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An Integrated System's Nursing Shared Governance Model: A System Chief Nursing Officer's Synergistic Vehicle for Leading a Complex Health Care System

Burkman, Karen MSN, RN, NEA-BC; Sellers, Diana MSN, RN; Rowder, Cheryl PhD, RN, CCRC; Batcheller, Joyce DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, RWJ

doi: 10.1097/NAQ.0b013e31826692ea
Leading the Health Care Enterprise

Seton Nursing reengineered previous models of care and leadership to accommodate rapid growth of its health care system from individual acute care sites to a health care system with consistent quality and standardization of like units across the system. Shared governance promotes collaboration with shared decision making and accountability; however, the role and methods of a system chief nursing officer to connect shared governance across a new system has not been previously described. A system chief nursing officer can significantly influence and guide the nursing strategic direction at all the health care system-related facilities by utilizing a single, systemwide nursing shared governance structure. Using this structure provides a venue to maximize the influence of a transformational leader and creates efficiencies in workforce development, resource management, best practice identification, and spread of initiatives and improvements to adapt to an ever-changing health care landscape. This is the story of one such system chief nursing officer.

Seton Healthcare family (Mss Burkman and Sellers and Dr Batcheller) and Center for Nursing Research, Clinical Education Center at Brackenridge (Dr Rowder), Austin, Texas.

Correspondence: Karen Burkman, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Seton Administrative Offices, 1345 Philomena St, Ste 253, Austin, TX 78723 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.