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Alumna elected to American Nurses Association national board

Brienne Sandow

Alumna Brie Sandow (BS, nursing, ’06) will begin her term as director at large for the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors on Jan. 1, 2021.

Her election is a significant step forward for Idaho nurses, as it has been 50 years since an Idaho nurse served on the national board of directors.

Prior to being elected to this position, Sandow served one term as president of ANA-Idaho. In addition, she has been engaged with delegate assemblies and leadership conferences for eight years. She also brings 14 years of nursing and patient care experience to her new position.

Sandow currently works as the director of the Enterprise Resource Staffing Center of Excellence at St. Luke’s Health System. She oversees staffing and scheduling strategy for eight hospitals (including four critical access hospitals), a rehabilitation hospital and more than one hundred ambulatory care clinics.

“Preparing the best schedule possible is a logistics problem,” Sandow said in describing her work. “Once you understand the numbers of staff, you mix in competency, patient acuity, workload… the circumstances we’re in now are an extreme example of [why this is necessary].”

In addition, she is passionate about bedside staff safety, which is essential to a more effective healthcare environment in general.

Randall Hudspeth, the executive director of the Idaho Center for Nursing, has worked closely with Sandow over the course of her career. He describes her as “hard-working, articulate, thoughtful and very engaged with the issues.”

“She is a cut above many people attending national ANA meetings,” Hudspeth said.

Anna Rostock is the secretary for ANA-Idaho and has known Sandow since 2015. She describes Sandow as career-driven and “a crazy combination of compassion and empathy…she naturally creates opportunities for others along the way.”

Sandow’s colleagues also describe her as having a strong sense of long-term, big-picture goals, and an ability to see situations from multiple perspectives. All of this serves her well in her desire to serve other people and work directly with the public. She started her career journey intending to enter social work, but changed course to nursing with a focus in labor and delivery after graduating University in Idaho, where she also earned two bachelor’s degrees.

She did not enter the discipline intending to become a nurse leader but found the opportunities through her passion for relationships and connections with other people.

“I love patient care so much,” she said. “Where I used to advocate for patients, I now have a similar relationship with other nurses. I feel the same responsibility for nurses, AND for their patients.”

The nursing association has identified staffing as a national priority and Sandow intends to use her experience to develop a sustainable and replicable solution by coordinating staff with the needs, timelines and locations of patient populations while supporting staff well-being. She strongly believes that exceptional staff experiences create exceptional patient experiences.

– By Angela Fairbanks