Candidate for Area IV Director

Ann Coughlin, MSN, MBA, RN
Member, Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing

Area IV Director Responsibilities:

  • Ensures geographic diversity on the Board of Directors
  • Serves as a representative of all member boards
  • Transacts the business and affairs and acts on behalf of NCSBN

Describe all relevant professional, regulatory, and community experience.

I have over 23 years’ experience in the healthcare industry; including a clinical nurse in an acute care hospital, case management supervisor in the insurance industry, triage nurse for a disease management company, clinical nursing supervisor for a large university hospital and a nurse regulator. My previous position as a regulatory affairs and compliance auditor for a large mail order pharmacy, specialty pharmacy and infusion company demanded a focus on regulations. My supervisory position in regulatory affairs has enhanced my knowledge and experience with regulations. My role as an Internal Auditor required review of regulations for individual states as well as review of federal regulations. My current role as manager for the department of Patient and Family Experience at an academic medical center has broadened my knowledge in patient safety, satisfaction, quality of care and risk management. I was honored to be appointed to the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing in 2010 and to be named Vice-Chair 2012 and Chair for 2013 & 2014 term. In addition, I served on the following committees: IT, Finance, Probable Cause and Application Review. For three years I served on the Leadership Succession Committee (LSC) for NCSBN. I am dedicated to continuing my commitment and passion for regulation in order to enhance the development of regulation to promote public safety and advance the role of nursing in the healthcare environment. I look to support the NCSBN and will lend the skills and knowledge I have gleaned from my diverse background to advance the mission and vision. It would be an honor to continue to work with this talented group of professionals to identify and nurture leadership in nursing that is pivotal to the advancement of nursing regulation and the safety of the public..

What is your perspective regarding the following issues affecting nursing regulation?

  1. Borderless healthcare delivery
    Technological innovation is driving treatment options in the healthcare market. Virtual tools to monitor and maintain health are utilized across the world. Telehealth and telerounding are utilized in many venues and impact borderless delivery. We will continue to see tremendous growth in this industry. It will be crucial for nurses to work together to maintain high standards and generate regulations that lead the activities rather than follow them. Borderless healthcare can assist with efforts to improve multidisciplinary collaboration and the ability to share resources, information and knowledge. This method of delivery will need to be monitored and closely regulated in order to maintain professional standards and patient safety. In the current healthcare setting, borderless healthcare delivery is vital and will continue to expand across the globe. Policymakers, stakeholders and practitioners working together must strive to implement creative solutions when crossing borders. The necessity for access to healthcare continues to grow so we must consider factors that address healthcare delivery on a national and global level to be able to meet those needs.
  2. Regulation of nursing education
    We must regulate nursing education in order to standardize the preparation necessary to qualify for the profession. We need to maintain quality, evidence based standards of education and ongoing nursing research to promote excellence in nursing practice. Nurses must hold one another accountable for safe patient care and the highest standards of professional practice. Nurses must be the able to practice to their full scope of authority. Boards of Nursing, nursing schools, nursing programs, regulators and accreditors all need to work together to maintain the highest standards of nursing education since it provides the foundation for practice. Nurses must commit to being collaborative, creative and innovative to protect the safety of the public and maintain the highest standard with nursing education
  3. The role of regulation in evolving scopes of practice
    I have had exposure to the issues related to education and nursing regulation with the Pennsylvania Board and NCSBN. NCSBN is very involved and leading the required collaborative efforts that are necessary between regulators and accreditors. The RN Model rules are an excellent example of this endeavor. The current work involving distance education should be embraced by regulators to meet the IOM initiative for nurses to advance their education. We need to continue to work together to develop the best practice standards and to assist all states with implementation of them. A key part is education and communication; we all need to be respectful to concerns of the individual states as well as support initiatives, goals and national standards to promote evolving scopes of practice.

Why do you want to serve in the role you are applying for?

I have many qualities that will contribute to advance the NCSBN organization. I bring emotional intelligence, critical thinking, flexibility, problem-solving skills, systems thinking, and the ability to listen and openly communicate to diverse groups. I am passionate about excellence in nursing regulation. I am also personable and collaborative in my approach. In attaining both my MSN and MBA I have expanded my academic and professional knowledge of nursing and the healthcare industries. My diverse work experiences and education have assisted me with developing my leadership skills competencies. The experience on the PA BON has nurtured my visionary leadership abilities in the profession of nursing with a focus on regulation. I obtained focused experiences, knowledge, skills, and abilities by serving on the LSC for 3 years. A crucial skill set I possess is the ability to remain committed, proactive and build consensus during change processes. I will strive to share my energy, enthusiasm and passion for nursing regulation within the organization. I am ready, willing and able to contribute to advance the mission and vision of NCSBN. I have reviewed the responsibilities of the position, qualifying information, eligibility requirements, and believe I am highly qualified to serve and hope to attain your support.