Skip Navigation

Shared Governance

Shared Governance is an innovative organizational framework which affords nurses professional autonomy. It empowers the professional nursing staff and managers to contribute collectively to the decision-making process related to patient care, nursing practice and the work environment. 

The Senate

  • All staff belong to the Senate. 
  • It’s similar in structure to the federal government. 
  • The Senate is the Decision Making Body.  Members are elected from units/divisions as decided by their unit shared governance.  Leadership (nurse managers, directors) are also members of the Senate.
  • The Senate is run by the President of the Senate and is elected by all staff.
  • The President Pro-tem takes over in the absence of the President and also becomes President when the current President’s term is over.
  • The Cabinets report their work to the Senate and if decisions are required, the Senate votes based on the information from the Cabinet.
  • All committees and NPACTs submit work to the Cabinets for review and action.
  • NPACTs are Nursing Professional Action Coordinating Teams.  They are formed by the Cabinets, Senate or Executive Cabinet if more information is needed.  Their role is to investigate/gather information within specific timeframes designated by the Cabinet.
  • All decisions/information from the Senate is submitted via an email newsletter to all nursing staff within two days after the Senate has convened.

The Cabinets

  • Executive Cabinet:  Big picture, budget issues, helps guide the work of the Senate, disseminates Voice requests to Cabinets for work as needed.
  • Nursing Quality Practice Cabinet: develops and evaluates nursing practice and patient care outcomes.
  • Nursing Ambulatory Cabinet:  develops and evaluates issues from the ambulatory clinics.
  • Nursing Professionalism Cabinet:  develops and evaluates nursing retention, recruitment, autonomy, empowerment, peer relations, professional development.
  • Nursing Informatics Cabinet:  develops and evaluates needs/changes to the clinical information systems.

    The house-wide cabinets support the units’ ability to contribute to collective decision-making at the unit level, and provide leadership and support for global or house-wide practices.

    Questions or Comments Contact our Professional Practice Team

    Judy B. McDowell, RN, MSN, CCRN
    Caritas Coach

    "Caring is Our Core Business"

    Quick Reference

    Division of Nursing

    Nursing Staffing Office
    Nursing Education

    Find a Doctor Ways to Give


    Our Model of Care

    Relationship-Based Care is the professional practice model for nurses at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

    Last Updated: 08-30-2016
    Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  25 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

    Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

    © Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157. All Rights Reserved.