For Nurses,Nursing Councils

UW Health Nursing Shared Governance

UW Health Nursing Shared Governance - For Nurses, Nursing Councils


UW Health nurses define shared governance as an organized system for collaborative decision making and self-regulation which empowers nurses in all roles to:

  • Advance professional practice and autonomy
  • Improve nurse satisfaction
  • Promote a healthy work environment
  • Achieve quality patient and family centered care that is culturally congruent

Nursing council promo


Why the changes?

Who was involved in making the changes?

Council Revision Workgroup:

Why are there fewer councils?

Most of the peer institution models that were evaluated had fewer than 13 nursing councils. The work of some
councils was considered to be closely related so they were merged into one council, such as Advancement and Recognition. Based on the definition of shared governance at UW Health, it was deemed important that nurses in all roles be part of each of the core councils, for example, APN’s and ambulatory nurses. As the APN Councils and Ambulatory nursing councils were more specific to these groups’ practice, they were removed from the core council structure. However, these groups may still meet to work on their unique practice issues.

The Nursing Coordinating Council (NCC) is new. What’s that all about?

The purpose of the NCC is to support, guide and oversee the seven core councils and the Unit Council of Chairs in achieving stated accountabilities. This council, which is made up primarily of the chairs and chair-elects of the core nursing councils, will enable direct-care nurses to literally sit at the table with executive leadership each month. This Council will also triage and track projects and encourage cooperation among councils while also eliminating redundancy in work. Further accountabilities of the Coordinating Council can be reviewed in section VII.2.2 of the Shared Governance By-laws.

If there are only 15 voting members, how will every area be represented?

Previously each unit/area may have had a representative on each council. Some of the councils were becoming very large. It is well established in the literature that groups of 7-15 are most productive when the goal is action-oriented work. However, every unit/area will have a representative on each council, but that person may not be from your unit/area. Each council will have at least 10 direct-care nurses and your representative will be the RN whose area is most similar to yours (i.e. adult inpatient, primary ambulatory etc). These districts or clusters of representation will be worked out before the beginning of FY2017.

I still have questions. Who can I contact?

For further questions, please contact Sue Berns.

How do I become a council member?

There is an annual application for UWHC nursing councils which is emailed to all nurses during the first quarter of each calendar year.


Agendas and Tools

FY19 UW Health Nursing Shared Governance Council/Committee/Resource Group Application

Nursing Council Member Picture Lists

Nursing Professional Advancement Council

Representatives by Member Role