “usefulness” in the context of the Nurses on Boards movement.
The articles denoted as not useful in the matrix were interesting and engaging, but generally not scholarly or not relevant to this project. The potentially useful articles contained good research or cited sources, but were not pertinent to my review. The useful articles contained good, pertinent information relating directly to my study.
The consensus of the articles is that nurses need to be present on decision making boards. Possessing qualities that make them compassionate and caring, nurses foster empathetic decisions making on the boards they reside on. Nurses are extremely underrepresented and need to be self-advocating and autonomous to gain position and power on boards. Nurses make up the largest portion of the hospital workforce, but are the least represented on these boards, and there needs to be a paradigm shift to accommodate them.