The concept of shared governance in nursing is not a new one, but rather has been recognized since the 1970s as a key indicator of excellence in the nursing practice and specific departments and institutions (Cherry & Jacob 2005, pp. 276-8). In a study of nursing home facilities in particular, it was determined that nursing leadership style had a great deal to do with levels of staff turnover, suggesting that shared governance ad other more open and empathetic leadership styles are conducive to more effective nursing and more satisfactory nursing practice (Donoghue & Castle 2009). There are a number of other factors that influence nursing practice, including patient loads, specific areas or specializations of practice, and a host of economic and social factors. Leadership style, however, is one of the most easily changed factors with a large degree of influence on the practice and profession of nursing, and for this reason has been selected as the focus of this brief examination.
"Shared governance" is a term that has made its way into many different industries and areas of human endeavor, and it is not always used consistently even within a single discipline. In nursing, shared governance is a basic schema of leadership and collaboration in which practicing nurses play a role in the administration of their department and institution by advising on decisions that will impact care, raising concerns in a recognized and respected manner, and responding in kind to concerns raised by administration. More a philosophy and style than an actual code or plan of governance, shared governance enables nurses to practice most effectively and allows administrators to make more informed decisions (Milward et al. 2010).
The impact that shared governance can have on the quality of nursing care provided by an institution or specific department has been well documented in literature covering a wide range of institutions, from mental health networks to standard hospital institutions to nursing care and assisted living facilities (Milward et al. 2010; Schalk et al. 2010; Cherry & Jacob 2005; Havens & Aiken 1999). Research into specific interventions that have improved leadership styles and governance patterns are still relatively scarce, making it difficult to go about implementing change in an evidence-based manner, but the evidence that such governance is highly effective when achieved is indisputable (Schalk et al. 2010). This alone warrants the attempt by any institution to implement a system and philosophy of shared governance and both an administration and nursing staff that is more responsive and open.
There have also been clear conclusions drawn from ongoing research that change is needed in the way nursing homes and assisted living facilities are governed and regulated (Walshe 2001). Staffing issues in such facilities and in the nursing industry as a whole have increased pressures on existing nurses, and can compound feelings of inadequacy, non-appreciation, and work stress (Walshe 2001; Wunderlich et al. 1996). Nurses themselves can actually…
We can compare the healthcare workplace to what is seen by a person when he/she looks through a kaleidoscope: since there are numerous different patterns that appear as the moments pass by. The shortage of nurses which has been publicized widely and the high turnover rates amongst the nurses are some of the unwanted patterns which have occurred. The dependence of healthcare institutions on the nurse-managers for the retention and
Clinical narratives are used for the articulation and sharing of knowledge and experience which has been acquired over time and through experiential learning and is a way of enabling nurses to "tap into the thought processes and best practices of expert clinicians" through sharing of stories based on experience. Professional conferences involve the attending of conferences, which expose nurses to ideas that are new and best practices of other
Nursing Culture: Overcoming Barriers to Change
Introduction and Theoretical Framework
This program of study continues personal research and professional practice in the field of nursing within the area of public and private health systems. In an era characterized by increasing calls for more efficient approaches to healthcare delivery and accountability on the part of healthcare providers, there is a growing need for identifying opportunities to overcome organizational barriers to change that facilitate
Advanced Practice Roles in Nursing
The starting point of all current-day nursing practices is a registered nurse. The current standards and policies with respect to education and legal regulations for attaining a basic first-level nursing standard weren't always fixed. For that matter, there weren't always professional nurses, either.
Specialist nurses can be considered as the primary product of nursing's professional evolution. The basis of the advanced nurses of today was established in
Organizational Leadership in a Health Care Setting
Current Practice Setting
Recent work environments among practicing nurses show that the domain of personnel lacks in collaboration with patient and family in the job descriptions and policies during the process of performance appraisal. The setting has not given the patient or family a chance to participate on interview teams, yet it is vital for the search committees to gather such information for efficiency and