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Kellie Griggs, DNP, MSN-Ed, RNC-OB



Kellie Griggs, DNP, MSN-Ed, RNC-OB
North Carolina, Region VI

  • Video Introduction
  • Bio
  • Q & A

Video Introduction



Kellie Griggs, DNP, MSN-Ed, RNC-OB is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and a unit-based maternal-infant clinical nurse educator. Her dedication to empower bedside nurses as frontline experts and advocates surrounding policy and practice initiatives has been recognized by several professional nursing organizations.

She has been engaged with AWHONN as an emerging leader, public policy committee member, southeastern NC section chair and co-legislative chair, journal reviewer, and fetal heart rate monitoring instructor. She recently received the 2019 NC AWHONN Nurse Leader award. Her passions include nursing safety initiatives and advocacy. She portrays this through publishing her work and speaking at conferences. Kellie serves as a community engagement liaison for marginalized women by connecting nurses to meaningful service opportunities. She is an energetic advocate who enjoys promoting AWHONN and being a champion for women and infants. She has been married 20 years and has 4 dynamic children.


Q & A

Question #1
Please describe significant contributions you have made to AWHONN and/ or in another professional leadership role. Include any examples where you have advanced the strategic agenda of AWHONN and/or other professional organizations.

I have been engaged in service to AWHONN since joining as a student nurse. It was my early involvement in AWHONN that propelled my vision towards maternal health advocacy and empowerment. I was a member of the 2018 AWHONN Emerging Leaders Cohort and am serving a second appointed term on the AWHONN Public Policy committee and was part of the writing team that updated the “Intimate Partner Violence” position statement to include gun safety. I have presented podium, panel and poster presentations at AWHONN Conferences related to nursing safety, policy, and advocacy.

My AWHONN service on the state level includes active involvement on the NC AWHONN board, conference planning team, southeastern section leader, and most recently as a co-legislative chair. I have represented the AWHONN legislative agenda surrounding advocacy and policy surrounding nursing safety and maternal mortality on Capitol Hill, at Nurse in Washington Week, and the NC State Legislature.

Question #2
Please describe your expertise or contributions related to promoting improved care for women and babies. Discuss this in terms of your position on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity, Workforce Diversity and other racial and ethnic disparities in reproductive healthcare.

My professional focus is on nursing empowerment to promote patient safety. As a nurse advocate I have had the privilege to develop initiatives that reduced cesarean sections rates at a community hospital from 48% to 16% over one year; facilitated mobile simulation education for referral OB centers; and provided free community childbirth classes to families living in underserved communities. I am RNC-OB certified, and an instructor for AWHONN Fetal Monitoring and NRP. My work surrounding nurses’ views of fetal monitoring policies supported enhanced staffing, and will be published in the Fall. I am developing EBP guidelines centered on holistic techniques to reduce maternal mortality within disadvantaged communities, and will be presenting these strategies at an upcoming international nursing conference, along with pursing funding opportunities. On a community level I am an ambassador for human trafficking awareness and a liaison for a treatment program serving opioid addicted pregnant women.

Question #3
Please describe a significant leadership challenge that you have experienced; how you addressed it and relevant outcomes.

As a new nurse manager I was full of vision, excitement, yet was inexperienced related to directed and paced steps. I had “grand” plans to create an innovative unit that provided the nursing staff with resources beyond compare. I can still see the list written on the white board in my office with boxes for check-marks. However, I was quickly humbled by the resistance to change and it was like turning the Titanic away from the iceberg. I felt vulnerable and a sense of failing. In response, I sought out a wise mentor who encouraged me to meet one-on-one with each staff member to learn about their gifts, passions, and unit based needs. Amazing changes evolved on the unit and trusting relationships were developed through mutual and holistic respect. The environment promoted a productive and creative team that decreased the cesarean section rate and dramatically increased nursing workplace satisfaction.

Question #4
Provide your reason(s) as to why you want to serve on AWHONN’s Board of Directors.

I am thankful and humbled by the opportunity to be a candidate for the 2020 AWHONN Board of Directors. I am dedicated to empowering nurses as bedside experts and educate on practical ways to confidently translate policy and practice initiatives surrounding AWHONN’s mission and vision to reduce disparity and mortality rates. I have been enthusiastically involved with AWHONN over the past decade and served in multiple leadership roles on a state and national level. I believe I am in a uniquely positioned as a clinical nurse educator and faculty member to connect, mentor, and engage with nurses in their practice environments. I am energetic advocate who enjoys promoting AWHONN and being a champion for women and infants. As a board of directors member I would strive to ensure the implementation of innovative education, meaningful practice initiatives focused on nursing safety, promotion of inclusion, and legislative advocacy to reduce disparity.




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