About Nursing Professional Governance

Nursing Professional Governance (NPG) at the University of Vermont Medical Center was started in early 2017 to evolve the unit-based practice council structure. Transforming NPG was a priority for Chief Nursing Officer Kate FitzPatrick who observed with the existing Practice Council, that although unit-based councils were inconsistently making changes in their practices, there was not a clear connection to overall organizational priorities nor was there space for nurses across the care continuum to collaborate. Together with the senior nursing leadership team of the UVM Medical Center, Kate created a pathway for nurses to have a stronger voice. This pathway was a clinical nurse led design team who worked together with a professional governance expert, Dr. Greg Crow, to create a new and innovative structure based on service lines that incorporates patient and family advisors. The goal of professional governance is to position clinical nurses to drive decisions that impact their practice and their work environments in partnership with nurse leaders and patient advisors.

NPG, or shared governance, allows nurses at the point of care to create change and impact decisions. With this united front, nurses are empowered to have ownership in their practice. Not only does the council positively affect the overall patient experience through institutional decision-making, but it allows for nurses to gain professional skills. These professional development opportunities include learning how to conduct a meeting, how to manage conflict, how to get to an effective decision and how to make sure all voices are heard. These key skills provide support for growth in nursing.

Structure

Coordinating Council

This base council includes members such as Kate Fitzpatrick, CNO, and clinical nurse leader Robert Hamble. This council provides the support for the rest of the structure.

Core Councils

Members of these councils include representation from nurses in all areas of the organization.

  • Safety & Quality: The Safety & Quality Council promotes a culture of safety and quality care by regularly reviewing and acting on pertinent data to improve patient and family-centered care, and ensure the safety of all staff.
  • Patient & Family Experience: The Patient and Family Experience Council empowers nurses to provide holistic care throughout the continuum in partnership with patients and families.
  • Nursing Practice & Experience: The Nursing Practice Council utilizes available data and evidence-based practices, in alignment with regulatory agencies and professional nursing organizations, to develop policies that drive nursing best practice.
  • Professional Development & Scholarship: The Professional Development and Scholarship Council, is accountable for recommending, supporting and creating programmatic ways to support orientation and role transition, address competencies of nursing practice, and to promote continuing education, nursing research, and professional growth.
  • Experience & Wellness: The Experience & Wellness Council supports the holistic wellbeing of members of the nursing care team, with a distinct focus on fostering healthy work environments, promoting meaningful recognition, and the retention of professional nurses and nursing support staff.

Service Line Councils

Ortho & Surgery, CV & Neuroscience, Emergency Care & Access, Maternal Child Health, Periop, Primary Care, and Medicine, Oncology & Mental Health. These councils bring together nurses who work with similar patient populations but in different settings, representing the entire continuum of care.

Nurse Management Council

This council serves as advocates, to make sure the resources needed to make change are available.

LNA Council

This council creates a forum for LNAs to collaborate with nursing leadership and have an influence on positive change for LNAs across the organization.

Get Involved