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Letter to the Editor – How to increase unit-based shared governance participation and empowerment


Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to an article titled “How to increase unit-based shared governance participation and empowerment”, in the January 2015 edition of the American Nurse Today Journal. The strategies mentioned in the article were adopted by the Carolinas Medical Center (CMC, part of the Carolinas Health Care System), in an attempt to resolve issues they were facing regarding team members participation and engagement in unit-based shared governance, accountability, and multidisciplinary communication.

The four strategies; Shared Governance: A Magnet principle, Emphasizing accountability, Allowing teleconferencing, and Promoting multidisciplinary involvement were not only successful at improving and providing patient safety and quality care, but also portrayed, in my opinion, professional nursing methodology in action. Health care is essentially and foremost in the best interest of the patient. Today, we find many discouraged nurses that have lost the enthusiasm they began with as they entered the field of nursing, hoping to change the world by doing much good.

Along the way however, they have encountered disheartening realities that conflict with the theoretical foundations of quality and patient-centered nursing practice they learned in their respective educational institutions. This has driven many gifted and exceptional individuals away from the profession of nursing, to seek refuge in other areas of disciplines where they experience less abuse and are allow to develop their potential and talents and contribute to their alternate areas of practice. This is a sad loss for the profession of nursing and I personally believe that individual accountability should be required of every nurse, from the CEO to the staff nurse, regarding performance and shared governance responsibility.

I find that whenever there is a problem in any organization unresolved for an extended period of time, that an internal inspection is warranted in the leadership. I have currently returned to school and will be completing my BSN in May 2015, because despite failing expectations in the area of practice that I started out with as a novice RN, I have faith in the profession of nursing as a beacon of hope and compassionate service to mankind.

Thank you for taking the time to read my response.

Karlene Beckford. RN. AAS. BSN-Student.

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