Shared Governance at The Medical Center gives direct care nurses the opportunity to influence how they deliver patient care at the bedside. The literature suggests that quality of patient care improves when those closest to the patient participate with decisions.
The Medical Center's Shared Governance model is an organized decision-making partnership between managers and staff. The model is structured to allow direct care nurses easy navigation within to bring about change. All change is based on evidenced-based practice, or by conducting nurse research.
Main Council membership includes a direct care nurse from every unit, which allows everyone's voice to be heard. Unit Practice Councils resulted in improved communication throughout nursing services. Each member of the main council presents a report from the monthly meeting to his or her individual Unit Practice Council. Conversely, when a Unit Practice Council addresses a topic that involves more than their individual unit, it moves to the main council via the unit member. This closed loop system helps to assure that nurses are informed of practice issues, changes, and other information that may be of importance.
Leadership supports nurses' ability to attend their council meetings by increasing staffing on "Shared Governance meeting days." Nurses are relieved of their patient assignment in order to attend their shared governance council meeting, and given the time they need to work on projects.
Nursing Services Professional Practice Model:
The patient is central to all decisions.
Decisions are made at the closest point of care.
All nurses share authority and accountability.
Leadership Coordination Council: Facilitates strategic direction of nursing, organization alignment and Shared Governance for the organization.
Operations Council: Shares vision and provides leadership for nursing services using a Shared Governance environment.
Standards and Practice Council: Sets nursing standards for The Medical Center that are consistent with evidence-based practice, ANA standards, and scope of practice and requirements of regulatory agencies and respective professional organizational.
Recruitment, Retention, and Recognition Council: Plans, organizes, and executes activities that promote, retain and celebrate nursing at The Medical Center.
Nursing Development Council: Assesses, researches, plans, implements, and reevaluates nursing development at The Medical Center.
Nursing Quality Improvement Council: Interprets and integrates data into a plan of action and communicates improvements made in processes and patient care outcomes.
Nursing Research Council: Spans the inquiry continuum, including bedside clinical curiosity, and conducts nursing clinical research. Additionally assists nurses with the implementation of evidence-based practice as well as mentoring staff to understand, evaluate, and conduct nursing research.