Candidate for Director-at-Large

Cathy Borris-Hale, RN, BSN, MHA
Discipline, District of Columbia Board of Nursing

Director-at-Large Responsibilities:

  • 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. 

My nursing career spans 35 years; my greatest success has been bringing significant, positive changes to nursing practice to improve healthcare delivery in a variety of roles and settings. In 2008, I joined the executive team at SHW-Hadley Hospital as the Chief Nursing Officer and methodically rose in the ranks to become the second African American Woman appointed CEO of a District of Columbia Hospital. My work, in conjunction with the nursing directors and nurse educators, empowered nursing practice and instituted nurse directed protocols. As a consequence, the hospital experienced a 78% decrease in hospital acquired infections and zero acquired pressure ulcer rate. In 2012, I was appointed Chair, District of Columbia Board of Nursing and subsequently the Regulation and Discipline Sub-Committee. Currently as the Nurse Specialist for discipline for the D. C Board of Nursing, my work includes fostering a “just culture” and creating a forum where governmental agencies, schools and healthcare providers work together to address the needs our community. During the 2017 delegate assembly, I served as Chair of the Resolutions Committee.

I am an active member of NCSBN’s Medical Marijuana Regulatory Guidelines Committee which is commissioned to develop guidelines for nurses, make recommendations for education, and establish guidelines for Boards of Nursing as well as explore trends related to marijuana use and its relationship to nursing regulation.

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

  1. Borderless healthcare delivery 
    Technological advances in the areas of communication and medicine provide a previously unimaginable path to improving health care across the nation and globally. Researchers and providers now have an opportunity to share knowledge that will enhance health care safety and delivery previously only dreamt about. The formation of such partnerships will potentially reduce replicating, identify best practices, and bring high-level, evidence based care to patients in under served areas of our nation and world. Nursing regulators need to be forward thinking and create regulations which allow for expanding roles but ensure safe care for the public.
  2. Regulation of nursing education
    Since the role of the nurse is crucial to the health of our communities and the care of the ill, it is imperative that nursing education has a minimum standard of academic rigor from all institutions. How can we truly protect the public and the profession if Boards don’t hold schools of nursing accountable for providing the highest quality nursing education and instituting guidelines for nursing practice and nursing assistant personnel practice regulations. Our community is entitled to safe and compassionate care and high standards of practice. 
  3. The role of regulation in evolving scopes of practice
    Nurse’s role in healthcare has been a topic of discussion for policy-makers, health-care reform activist for as long as modern nursing has existed. With the changing landscape and push for healthcare reform, nursing is in a position to make huge strides in improving access, decreasing cost and improving outcomes.
    Regulators play a key role in protecting the public as well as advancing the scope of nursing by making meaningful regulatory amendments, removing ambiguous language and supporting the use of the “Scope of Nursing Practice Decision-Making Framework” tool to determine if a specific task falls within the state’s licensing laws. 

Please describe a strategy or activity to increase participation in the leadership of the organization.

Identifying opportunities for state board members and/or staff to engage with the
organization, may be useful in recruiting emerging nurse leaders who could be instrumental in implementing meaningful change and their successes shared with the membership.

Organizational change meets with success when leaders recognize efforts must include cultural changes and as complete participation as possible from all holders.

In order to achieve meaningful and lasting cultural change, a robust plan that includes specific goals, establishes methods to meet them, and strategies to create interest and participation. One such way would be to create leadership training workshops for your non-traditional nurse leaders to gain insight into the skills they possess and how they can use these to lead in their personal and professional life.