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 Mount Sinai 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:

Nurse Executive Council

The Nurse Executive Council (NEC) serves as the coordinating council for our shared governance structure. The NEC is composed of the CNO, AVP of patient care services, directors of nursing, nurse leaders from non-patient care services areas, council facilitators, clinical nurse council chairs, and a nurse manager representative. The NEC ensures integration and alignment of council activities and projects and advancement of Nursing’s strategic plan:

Professional Nursing Practice Council

The purpose of the Mount Sinai South Nassau's 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 engage in meaningful change and develop solutions that drive exceptional patient outcomes through an ongoing Results Council forum
  • 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 Professional Development Specialist

Education and Professional Development Council

The purpose of the Mount Sinai South Nassau 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 Mount Sinai 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
Director of Nursing Education
Nursing Professional Development Specialist Facilitator

Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Council

The purpose of the Mount Sinai South Nassau 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 Mount Sinai South Nassau and at local, regional, national and international conferences
  • To maintain a record of all nursing research and EBP projects conducted at Mount Sinai South Nassau
  • To identify potential funding sources for nursing research and EBP projects
  • To generate an annual research plan

Council Membership
Nurse Scientist Chairperson
RN Co-Chairperson
Clinical Nurses
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Nursing Professional Development Specialist
Hospital Librarian
School of Nursing Academic Liaison

Nursing Honors Council

At Mount Sinai South Nassau, 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. The Nursing Honors Council leads the selection of Mount Sinai South Nassau’s DAISY Award Recipients.

Internal awards include:

  • Novice Nurse Award
  • Preceptor Award
  • Transformational Leadership Award
  • Excellence in Clinical Nursing Practice
  • Excellence in Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Excellence in Nursing Quality
  • Excellence in Nursing Research
  • Excellence in Nursing Education
  • Excellence in Community Service
  • DAISY Award Program

External awards include:

Staff are nominated for a variety of external awards as opportunities arise. MSSN submits a nominee annually for the Annual Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council Nurse of Excellence Award and Magnet Nurse of the Year Award.

The council also coordinates celebratory activities for National Nurses Week/Month. Mount Sinai South Nassau hosts a month of festivities featuring activities in May each year that honor the nursing profession.

Holistic Council

The Holistic Nursing Council focuses on treating the patient as a whole through a mind-body-spirit-emotion approach to the practice of traditional nursing. The council also focuses efforts on the development and implementation of self-care strategies for nurses to promote a balanced and healthy professional lifestyle.

Informatics Council

The Interdisciplinary Informatics Council provides ongoing leadership in the implementation and development of information technology and electronic solutions for patient care and nursing practice. The committee provides structure and support to individuals and groups who interface with or are impacted by the implementation of information technology in our workplace.

Unit-Based Councils

Unit-Based Practice Councils were developed at MSSN as the foundation and forum for Shared Decision-Making. The purpose of the UBCs is to promote decision making at the unit level and provide an opportunity for participation by all staff. UBCs are critical for planning, improving and maintaining quality patient care throughout patient care services. Our councils enrich nursing practice and support the premise that staff closest to patient care is vital to improving health care outcomes and the practice environment.

Each unit has a UBC, which reports their activities and projects to the NPC. The UBCs are led by an RN chairperson and co-chairperson. They are assisted by a facilitator, usually external to the unit, who assists the council in collaborating with other disciplines and working through systems and processes.  Decision at the council level is achieved through consensus and defined by established bylaws within a framework of professional practice. The councils work collaboratively with the nurse manager and assistant nurse manager of the unit in a construct of shared decision-making. The result is a team working together to provide excellence in patient care and a positive work environment for nurses.

Nursing Preceptor Council

The mission of the Nursing Preceptor Council is to develop nurses with compassionate and creative minds. Through a sense of understanding and supportive role modeling, preceptors will be open to ideas and stress the development of each nurse intellectually and emotionally through a nurturing environment.

The council’s goal is to provide a collegial interactive nurturing environment through coaching, tailored learning experiences, and shared ideas. Our council fosters respect, enthusiasm, and transparent communication where nurses can grow and feel supported.

Council Functions include:

  • Reviewing and recommending content included in MSSN Preceptor Training Programs (Initial workshop & refreshers)
  • Recommending Recruitment and Retention strategies
  • Providing feedback on practice-based learning and competency validation
  • Sharing preceptor tools and best practice ideas

New Nurse Council

The New Nurse Council, is an innovative application of evidence-based strategies within a shared governance model, aims to support the transition of our new graduate nurses into practice, foster a culture of engagement and inclusiveness, and improve retention rates.

Council Functions include:

  • Recommending educational content of benefit to new graduate nurses
  • Making recommendations to improve the transition experience for new graduate nurses
  • Identifying and resolving challenges faced in the practice setting by new graduate nurses (Priority setting, delegation, interpersonal communication, and accessing supplies and equipment)
  • Making recommendations for new graduate RN retention
  • Providing feedback on career pathway planning for new nurses

Learn more

Meet Our CNO
Mission, Vision and Strategic Plan
Professional Practice Model
Nursing Annual Reports
Shared Governance
Service Areas