Shared Governance

The UPMC Center for Nursing Excellence supports shared governance through a formalized council structure. Representatives from each hospital and nursing area across the system meet on a regular basis to achieve system goals. In parallel, shared governance exists at hospital and department levels.

Engaging nurses at all levels and all areas of the care continuum, they work to innovate and drive change that supports UPMC, our communities, and the profession of nursing.

Our system councils work together on community outreach as an extra means of giving to those in need.

Shared governance plays an important role in direct patient care and employee engagement. While the COVID-19 pandemic required our nurses’ attention on the front lines, our nursing councils still managed to impact nursing practice and give back to our communities. Below are just a few of the accomplishments of our system councils in 2020.

Chief Nursing Officer Leadership Council

Throughout 2020, the chief nursing officers were instrumental in leading their staff through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The chief nursing officers were charged with implementing new staffing models, new communication tools, and most importantly, providing emotional support to their employees who courageously faced new challenges daily.

Evidence Based Nursing Council

The Evidence Based Nursing Council supports evidence-based practice and research through mentoring, oversight, sharing best practices and reviewing policies. In 2020, the Evidence Based Nursing Council (EBN) developed a multi-hospital study proposal entitled, “The Impact of Bedside Shift Report on HCAHPS Scores and CMS Penalty Claims: A Multi-Hospital Study.” The study encompasses 18 UPMC hospitals and supports EBN members in learning more about facilitating research. Additionally, the study supports UPMC’s individual Magnet® journeys and Magnet® requirements for nurse-led research and supports the advancement of nursing excellence and nursing clinical practice.

Nurses Inclusion Counsel Outreach 2020 group photo

Nursing Inclusion Council

The mission of the Nursing Inclusion Council is to recruit, retain, and enhance the professional development of diverse nurses at all levels. Although COVID-19 took top priority this year, the Nursing Inclusion Council participated in outreach and cultural community events, and increased membership in their council. Members of the Nursing Inclusion Council represented UPMC at a YMCA community outreach event in February 2020.

System Informatics Council

The System Informatics Council standardizes and optimizes electronic health record (EHR) to enhance patient safety, communication, and nursing workflow. In 2020, the System Informatics Council was instrumental in implementing required changes to orders and documentation in Cerner as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The System Informatics Council quickly adjusted to a virtual format allowing them to meet their goals including:

  • Expansion of infusion interoperability to new UPMC facilities
  • Implementation of eRecord competencies for nurses, patient care technicians and health unit secretaries
  • Transition of eRecord training to include self-paced modules

System Professional Practice Council

The mission of the System Professional Practice Council is to support and drive nursing excellence, strengthen professional growth, and enhance retention through collaboration, advocacy, and sharing of best practices to improve the experience of patients and nursing staff. Bedside shift report education plan, nurse handoff in the perioperative setting, and a sepsis improvement project were just a few of the best practices shared by council members. Council members provided assistance to persons who are experiencing homelessness in the communities UPMC serves with successful outreach projects benefiting Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net® and Family Promise.

Nursing Leadership Council

The Nursing Leadership Council serves as the vehicle by which nursing leaders initiate change and best nursing practice. In 2020, the Nursing Leadership Council implemented practices to improve Nursing Assistant/Patient Care Technician turnover through standardized and individualized onboarding processes and recognition and inclusion in unit activities. They increased their service projects broadening their geographic reach to communities across the region.

Nursing Education Council

The Nursing Education Council shares internal and external best practices that support and enhance nursing–education initiatives to support professional development and quality care. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing education departments across the system had to quickly adapt educational programming to follow all the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Nursing Education Council successfully transitioned Nurse Orientation (RNO) to a virtual format, receiving positive feedback from the learners. They created a new nurse skills assessment/questionnaire which allowed them to stay connected to the hires. With schools impacted due to COVID-19, nursing students had limited clinical opportunities for new hires.

Magnet® Program Directors Council

The Magnet® Program Directors Council collaborates to embed the ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program® framework across the division while maintaining unique cultures. In 2020, they launched a “Pathways to Excellence” sub-group for UPMC hospitals pursuing this level of recognition. Additionally, they developed a toolbox and shared best practices at meetings.

Nurse Advocacy Council

The Nurse Advocacy Council advocates for nursing through participation in governmental activities and legislative reform. The council is proud to have sustained educational topics as a part of their meetings, allowing participants to earn continuing education credits. This knowledge helped the group successfully lobby for workplace safety in Harrisburg and consequently, help pass two laws this year related to the safety of patient care providers: 1) removal of last name from ID badge, and 2) including nurses under the protections provided by the aggravated assault law in Pennsylvania.