But getting to a true and functional system of shared governance is tricky. Many organizations start down the road only to find difficulties in identifying exactly what shared governance should look like in their organizations, what it entails to implement, and how to achieve the final result.
Organizations may also be hampered by transactional leaders who are unwilling or unable to release any control, hesitant, experienced nurses who do not trust the initiative is genuine, or by concerned direct-care nurses fearful of yet another change that will pull them or their peers away from patient care.
If organizations are willing to invest resources and time and commit to establish and sustain a culture of shared governance, these problems can be resolved equitably.
Swihart identifies four elements that are essential to the successful implementation of shared governance in the earliest stages of process development:
1. A committed nurse executive who is invested in nurse empowerment and willing to undertake the efforts and energy necessary to implement shared governance
2. A strong management team that is committed to each other, to nursing, to the organization, and to building the structure and implementing the processes