Shared Governance

Shared Governance

Providing exceptional patient care requires the touch of many caring hands. Shared governance is an organized structural model of empowerment for shared decision making between staff and management. It recognizes the expertise of nursing staff and gives nurses a voice in decision making related to nursing practice. Hallmarks of this involvement are staff participation in decision making, recognition of staff contributions, partnerships between staff and leadership, collegiality, autonomy, professional development, a spirit of innovation, trust, mutual respect and open communication.

Our council structures at South Nassau are built on the premise of teams coming together to create and implement actions that move us toward our vision to empower nursing staff to practice innovatively, influence exceptional patient outcomes, learn continuously and create an environment where nurses choose to work and patients want to receive care. They are the foundation for a commitment to shared vision and collaborative practice.

Our councils include:


Professional Nursing Practice Council

The purpose of the South Nassau Communities Hospital Professional Nursing Practice Council is to provide a shared governance forum for clinical nursing and all allied clinical disciplines to participate in discussion, referral or decision making that impacts patient care and outcomes. Functions of the council includes:

  • To collaborate in the review, revision and/or development of departmental, housewide policies; unit-based procedures; and professional standards of practice
  • To ensure policies, procedures and standards are evidenced-based; incorporate research findings, best practices; and reflect transdisciplinary collaboration
  • To identify issues relating to patient care and clinical practice that affect more than one unit or discipline
  • To develop strategies to resolve issues, make recommendations and support implementations where appropriate
  • To conduct Nursing Peer Review to network with peers on professional issues
  • To collaborate with other team members, departments or disciplines
  • To provide consultation and support for all departments regarding practice changes that affect patient care
  • To actively conduct staff education related to changes in nursing practice and policy
     and procedure
  • To monitor practice changes through quality improvement initiatives and audits
  • To contribute to the Patient Care Services Strategic Plan and Organizational Strategic Plan

Council Membership
Staff RN Representatives from individual inpatient units and service areas
Representatives from allied clinical disciplines
DON Facilitator
RN Chairperson
RN Co-Chairperson
Nurse Manager Representative
Nursing Education Representative
Administrative Nursing Supervisor Representative


Education and Professional Development Council

The purpose of the South Nassau Communities Hospital Nursing Education & Development Council is to define, implement and maintain educational standards that promote professional growth and ongoing clinical competency throughout Patient Care Services.

The Nursing Education & Development Council:

  • Reviews annual educational needs through a needs assessment and sets goals
  • Ensures that educational plans meet the needs of nurse colleagues 
  • Implements initiatives that support professional certification, advanced education and membership in professional organizations
  • Promotes partnerships with schools of nursing

Council functions include:

  • To collect evidence for written documentation for education and professional development
  • To oversee the council's annual educational needs assessment
  • To promote and assist in implementing annual goals for education and certification.
  • To develop an annual educational calendar
  • To review all nursing educational offerings to ensure that practice and standards of practice are incorporated where appropriate
  • To oversee evaluation of nursing orientation and recommend revisions
  • To communicate council activities through varied forums
  • To develop, plan and process to encourage South Nassau nurses to pursue certification
  • To develop, processes for evaluation of nursing education programs
  • To collaborate with the Nursing Practice Council to ensure that staff are educated and knowledgeable regarding Code of Ethics for Nurses, Standards of Care, Practice and Performance, Staffing Standards, etc
  • To collaborate with the Nursing Research Council to ensure all nursing educational offerings are evidence-based
  • To ensure compliance with Magnet standards related to education and professional development
  • To review, revise and/or develop departmental, housewide policies and unit-based, procedures and standards of practice related to professional nursing education and development
  • To network with peers on professional educational trends and issues
  • To collaborate with other team members, departments or disciplines on educational initiatives
  • To serve as a resource and support for the individual Unit-Based Councils
  • To actively conduct staff education
  • To contribute to the Patient Care Services and Organizational Strategic Plan
  • To collaborate with colleagues from academia and other health care organizations

Council Membership
Staff RN Representatives from individual inpatient units or service areas
RN Chairperson
RN Co-Chairperson
Nurse Manager Representative
Director of Nursing Education (ex officio)
CNO (ex officio)


Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Council

The purpose of the South Nassau Communities Hospital Nursing Research/Evidence-Based Practice Council is to create an institutional culture of nursing scholarship by promoting nursing research and evidence-based practice within interdisciplinary, academic and community collaboration and partnerships.

The Nursing Research/Evidence-Based Council:

  • Disseminates knowledge of the nursing research and EBP processes
  • Mentors and supports nurses in their research and EBP activities
  • Promotes institutional, academic and community understanding of the work of the Nursing Research/Evidence-Based Practice Council
  • Encourages renewal of the professional spirit through inquiry, reflective thinking and passionate practice

Functions of the council include:

  • To develop, conduct and evaluate educational programs that promote nursing research and EBP activities
  • To mentor members of Unit-Based Councils to develop a process for evaluating and applying new research and evidence-based knowledge in practice
  • To generate new nursing knowledge through research studies and make recommendations for practice change
  • To ensure the ethical conduct of nursing research and EBP activities
  • To establish links with other disciplines for the purpose of collaborative, interdisciplinary participation in nursing research and EBP studies
  • To assist with development of nursing research grant proposals and Western Institutional Review Board submissions
  • To assist in the dissemination of nursing research and EBP outcomes, through publications and poster/podium presentations, within South Nassau and at local, regional, national and international conferences
  • To maintain a record of all nursing research and EBP projects conducted at South Nassau
  • To identify potential funding sources for nursing research and EBP projects
  • To generate an annual research plan

Council Membership
In addition to the RN Chairperson and RN Co-Chairperson, membership includes at least one representative from each of the following:
Staff RN from individual inpatient units or service areas
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Nurse Manager
Nurse Educator
Nurse Administrator
Performance Improvement Staff
RN Community Liaison
Hospital Librarian
Nursing Education Council
Nursing Practice Council
School of Nursing Academic Liaison
Senior VP Patient Care Services (ex officio)


Nursing Honors Council

At South Nassau Communities Hospital, we recognize and highlight the contributions of our nurses. The Nursing Honors Council was formed as a subcommittee of the Nursing Education and Professional Development Council. The purpose of the council is to recognize the achievements of individual and groups of nurses to celebrate their commitment and accomplishments.

The council coordinates the nomination and selection of nursing staff for internal and external awards that recognize nurses for their contributions on a local, regional, state, national or international level.

Internal awards include:

1. Novice Nurse Award
2. Preceptor Award
3. Transformational Leadership Award
4. Excellence in Clinical Nursing Practice

  • Emergency Nursing Excellence Award
  • Critical Care Nursing Excellence Award
  • Telemetry Nursing Excellence Award
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing Excellence Award
  • Oncology Nursing Excellence Award
  • Perioperative Nursing Excellence Award
  • Cardiac Services Nursing Excellence Award
  • Women & Children’s Nursing Excellence Award
  • Behavioral Health Nursing Excellence Award
  • Dialysis Nursing Excellence Award

5. Excellence in Advanced Nursing Practice
6. Excellence in Nursing Quality
7. Excellence in Nursing Research
8. Excellence in Nursing Education
9. Excellence in Community Service

External awards include:

1. The Annual Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council Nurse of Excellence Award
2. The Nurse.Com GEM (Giving Excellence Meaning) Awards

The council also coordinates celebratory activities for National Nurses Week. South Nassau Communities Hospital hosts a week of festivities featuring activities from May 6-12 each year that honor the nursing profession.


Unit-Based Councils

Unit-Based Councils' focus is providing one another input and feedback on shared decision-making topics related to practice, competency, work environment and patient safety. This council coordinates annual goal setting for the individual Unit-Based Councils.