Measuring Shared Governance in Acute Care Hospital Settings Using the Index of Professional Nursing Governance (IPNG)

Monday, 9 November 2015: 10:00 AM

Evette M. Wilson, DNP, RN
School of Nursing, Nevada State College, Henderson, NV, NV, USA

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to evaluate shared governance in three acute care hospitals. The goal was to obtain a baseline measurement of shared governance using the Index of Professional Nursing Governance (IPNG) to determine if three Las Vegas area hospitals had achieved a state of shared governance following six years of implementation.

Background/Significance:Employers are becoming more creative in their strategies to improve the work environment decrease turnover, and retain nurses within their organizations by implementing management strategies such as shared governance models. Shared governance models focus on creating a satisfying practice environment that empowers employees in the decision-making of nursing practice. The challenge nurse leaders face with the implementation of these models is measuring the outcomes and determining when shared governance has actually been achieved.

Methods: This was a descriptive study using the Index of Professional Nursing Governance (IPNG) survey tool to obtain a baseline measurement of shared governance. After obtaining IRB approval, which deemed the study exempt, the survey was distributed via interoffice mail and online via SurveyMonkey©to 1418 registered nurses employed at SRDH. The IPNG tool measured overall governance, in addition to six subscales of professional nursing governance: personnel, information, resources, participation, practice and goals.

Results: After 30 days, 342 surveys were returned for an overall response rate of 24%. However, only 207 surveys were useable in the analysis, due to the removal of incomplete surveys and outliers in the data. Demographically, the sample consisted of full-time, part-time nurses, and per diem nurses. The number of years in nurses’ current position ranged from 3 months to 31 years (M = 5.27, SD = 5.57).The results of the survey indicate that all three acute care hospitals measured, although having shared governance structures in place since 2007, remains in traditional governance, with decisions being made primarily by management and administration.

Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Overall, the IPNG survey tool provided nurse administrators with a baseline measurement of shared governance and a target goal for re-evaluation. The IPNG tool also provided nurse leaders with specific areas to focus improvement efforts. The IPNG survey tool can be used in the future as an outcome measure for the implementation of strategies to address overall governance and subscales that scored below the shared governance range. Findings from this study will guide the leadership team in developing strategies and recommendations to support shared governance improvement initiatives.