Shared Governance at South Shore Hospital
In 1990, South Shore Hospital was among the first hospitals in the nation to create a shared governance model of nursing practice. Today, the organizational strategy is to evolve and support evidenced-based change to nursing practice that results in optimal patient outcomes. Patients and families are at the center of our care processes and their optimal health drives practice change at the bedside.
Nurses provide care as part of an integrated team of medical and clinical colleagues. Effective and efficient decision-making requires a coordinated and organized approach to this important and complex work. Shared governance provides the needed structure for nurses throughout South Shore Hospital to collaborate about professional practice issues and contribute a distinctive perspective to interdisciplinary care.
Clinical nurses from various departments across the entire organization research evidence-based practice, develop their professional practice through peer review, case presentation and certification and review key quality metrics and apply technology to support process improvement initiatives. The end result of all these efforts results in improved patient care and better patient outcomes.
Why Get Involved?
Shared Governance is a concept that leads to empowerment of nurses and ultimately, to professional autonomy. When organizations establish this type of professional practice environment, evidence shows improved patient outcomes.
- Shared governance offers the means to influence the quality of care you and others provide.
- Serving as a council member or council chairperson is a recognized leadership role within South Shore Hospital and in other organizations.
- Actively participating in shared governance is an opportunity to develop career-building skills in practice, research, quality, education, and leadership.
- Rather than being one who reacts to change initiated by others, the door is open for you to become a partner in the change process.
- The ability to lead and influence others is a necessary step in clinical advancement and in your own professional development.
For more information about Shared Governance or opportunities to be involved, speak with your nurse manager.
Professional Practice Environment
The addition of specialty-based Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) has provided an overarching layer of expertise and educational depth to our practice. They drive our professional growth.
Characteristics of Professional Practice
Shared governance comes alive in the activities of its councils, committees, and project teams. Activities are clustered according to the characteristics of professional practice and the individual accountabilities of all professional nurses:
- Clinical practice based on current knowledge and evidence
- Fulfilling our obligation to those we serve to monitor our practice
- Advancing practice and the profession through nursing research and its use and life-long learning