Ask the expert: Understanding the essentials of nursing excellence in shared governance

Nurse Leader Insider, May 3, 2010

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This week, Diana Swihart, PhD, DMin, MSN, CS, APRN, BC, discusses the importance of shared governance in the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program ®.

Q: My facility is in the early stages of preparing to apply for American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program® designation, and I am interested in finding out more about the importance of shared governance in the journey itself.

A: The mission of the ANCC is to promote excellence in nursing and healthcare globally through credentialing programs and related services, among which is the Magnet Recognition Program® (MRP).

Here are four of the eight essentials of nursing excellence that are evident in every culture of shared governance and show what keeps nurses working in professional practice environments:

  1. Clinically competent nurses—Staff nurses participate both in identifying their own competencies each year based on what's new, any changes, and any problematic or high risk areas in the practice environment, as well as in verifying how they meet those competencies.
  2. Good nurse-physician relationships—Mutual respect exists between nurses and physicians.
  3. Support for education—The organization supports advanced credentialing through facilitation and flexibility of work schedules and resources provided.
  4. Adequate nursing staffing—The organization emphasizes participation in staffing schedules: Engagement, involvement, and decision-making on the part of staff who are thinking beyond the unit to the organization as a whole.

To read more on the remaining four essentials of nursing excellence, click here.

Editor’s note: Do you have a question for our experts? E-mail your queries to Editorial Assistant Sarah Kearns at and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.

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