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shared governance

Nurses from Bridgeport, Greenwich and Yale New Haven hospitals and Northeast Medical Group have formed a Yale New Haven Health System Nursing Shared Governance Coordinating Council to empower nurses and improve practice across the system.

Building on the success of shared governance at each of their organizations, nurses from Bridgeport, Greenwich and Yale New Haven hospitals have joined with their Northeast Medical Group colleagues to form a Yale New Haven Health System Nursing Shared Governance Coordinating Council.

The council, which met for the first time in March, represents the more than 5,000 nurses throughout the system. Its 17 members include nine clinical nurses, each of whom serves on his or her delivery network's shared governance structures in some capacity. The group also includes an NEMG clinical coordinator, nursing managers, transformational and policy leads and one of the hospitals' three chief nursing officers, who rotate each month based on the council's meeting location.

"The system council does not replace each hospital's existing nursing shared governance councils, which have been very successful in enhancing nursing practice in their organizations," said Cory Kroon, RN, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, YNHH, system Coordinating Council chair. "Our goals are to empower clinical nurses across the system and improve the nursing profession."

To do that, the YNHHS Coordinating Council will:
  • Use evidence-based practice to standardize policies and procedures system-wide
  • Promote and facilitate collaboration among the delivery networks
  • Share research, resources, innovation and knowledge
  • Integrate delivery networks' education and career development programs to support nursing excellence
The group will meet each month at a different delivery network. Representatives from each delivery network will share information about the system council's activities at their respective organizations.

The two main goals of nursing shared governance are to encourage clinical nurses to make practice changes, and to ensure nursing practices are evidence-based – proven by research to yield the safest, highest-quality care. Nurses system-wide now have access to an online shared governance MasterLog that allows any nurse to electronically submit a practice change proposal and other nurses to comment on the proposal.