Saint Louis Medical Center (SLMC), like many other healthcare organizations in the country, experiences shortage of professional health practitioners. As a response, the nurse leader should propose the implementation of a shared governance model as an evidence-based approach to address the problem and alleviate adverse effects. Under the model, the caregiver would implement shared decision-making by ensuring equity, partnership, accountability, and ownership principles. The approach to leadership would empower healthcare staff to play an active role in running the organization and hence motivate diverse and creative inputs that would achieve the objectives of the organization (Grossman & Valiga, 2016). Primarily, it helps the nurses to feel as essential partners in the management of the healthcare facility as well as real stakeholders in the success of the organization. Through research evidence and real-life examples, it is evident that leadership in nursing may not be effective without implementing the concepts of shared governance.
Key Concepts of Shared-Governance Model
The shared governance model operates through various concepts, including equity, partnership, accountability, and ownership. As a nurse manager at SLMC, there is a significant responsibility to implement and sustain change in the habits and behaviors of the employees regardless of the shortage challenge. One of the duties the leaders have is to ensure equity in the allocation of responsibilities and resources among the available staff members. Besides, nurses should have shared responsibility and operate in partnership, including critical decision-making (Myers, Parchen, Geraci, Brenholtz, Knisely-Carrigan, & Hastings, 2013). For instance, caregivers should also make decisions regarding the appropriate care procedures for their patients. The leader should instill a culture of accountability for judgments and processes involving the workforce at the hospital. The nurse manager should not only communicate a vision of the hospital but also ensure ownership across all the units. Caregivers who are efficient at their work place take ownership of their resolutions and the outcome of their patients (Grossman & Valiga, 2016). As a result, patients, employees, the organization, and the community profit from the application of these concepts.
Consistent research evidence supports the effectiveness of shared governance in healthcare organizations. According to Hess (2011), shared governance is a journey and not a destination. It is a constant process of implementing practical change in the hospital that allows successful management processes and decision-making, proper policy-making, and quality improvement (Myers et al., 2013). For instance, the model has been used in hospitals experiencing nursing shortage to empower the remaining ones through shared decision-making. The model ensures proper distribution of authority such that every member plays a role in achieving the goals and objectives of the hospital. The nurse leader should understand the structural elements proven in research to affect effective adoption of shared governance, including clear vision, decision-making processes, role delineation, leadership support, communication plans, education, and career ladders (Ballard, 2010). The model proposes a move away from the traditional centralized management structure for command and control as it hinders proper change and growth. The leader should ensure that both the staff and patients are partners in the care process to achieve the highest quality level.
Importance to Nursing with Examples
The expected outcome of the shared governance model includes improvement in the management of the organization, increased job satisfaction, nurse-physician collaboration, and better quality of care. The nurse manager can realize when things are not moving in the right direction and correct them promptly. Therefore, the leader empowers the staff to meet the needs of the patients effectively (Ott & Ross, 2014). For instance example, when nurse leaders offer training and a chance for growth, they empower the nurses to provide quality care leading to increased patient satisfaction. The shared governance model also ensures recruitment and retention of a committed team because they feel greater ownership of the hospital’s vision (Myers et al., 2013). Patients are affected when there is a shortage of nurses due to the reduced morale and burnout. However, if the leader implements the shared governance model, health practitioners would become more motivated for improved patient satisfaction and nurse performance outcomes. In addition, they would achieve the level of satisfaction necessary for the goals and objectives of SLMC.
Nurse leaders at Saint Louis Medical Center should understand the concepts related to shared governance since they are at the core of the organization’s values. Equity, partnership, accountability, and ownership are the principles behind the implementation of the approach to nursing and healthcare service provision. The nurse leader implements significant changes that can only be effective if she includes other caregivers in the shared governance model. The environment is even more critical in the current setting where healthcare organizations, including SLMC are experiencing a shortage of professional nurses. Research evidence shows that medical staff is motivated to work in an environment where their services are valued. Therefore, even when they are few, nurses would provide quality of care if they are allowed to make the critical decision regarding their work and patient care. Hence, the model has positive effects on nurses, patients, the organization, and the community.