Nursing: Shared Governance

Shared governance is a process which provides both a structure and an environment that empowers nurses to take an active participatory role in decisions that affect nursing practice. It provides our nurses a mechanism to provide input regarding their nursing practice by moving decisions closer to the point of care which increases and formalizes our nursing staff’s participation. At Maury Regional Medical Center the principles of shared governance are implemented through a variety of nursing councils. By-laws or charters define the structure and operation of these councils which includes processes for communication to nursing personnel.

Principles of Shared Governance:

The clinical frontline nurse:

  • Serves on councils
  • Accountable for decisions related to nursing practice
  • Has a voice about care delivery methods
  • Shares a role in managing resources, staffing and working environment
  • Elected as chair/co-chair of councils by peers
  • Enhances utilization of skills such as delegation, participation and leading meetings


  • Creation of an empowered nursing workforce
  • Increased professional autonomy
  • Increased staff and job satisfaction
  • More effective nurse-led innovations in clinical practice
  • Focus on enhancing quality of patient care
  • Improved financials due to harm avoidance and retention