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Evolution of Structural Empowerment: Moving From Shared to Professional Governance

Clavelle, Joanne T. DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE; Porter O’Grady, Tim DM, EdD, APRN, NEA-BC, FAAN; Weston, Marla J. PhD, RN, FAAN; Verran, Joyce A. PhD, RN, FAAN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: June 2016 - Volume 46 - Issue 6 - p 308–312
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000350

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to describe the maturation of the concept of shared governance to professional governance as a framework for structural empowerment.

BACKGROUND: An analysis of the literature and concept clarification of structural empowerment and shared governance demonstrate that the concept and attributes of shared governance have evolved toward professional governance.

METHODS: A comprehensive, deductive literature review and concept clarification of structural empowerment, shared governance, and related constructs was completed.

RESULTS: The concept and practice of shared governance has matured to a concept of professional governance with the attributes of accountability, professional obligation, collateral relationships, and effective decision-making.

Author Affiliations: Regional Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer–West (Dr Clavelle), GetWellNetwork, Bethesda, Maryland; Senior Partner (Dr Porter-O’Grady), Tim Porter-O’Grady Associates, Atlanta, Georgia, Professor of Practice, Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Phoenix, and The Ohio State University College of Nursing, Columbus; Chief Executive Officer (Dr Weston), American Nurses Association, Silver Springs, Maryland; Professor (Dr Verran), College of Nursing, Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado, Denver.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Clavelle, 7700 Old Georgetown Rd, 4th Fl, Bethesda, MD 20814-2500 (

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.