Implementing Shared Governance through the Nursing Leadership Council (NLC)
Deborah Hall, RN, BSN
Nursing Support Manager - Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation
Nursing Clinical Development - Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation
Nursing leadership set out to develop the Nursing Leadership Council (NLC) that would regularly meet to oversee nursing practice, professional development, communication/information technology, shared governance, patient /family centered care, patient safety, and quality. The main objective of this council was to implement shared governance through frontline staff nurses' involvement and ownership of nursing practice. Direct communication between the CNO and frontline staff improves identification of issues and resolutions. Leadership learns frontline staff's actual day to day issues and opportunities. Nursing practice comes to reflect policies/procedures because those carrying out the policies have collaborated in policy and process development and revision. When decisions are made by those who will carry out the processes, more retention of the information and hardwiring of those processes occurs. Success strategies include a structured and consistent all day meeting, commitment and active participation of staff and leadership and the opportunity for continuing education as well as professional development.