New Knowledge for Shared Governance: Nursing Practice Council Effectiveness

Thursday, 15 July 2010: 4:25 PM

M. Lindell Joseph, PhD, RN
Center for Nursing Research & Innovation, Florida Hospital, Orlando, FL
Richard J. Bogue, PhD
The Center for Health Futures, Florida Hospital, Winter Park, FL

Learning Objective 1: Fill a critical gap in the linkage between nursing research and practice by validating a measure of nursing practice council effectiveness.

Learning Objective 2: Describe a Toolkit based on this new measure to foster nursing shared governance in the hospital setting.

Purpose: To advance research and practice in nursing shared governance for acute care settings

Methods: Porter O’Grady (2003) argues that measuring shared governance works counter to the goal of shared governance by limiting variety and innovation. We agree with Porter O’Grady that shared governance is a goal, but disagree that measurement is either impossible or harmful to the goal of shared governance. We developed an index of shared governance at the nursing unit level (Nursing Practice Council effectiveness scale) and examined nursing shared governance as nursing power vertically aligned between the unit level and nursing leadership. Subsequently, researchers, leadership, and nursing practice council members developed the NPCes Toolkit to enable and improve nursing shared governance.

Results: NPCes was developed through an expert panel process.  Two cross-sectional surveys (n1=119; n2=248) of nurse managers and nursing practice council members were conducted to pilot test and finalize the NPCes. Analytic methods included scale development procedures, item analysis, scale analysis, correlations, and regression analysis. Results to date support the NPCes as a valid and reliable index (Cronbach alpha = .935) of nursing practice council effectiveness.  In combination with measures of nursing leadership power, NPCes supports a theoretical framework for examining shared governance as the vertical alignment of nursing power. Also, to date, field tests suggest that the NPCes Toolkit has positive utility, and enables an evidence-based strategy for NPC effectiveness

Conclusion: These studies indicate that both research and the practice of nursing shared governance are advanced by a new measure (NPCes) and the associated translational method (NPCes Toolkit).  Specifically, researchers now have a better measure for the study of nursing shared governance.  And, in the practice setting, nurses in practice councils can identify areas for improvement with the NPCes, and then employ tools from the NPCes Toolkit to improve their effectiveness in advancing nursing shared governance.