Division of Nursing Shared Governance


Collaborative  governance is a decentralized approach that allows the nursing staff to influence decisions and solve problems that affect their nursing practice, their professional development and self-fulfillment, and their work environment. The goal of collaborative governance is a Division of Nursing in which empowered and accountable professional practice and quality nursing care.


We believe that each professional nurse accepts accountability for the quality of care he/she provides and for the ethical and legal responsibilities involved in his/her practice. We believe that each professional nurse accepts responsibility for participating in the decision-making function within the Division of Nursing through membership on nursing governance. Each nurse is encouraged to become involved in a unit council, hospital council or as a champion for unit-based educational opportunities, i.e., diabetes or skin champion.

Governance Structure

The professional nursing staff organizes, integrates, and manages the delivery of nursing care services via its Councils. Nursing units individually address issues and matters related to practice, performance improvement/research, and education and professional development. This is accomplished by multidisciplinary groups, governed by the unit staffs, which attend to matters specific to the unit's patient population.

There are seven division-wide governance Councils at MedStar Georgetown:

Nursing Practice Council

  1. Assuring that nursing practice and standards are evidence-based and consistent with Medstar Georgetown University Hospital’s Care Delivery System, current research, and national standards of nursing practice
  2. Ensures consistent evidence-to-practice implementation across the organization to provide excellent nursing care to patients and families through professional practice
  3. Utilizes the framework of evidence-based nursing practice to develop and/or revise the standards of nursing practice, nursing care, and supporting materials.
  4. Collaborates with Nursing Informatics Council on document systems

Nursing Evidence-Based Practice & Research Council

  1. Evidence Based Practice and Research Council provides expertise, mentorship, and guidance regarding evidence-based practice and nursing research.
  2. Ensure that the MedStar Heath evidence-based practice framework is utilized throughout the organization.
  3. Maintain communication with the Clinical Advancement Program by having one representative on the Clinical Advance Program’s committee to maximize communication and opportunities for staff to meet criteria for advancement.
  4. Vet nursing research proposals prior to submission with the IRB application process and encourage dissemination of the findings.
  5. Contribute to patient care standards, guidelines, and policies by encouraging adherence to an evidence-based practice process through collaboration with the divisional councils and other disciplines.
  6. Review quality indicator and other data to identify areas for further improvement through a scientific process.
  7. Facilitate critical discussions of current evidence through monthly journal club sessions and other forums.
  8. Provide a forum for vetting of abstracts, posters, and publications related to evidence-based practice and nursing research.

Nursing Professional Development Council

  1. Maintain communication with the Clinical Advancement Program by having representation on the Clinical Advance Program’s committee to maximize communication and opportunities for staff to meet criteria for advancement.
  2. Assist if requested on education activities offered in response to needs identified by other councils, committees, and/or task forces.
  3. Identifying professional development needs using evaluations from previous course offerings and the Nursing Education Department’s needs assessment.
  4. Promote the nursing profession through community outreach programs and conferences

Nursing Informatics Council

  1. Serve as an educational resource for promoting the advancement an expansion of knowledge for the practice of Informatics.
  2. Serve as a forum that will promote and advocate for nursing care and practice that is supported by the implementation of technology in the clinical environment.
  3. Promote improvements in the delivery of patient care through the use of technology.
  4. Evaluate and recommend enhancements to clinical applications.
  5. Collaborate with the unit based councils along with the other divisional councils.

Nursing Health Care Advocacy and Legislation

  1. Increases nurses knowledge of current health policy and legislation
  2. Promotes advocacy at the federal, state, and local level
  3. Gives nurses a voice in the future of nursing and healthcare

Nursing Management Council

  1. Provides leadership and guidance within the organization and collaborates within different areas of nursing
  2. Standardizes processes as it relates to operations and provides a communication forum for new information
  3. Collaborates with hospital departments and joint initiatives
  4. Promotes quality and safety initiatives while fostering healthy work environments
  5. Supports initiatives as defined by the Chief Nursing Officer

Nursing Collaboration Council

  1. Coordinates council activities at the department level
  2. Develops and manages a communication system within the councils
  3. Coordinates the development of department strategies and goals