Shared Governance

Inspira Health Network’s Shared Governance Councils provide our Direct Care Nurses the opportunity to directly impact patient care practices.  The Shared Governance Council Structure acknowledges the autonomy, professionalism, leadership responsibility and expert clinical knowledge of direct care nurses and creates an environment of shared decision making.  Each council (with the exception of the Nursing Research Council) is chaired by a Direct Care Nurse. An Administrative Liaison is assigned to each council to provide leadership support for resources and to assist in advocating for resources when necessary.

“Shared Governance validates Inspira Health Network’s commitment to both our patients and our Direct Care Nurses.  The experience and expert knowledge of our nurses is crucial in ensuring high quality patient care. Through our council structure nurses have the opportunity to not just share their ideas and participate in the organizational decision making process, they are empowered to change practice and improve care.” –Anne McCartney, RN, MSN, CNM, NEA-BC (Vice President of Patient Care Services, Inspira Medical Center Vineland)
The Inspira Health Network Shared Governance Structure includes seven councils which are direct care nurse led:

  • Nursing Practice Council – This council is charged with developing and revising Inspira policies and procedures for the nursing department. It is responsible for standards of care and standardization of practice across the system, as well as collaborating with the other Nursing Councils and Quality Initiative Committees. This group is comprised of staff nurses, nurse managers, advanced practice nurses and interdisciplinary members from departments such as:   Pharmacy Department, Laboratory, Dietary, Materials Management and Radiology.
  • Nursing Professional Development Council - This council is accountable to help facilitate clinical competence by defining and revising clinical practice and standards of education in care including but not limited to orientation, mentor and preceptor programs, certifications, continuing education, peer review, and Clinical Ladder activities.  Membership consists of staff nurses and Nurse Educators.
  • Nursing Research Council – This council facilitates the direct cares nurses involvement in nursing research and evidence based practice.  The Nursing Research Council membership consists of direct care nurses and nursing leaders and has recently expanded their membership to include health care providers from a variety of disciplines.  The Research Council also hosts monthly education sessions and Mock IRBs prior to formal IRB Presentations.
  • Informatics Council – This council work closely with the Information Systems department. Collaboration between both departments assures us that the design, implement and continually electronic platforms for medication administration, physician order entry and clinical documentation.  Membership consists of direct care nurses, IS Nurses and nursing leaders.
  • Nursing Quality Council –This council provides a venue for direct care nurses to report out their unit’s nurse sensitive indicator and patient satisfaction data across the most recent eight quarters and in comparison to national benchmarks.  Trends are identified and efforts to improve or maintain results are briefly shared.  The Nursing Quality Council membership includes direct care nurses and clinical outcomes managers.
  • Geriatric Nursing Council – The Geriatric Nursing Council works in collaboration with the NICHE program and facilitates improved clinical competence by encouraging an increase in the number of nurses who are nationally certified in Gerontology. Membership includes direct care nurses from across the health network with the nursing leaders of Inspira Health Network’s NICHE Unit providing mentorship.
Nursing Leadership also recognizes the value of collaboration and consensus which is inherit within the Shared Governance Structure.  Two additional councils within the structure incorporate integral groups of nursing leaders:

  • Outcomes Manager Council – This unique council is responsible for the Nursing Core Measures and Nursing Quality Indicators compliance and report out. This team consists of the Clinical Outcomes Mangers and the Performance Improvement Outcomes Managers.
  • Nursing Executive Council – This council brings together Nurse Managers and Nursing Directors from across the Health Network.   This council receives a report out on the activities of all other Shared Governance Councils and serves as a forum for dissemination of critical system-level information.
In addition to the specialty councils described above, each nursing unit within Inspira Health Network also supports its own Unit based Practice Council and participates in the over-arching Coordinating Council.
  • Each Unit Based Practice Council works to identify issues affecting their specialty unit and patient population. Members of these councils identify opportunities for improvement related to the quality of care, professional development, patient and/or employee satisfaction, or work flow issues within their unit. These Unit Based Practice Councils then work on solutions to make improvements.
  • Leaders of the each of Inspira Health Network’s Shared Governance Councils and each of the Unit Based Practice Councils meet monthly to disseminate unit and council level projects and outcomes for the large Coordinating Council meetings.  Similar to the Nursing Executive Council, the Coordinating Council serves as a vehicle for communication and reporting of system-level information.  This forum also provides a venue for brainstorming activities, educational offerings and dissemination of best practices.