Shared Governance – Department of Nursing

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Nursing believes that participative decision-making, highly effective teamwork, and excellence in patient and family care are best accomplished by creating systems and processes that encourage the collective voice of all nurses to be heard within an environment that fosters clinical inquiry, collaboration and continuous learning. The Department of Nursing committee structure and guidelines are based on operationalizing shared decision-making through a set of assumptions and principles developed through the committee structure and approved by the Nurse Executive Board (NEB).  

This committee structure is designed to accomplish work in key strategic areas as designated by the NEB, and brings together the professional community of nurses from different practice areas and roles to influence, shape, guide, recommend, and/or approve decisions. To facilitate effective communication and coordination, linkages exist or are created between and among committees and between individual nurse leaders accountable for departmental or hospital programs and committees. All committees report to the Nursing Coordinating Committee (NCC), which reports into the NEB. 

The primary work of the six Department of Nursing Committees is to provide forums in which the expertise of nurses can influence and shape the nursing practice environment. Membership on committees is an opportunity for professional development and growth and is considered an inherent responsibility of the professional nurse's role. Each committee has two nurse co-chairs (one from direct care and one from indirect care), an advisor and membership from a variety of roles (direct care, leadership, executive) with 50 percent comprised of direct care nurses. 

Current committees include: Standards, Policies and Procedures; Quality, Safety and Care Improvement; Nursing Practice; Patient and Family Education; Informatics and Clinical Innovation; and Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice. The NCC is comprised of the co-chairs and advisors of each committee.

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