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Nursing: Work Environment

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The St. Elizabeth Healthcare Nursing Department is committed to providing excellence in the delivery of patient care and services that result in quality outcomes for patients. Shared leadership gives professional nurses the means to participate in decision-making and problem solving that affect their practice, professional development, and work environment.

The Councilor Model consists of:

Each council includes representation from the Nursing Executive Council. Representatives from each nursing unit/specialty area/division sit on the Nursing Practice Council and Nursing Performance Improvement Council. Staff nurses serve on the Nursing Research Council and the Nursing Education Council and share information with their respective nursing unit/specialty area/division.

Each council is responsible for facilitating and encouraging multidirectional communication with other St. Elizabeth Healthcare Councils, sharing best practices and ideas.

Unit Based Design Teams/Councils (UBDT/C)

  • Address unit-specific issues and develop strategies to affect patient care and the work environment
  • Promote shared decision making and empowerment in clinical decisions that impact patient care and the care delivery providers
  • Facilitate and encourage multidirectional communication with the other St. Elizabeth Healthcare councils, sharing best practices and ideas
  • Comprised of a variety of skill levels within the nursing unit with management staff available as consultative resources
  • Flexible, unit specific, and may be a part of a divisional council (for example, the Acute Care Council)

Nursing Education Council

  • Promotes and disseminates nursing education opportunities across the organization
  • Drafts annual nursing education plans and evaluates plan effectiveness
  • Receives educational needs information from other nursing councils and addresses them accordingly
  • Identifies educational endeavors to meet the overall strategic initiatives of the nursing divisions
  • Comprised of staff nurses, unit-based Clinical Educators, Clinical Nurse Specialists, management, and Education Specialists
  • Chaired by a staff nurse with the Director, Nursing Staff Development serving as advisor to this council
  • The Continuing Education Planning Committee reports to this council

Nursing Practice Council

  • Maintains technically correct and current evidence-based procedures, nursing process tools, and discharge instructions
  • Discusses and addresses nursing practice issues
  • Provides feedback to staff and managers related to procedural change or development
  • Facilitates and encourages multidirectional communication with the other St. Elizabeth Healthcare councils, sharing best practices and ideas
  • Comprised of staff nurses, educators, clinical specialists, and management
  • Chaired by a staff nurse, with an Education Specialist serving as advisor to this council

Nursing Research Council: 

  • Provides a forum to support and facilitate nursing research within St. Elizabeth Healthcare
  • Promotes and disseminates nursing research across the organization
  • Develops and maintains an infrastructure for nursing research
  • Reviews, evaluates, and makes recommendations for approval and/or non-approval of all nursing research proposals submitted
  • Serves as a liaison with St. Elizabeth Institutional Review Board on proposals that involve human subjects or protected health information
  • Reviews and evaluates written findings, and presents findings of nursing research projects conducted within the organization
  • Members serve as mentors/advisors for individual investigators and researchers, as needed
  • Establishes and evaluates annual goals
  • Chaired by the Nurse Research Coordinator

Nursing Integration Council

  • Serves to improve communication and coordination of activities among the four house-wide nursing shared leadership councils
  • Disseminates information regarding council activities
  • Shares council meeting minutes and planned agendas
  • Discusses issues/concerns from individual councils and provides direction and/or appropriate referral for resolution
  • Develops and monitors a consistent system for council membership appointments and rotation
  • Comprised of the four house-wide council chairs, council advisors, and representatives from the education specialists, clinical nurse specialists, and nursing management.
  • Chaired by the Vice President, Nursing/CNO

Nursing Performance Improvement Council

  • Coordinates all nursing quality initiatives and integrates them into the system-wide Performance Improvement program
  • Discusses organizational performance improvement trends, shares nursing-specific outcomes and recommends action
  • Reviews and analyzes the effectiveness of Performance Improvement action plans
  • Provides Performance Improvement education to Council members and Nursing throughout the organization
  • Communicates Nursing Performance Improvement activities and findings to the Quality Coordinating Council, which ultimately reports to the Board of Trustees
  • Reviews and revises the Performance Improvement plan annually
  • Comprised of staff nurses from each clinical area, Managers, Directors, Vice President, Nursing/CNO, and Assistant Vice President, Nursing.
  • A representative from Nursing Staff Development, Director, Patient Safety and the Director of Accreditation Services attend as indicated
  • Chaired by a staff nurse, with a Nursing Director serving as advisor

Nursing Leadership Council

  • Serves as a forum for communication and problem-solving for the nursing management team
  • Reviews processes and outcomes that relate to operations, finances, quality, and human resources
  • Identifies and refers issues to other Councils
  • Assists in planning and developing the nursing strategic plan
  • Comprised of Managers, Directors, Supervisors, Clinical Educators, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Assistant Vice President, Nursing, and the Vice President, Nursing/CNO
  • Chaired by the Vice President, Nursing/CNO

Nursing Executive Council

  • Serves as a link between all Councils and refers issues to the appropriate Council(s); acts as the consulting body for Nursing
  • Facilitates planning, directing, coordinating, and improving patient care
  • Serves as the review committee for nursing policies, recruitment and retention plan, and Plan for Provision of Nursing Care
  • Conducts all business related to Nursing operations, finance, quality, and human resource
  • Comprised of Directors, Assistant Vice President, Nursing and the Vice President, Nursing/CNO
  • Chaired by the Vice President, Nursing/CNO


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