Shared Governance as a Post COVID Strategy

by Gen Guanci, MEd, RN, NPD-BC, CCRN-K

Not a day goes by where I don’t read something related to the trauma, burnout, and deterioration of the mental well-being of clinical nurses. Today, our clinical nurses are struggling after all they have experienced throughout the pandemic. 2020 saw nurses stretched beyond capacity while having little to no say in their work environment. Many organizations paused, and some even abandoned, any committee, council or task force work that included clinical nurses. Clinical nurses are sharing how they have lost their voices in decision-making. This loss has led many to become disengaged, to consider leaving their organization, and even the profession.

As organizations struggle to create strategies to enhance engagement and retention, they often turn to solutions such as opportunities for self-care and debriefing sessions. While these strategies can help, they do not get to the root of what I believe is are major contributors to the problem…loss of control, loss of ownership, loss of contribution towards a better work environment.

Shared governance, professional governance tackles these contributors head on!  Research has proven that when clinical nurses are involved in problem solving and improvement processes both engagement and ownership of the outcomes increases.

Contact me if you are interested in learning more on how shared governance can improve engagement and retention.