Board Member Spotlight: Laura Wood

Laura J. Wood, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Boston Children's Hospital

What advice would you give your younger self?
I would offer the Zen precept, “Leap and the net will appear.” Courage is a necessity to create a life of meaning.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. It’s a wonderful mix of spectacular beaches, nature, and many venues where our beloved golden retriever family member is also welcome!

What made you want to pursue a career in nursing?
My 95 year old nurse mother died recently following a full life that combined family, work, and volunteer service. She was employed in a publicly-funded, geriatric skilled-nursing facility and inspired me as I witnessed her efforts to advance quality, safety, and the dignity and well-being of those under her care and in support of the team members she led. Nursing has provided a pathway to a life of purpose both personally and professionally. I, too, strive to create equitable, inclusive, safe, high quality and healthy work environments.

What book should every nurse read?
I recommend every nurse read Stacey Abrams’ 2018 book, Lead from the outside. How to build your future and make real change. Leading change in healthcare is extremely challenging. Abrams posits that differences in gender, race, class, and other distinctions can be sources to help push beyond existing boundaries related to what we expect of ourselves and how others view us. She proposes we push key agendas via “daily insistence” practices.

What has been your most interesting/surprising outcome while conducting nursing research?
I was honored to serve as an American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner study team member 2011-2015. Outcomes of this qualitative nursing research study identified four commonalities of care redesign developed by nurses to address health needs of diverse populations. This research served to broaden traditional views of health toward a more responsive, holistic approach including payment for visionary care and community engagement.

What is a fun fact many people may not know about you?
I have a lifelong history of culinary misadventures, largely remedied by my marriage to an Italian man from New Orleans who possesses a strong devotion to both family and food, and for the past 30+ years has generously and capably run our household kitchen without my influence!

What is your Twitter handle?

About Laura
Laura J. Wood serves as Executive Vice President, Patient Care Operations and System Chief Nursing Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital where she is the first incumbent of the Sporing Carpenter Chair for Nursing.

Dr. Wood sets nursing and strategic direction within the world’s foremost pediatric academic health system and research organization. As the leader of the discipline of nursing in this ANCC Magnet designated organization, she directs nurse-led quality and safety practices contributing to Boston Children’s being recognized by U.S. News and World Report as the leading children’s hospital for eight consecutive years - spanning her entire tenure. An experienced nursing practice leader with substantial clinical experience garnered within the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the UPENN Health System together with digital health industry experience accrued via leadership of clinical consulting and business development functions for the entire U.S. within Siemens Healthcare (now Cerner Corporation), Dr. Wood disseminates quality, safety, and experience innovations, nurse-designed models of care, and improves practice environments nationally and internationally via publications, presentations, and consultations. Through advisory board service to The Beryl Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Coalition - PHLOW pediatric drug shortage mitigation organization, CRICO risk management and patient safety organization, Johns Hopkins Nursing Advisory Board, The Joint Commission, Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, Greater Boston Nursing Collective, Pediatric Physician’s Organization at Children’s Hospital, and Press Ganey Associates, Dr. Wood impacts nursing and interprofessional clinical care and research to improve health outcomes. 

Dr. Wood received her BSN degree from West Virginia University, MS degree in Maternal-Child Nursing from the University of Maryland - Baltimore, and DNP degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow alumna ’12 and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.


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