The Shared Governance Council works to create a professional environment recognizing that a different set of relationships and interactions and different ways of making decisions are necessary if effectiveness is to be sustained in a healthcare system (Porter O'Grady, Hawkins, & Parker, 1997). Built from the point of services outward, shared governance acknowledges that nurses are knowledge workers and require organizational structures that shift the power and control for practice decisions from management to direct care nurses.
Shared Governance Council Objectives
To provide an empowering forum for COA nursing staff to identify, prioritize, and recommend actions related to the leadership, education, practice and innovation in regards to nursing at COA.
To create a multidimensional concept based on the principles of partnership, equity, accountability and ownership. This concept encompasses the structure and process by which the direct care professionals can direct, control and regulate their professional practice.
Definition of Council Functions
Nursing Leadership: The role of the Nursing Leadership (sometimes called the Nursing Executive Council) is to coordinate the work of all the councils toward the achievement of the nursing strategic plan. The Nursing Leadership also mediates any conflict that arises from the councils.
Management Council: The Management Council examines the delivery of patient care as it is affected by the availability of human, fiscal, material, support, and systems linkage resources. This council promotes the responsible and creative use of resources so that expenses are controlled.
Practice Council: The Practice Council (sometimes called the Evidence—Based Practice Council) defines the parameters and use of professional practice standards, application of evidence—based practices, the model of care, the behaviors of the practitioner for professional practice for advancement, the goals for consistency in clinical practice, nursing research, and position descriptions of nurses. The Practice Council establishes the professional advancement model for the organization.
Quality Council: The Quality Council develops the nursing quality/safety assurance plan and sets the annual goals for nursing discipline quality and safety outcomes. It monitors the quality dashboard and governs the unit-based council activity in achieving outcomes and benchmarks for the quality goals. The Quality Council defines the peer review process and measurement for quality and safety at the house-wide, unit, and individual levels.
Education Council: The Education Council develops education programs and assesses educational needs. It reviews research and evidence-based educational models to ensure flexibility for individual learning styles. The Education Council oversees and governs all orientation programs for clinical staff, develops and monitors the preceptor roles, develops evaluation and review processes for education programming, and coordinates with the schools of nursing for clinical placement.
The nurses at COA are encouraged to share their suggestions and concerns with a Shared Governance Council representative so their ideas can be addressed during monthly meetings.