From the staff development bookshelf: Best practices for successful shared governance

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, November 11, 2011

  • Schedule a day-long retreat away from the organization to prepare organizational and nursing leaders to implement shared governance. Discuss the role shared governance plays in the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® (MRP) journey. Have subject matter experts present topic discussions on specific points: leadership, shared governance partners, steering committee formation, design team for the shared governance model, a business case for MRP and shared governance, and roles of direct-care nurses and the multidisciplinary team members.
  • Create expectations for staff contributions, beginning in the new employee orientation and continuing throughout their careers.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Have a nursing town hall meeting at least once a quarter to facilitate open communication among nursing staff and leaders.
  • Administer the Index of Professional Nursing Governance surveys and see how your organization "measures up"-help build the repository of information on the efficacy and value of shared governance in healthcare settings.
  • Use journal clubs, for example, to bring nursing research to the bedside and engage direct-care nurses in evidence-based practice for developing and implementing advanced decision-making and critical thinking.
  • Let direct-care nurses meet each year to review organizational competencies and unit/area needs and determine which competencies they will focus on for that year (high-risk/time-sensitive, changed, problematic, and/or new).
  • Train every registered nurse on each unit/area to be charge or lead nurse. Rotate the role and responsibilities to encourage leadership skills development and shared decision-making among all team members.

Source: Book excerpt adapted from Shared Governance: A Practical Approach to Transform Professional Nursing Practice by Diana Swihart, PhD, DMin, MSN, CS, RN-BC.

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