Shared Governance Integration within the Rush Health System
Kelsey Schmitt, BSN, RN, CPN, Susan Nelson, BSN, RN, CPN, Colleen Chierici, BSN, RN, and Cheryl Hollmier, BSN, RN, CMSRN
At this time, there are three hospitals that comprise the Rush Health System: Rush University Medical Center (RUMC), Rush Oak Park Hospital (ROPH), and Rush Copley Hospital (RCH). All three organizations have their own individualized shared governance structure, creating inconsistencies throughout the system.
In an effort to align our practice and shared governance structures and provide excellent nursing care throughout the Rush system, the three hospitals began an integration task force in March 2018 with the goal of unifying the shared governance structure.
To establish a foundation for a successful and sustainable shared governance integration process, this team sought other health systems’ experiences with integration, and reviewed the literature as well. Based on the information from the literature review and interviews with other systems, an implementation strategy was developed.
A system integration meet and greet session was held to introduce the three shared governance structures and to network with the different shared governance executive committees. An integration task force was created by shared governance presidents at the three organizations, which included Kelsey Schmitt (RUMC), Colleen Chierici (ROPH), and Cheryl Hollmier (RCH). Additional members included officers of the shared governance councils, the chief nursing officers, and the Magnet program directors. The task force was structured to meet quarterly and rotate the hospital sites where they met.
Kelsey Schmitt and Colleen Chierici further expanded this work as fellows with the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders from February 2018 to October 2018. As fellows, they accomplished the introductory steps of this project in developing an integrated shared governance structure by holding the initial meetings, completing a systematic review of the literature on shared governance, and creating and implementing the Shared Governance Task Force within the Rush Health System.