Nurses are actively involved in decision making at Memorial Hermann System Hospitals. The shared governance model provides a framework that ensures shared decision making processes. At the heart of this model are the patient and family.
The shared governance model for Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center is founded on the principles of partnership, equity, accountability and ownership that form a culturally sensitive and empowering framework, enabling sustainable and accountability-based decisions to support an interdisciplinary design for excellent patient care” (Porter-O’Grady (2007).
This framework allows clinical staff and leadership teams to work collaboratively to develop nursing practice, while encouraging clinical nurses to participate and lead practice, quality and competency decision-making processes based on evidence-based practice. Shared governance allows nurses and healthcare professionals to have input into their nursing practice, participate in the decision making process and determining standards and quality of care. It supports a partnership between nurses, staff and leaders, collectively working toward one goal; providing quality patient care.
Nursing Shared Governance Councils
The Professional Staff Nurse Council (PSNC) is part of the framework for shared governance within Memorial Hermann The Woodlands, which is an organizational innovation that allows nurses and healthcare professionals to have input into their practice and extends their influence into administrative areas previously controlled only by clinical leaders.
It provides an evidence-based framework whereby clinical staff and leaders can work collaboratively to develop nursing and multi-professional care and where clinical staff are empowered to participate in the decision making process.
The shared leadership structure provides direct care professional nurses with the opportunity to participate in decision making and policy formulation which affects their individual practice and the delivery care model of nursing care at the unit and hospital wide levels.
The PSNC defines, implements, and maintains a climate of evidence-based practice in which clinical excellence and optimal patient care are promoted through accountability and shared governance and ensures the same for the shared governance nursing councils throughout the hospital.
The MHTWH Shared Governance Nursing Councils are identified as follows:
- Professional Staff Nurse Council (PSNC)
- Evidence Based Practice and Research Council (RC)
- Nurse Education Council (EC)
- Clinical Informatics Council (CIC)
- Nursing Clinical Ladder-Professional Advancement Council (CLC)
- Magnet Champions Council (MC)
- Nursing Peer Review Council (PR)
- Nurse Staffing Council (NSC)
- Night Council (NC)
- Coordinating Council/Nurse Leadership Team (NLT)
Each of these councils is made up of direct care nurses representing the various nursing units within the hospital.
Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Shared Governance Council Structure
Professional Staff Nurse Council (PSNC)
The Council Membership consists of RN representative from each unit/department where nursing is practiced, Magnet Program Director, Council Chairperson, and Coordinating Council Advisors. The council’s responsibilities include, assuring that all nursing practice standards are ethical, current, evidence-based, and theoretically sound and are aligned with MHTW mission. Other duties include, defining, promoting and integrating standards of clinical nursing practice that are consistent with or exceed national, regional and community standards of practice. PSNC acts as the overall collaborating and reporting structure for all nursing councils.
Evidence Based Practice & Research Council
The Council Membership includes research experienced or interested representative from each unit/department where nursing is practiced, including clinical practice areas, administration, education, APN, PhD. Nurse research consultant and advisor, Magnet Program Director, Council Chairperson and Coordinating Council Advisors. The council’s responsibilities include fostering evidence based nursing practice by providing information about research studies and methods. They assist with the implementation with research based studies on patient care units and provide mentoring, education and support of MHTW nursing in the nursing research process.
Nurse Education Council
The Council Memberships include unit based clinical educators, education development specialists, an advisor, and staff nurse representatives from clinical areas. The council’s responsibilities include, collaborating with other councils to develop, implement and evaluate education/training needed to support decisions and educational initiatives, focusing on developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative professional development strategies to enhance certification, education and professional growth.
Clinical Informatics Council
The Council Memberships include nursing and ancillary department leadership, clinical informaticist, staff development, representatives from each nursing units and ancillary departments. The council’s responsibilities include serving as a professional role model for other clinicians and works collectively with Information Systems to increase the quality of our clinical information system, reduce inefficiencies, and optimize informatics models where clinical process interacts with our CIS.
Clinical Ladder Committee
The Council Memberships include Coordinating Council Members, RN III and/or RNIV representatives from each nursing department, Magnet Program Director, Human Resources Representative. The council’s responsibilities include collaborating, recommending and promoting professional nursing development, peer review clinical promotion recommendation and participation in the Clinical Ladder – Professional Advancement.
Nursing Staffing Council
The Council Memberships include Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Nurse Director, Director of Risk Management, Human Resources Representative, 60% of the committee will be direct care RN’s. The council’s responsibilities include developing and recommending a nurse staffing plan that protects patients, supports greater retention of registered nurses, and promotes adequate nurse staffing.
The Council Memberships include RN representative from every unit/department where nursing is practiced, non-nursing representative from every unit/department where nursing is not practiced, Magnet Program Director and direct care Council Chairperson and Co-Chairperson. The council’s responsibilities include developing, implementing and evaluating innovative strategies to enhance knowledge, engagement and understanding of Magnet designation, Magnet Model Components with focus on encouraging and promoting engagement in Magnet Excellence at all levels of the organization.
Nursing Peer Review Council
The Council Memberships include RN representatives from every unit/department where nursing is practiced, a Nurse Leadership Team member advisor, and ad hoc representatives; including TPAPN advisor and risk manager (as needed).
The council’s responsibilities include the evaluation of nursing services, the qualifications of a nurse, the quality of patient care rendered by nurses, the merits of a complaint concerning a nurse or nursing care, and a determination or recommendation regarding a complaint.
The Council Membership include RN and non-nursing, clinical and non-clinical representatives from various unit/departments non-nursing representative from every unit/department where nursing is not practiced, and a Nurse Leadership Team member. The Night Council was established to promote a healthier work environment for Night shift employees, increase accessibility for Night shift employees to professional development opportunities and to promote collegial relationships among Night shift and all interdisciplinary team members.
Coordinating Council- Nursing Leadership Team (NLT)
The Council Memberships include the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Nurse Directors, Clinical Nurse Managers and Magnet Program Director. The council’s responsibilities include overseeing all council activities to assure progress toward and the completion of nursing strategic goals.
1. Porter-O’Grady, T. (2008). Implementing Shared Governance. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Volume92004/No1Jan04/Overview.html
2. Zuzelo, P., McGoldrick, T., & Karbach, H. (2006). Shared Governance and EBP. Nursing Management, 45-50.
3. Texas Board of Nursing (2012). Nursing Peer Review – Chapter 303. Retrieved August 10, 2012 from http://www.bon.texas.gov/nursinglaw/npa2.html