Shared Governance - page 2

We have shared governance at the medical center where I work. We have monthly hour-long shared governance meetings on our unit and then our ideas move up the chain of command to (hopefully) become... Read More

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    At the risk of sounding crass - What is in it for the nurses? I know you have given them all the platitudes about SG, but in order to increase participation you have to make it meaningful for each one of them on a much more personal basis. For instance, if you have a career ladder, do they get 'points'/'credits' for SG participation? Is there some other form of meaningful acknowledgement for participation? What types of things would be valuable? Recognition?

    Full disclosure -- I am a really (really, really, really) "experienced" nurse who has experienced many different nursing trends. This has made me very cynical. Even in the most effective SG environments, the people who become very involved in the committee work are those who tend to gravitate toward management roles no matter what the environment. The true 'rank & file' nurses will do what they are asked (if compensated for it) but do not wish to assume any extra responsibilities. They want to leave work at work. I can't argue with that.
    Bortaz, RN and hiddencatRN like this.

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    Quote from CVCURN
    We have shared governance at the medical center where I work. We have monthly hour-long shared governance meetings on our unit and then our ideas move up the chain of command to (hopefully) become practice, hence the purpose of shared governance. However, we have chronically low turn out at our monthly meetings and therefore are struggling to get things done. Any ideas on how we could increase the attendance at our meetings? We meet at 1pm on the second Tuesday of the month. We have already tried meeting in the evenings and had even worse attendance then. At our last mandatory staff meeting we had the hospital-wide Shared Governance chair come speak with the staff to explain what Shared Governance is all about and we still had only 5 people at our meeting today. We have a staff of at least 40 nurses and 10 CNAs on our 32 bed Cardiovascular Care Unit who work 7a-7p or 7p-7a either full time, part time, or per diem. Any and all input would be appreciated, we are passionate about the power shared governance gives us as practitioners and want our co-workers to see the difference they can make in the way we practice medicine.
    I have been a part of my unit's shared governance. I asked prior to joining if it was an effective tool for growth or one long grief session.(our meetings are 3 hours long) Also, we have to be elected or asked to join; it is not opened to the entire unit. Our leadership is not supposed to weigh in on any issues but simply to observe. However, I am hearing feedback that only certain opinions are being entertained but other opinions have actually caused one member to be asked to leave the group. Needless to say,I left the group after a few months. I am a person of strong opinions and not always the opinions of the rest of the group. My bottom line has always been about what would help the nurses on the unit perform their job most efficiently with the least amount of stress. Perhaps, having a small turn out is not so bad; it is easier to discuss the opinions of all that attends. Best of luck to you in forming the best shared governance group that can affect change.
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    The skepticism in SG is well warranted. It's been around since the early 80's yet rarely lasts longer than a few years at any facility. Those that do survive long term tend not to follow the traditional model, they assert their scope of practice (and influence) rather than constantly waiting to be asked for input on various issues, they set the expectation that they will be a part of any decision making process that affects Nursing practice and punish those who don't acknowledge their role. To be effective though, this assertiveness needs to be tempered with collaboration, actively involve all the shareholders in decision making; management, Physicians, assistive personnel, etc. Otherwise, SG tends to be nothing more than a glorified party planning committee, which then loses support of staff Nurses and loses it's own members due to low morale and a feeling of impotence.

    To the OP, you sound like you're off to a good start, one thing I would be careful of however is having your manager speak for your council. Too often SG is seen by staff as nothing more than a puppet government for administration, having your manager speak for you will only reinforce this.
    hiddencatRN likes this.
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    We have tried to get SG going where I work in a rural community hospital. I feel that management is too involved. Management is at all the meetings. If this is truly SG, shouldn't the nurses have a say and present it to the ranks? I agree with MunoRN, "it is a puppet government for administration.:" If SG is truly for the nurses to have a say and make changes why can't administration give it a run?
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    How about an email "reply to all" discussion? Then people can read it, think about it, respond to it on their time. When sending a new email, a time limit--"all input will be considered for a 30 day trial in 5 days" Or send the minutes to everyone, all have a few days to mull over, and put in their suggestions in a set amount of time. Then you could even vote yea or nay over email. Final 30 day trials discussed at the staff meetings. It is difficult to have to come in on one's day off, or in the middle of one's night if you are a night shift person. And same with coming back on an evening off. I am not a giant fan of group emails for everything, but in this instance, not a bad solution.

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