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