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Shared Governance
Shared governance empowers clinical staff to make decisions, share accountability and have influence over their practice.

Shared governance represents a structure and a philosophy that allows nurses to have an organizational impact through their collective voice. Through effective shared governance, nursing staff can exert a powerful influence on both their own practice and the quality of care that they deliver. Decentralized decision-making is a hallmark of shared governance, facilitated through the work of unit-based or advisory councils. Models of shared governance at Advocate Health Care vary across sites, but all are designed to enhance the professional role of nurses and the care they deliver through empowered, collaborative decision-making.

Nursing Professional Development Steering Council
Harnessing the power of innovative ideas and best practices across Advocate's system, the Nursing Professional Development Steering Council leverages nursing resources for all.

The Nursing Professional Development Steering Council brings together representatives from all Advocate sites and across multiple clinical specialties to leverage nursing education and research resources across the Advocate system. Councils in clinical specialties, research and education flow through this group to address strategic goals for nursing at Advocate. Resources can be identified and shared, and duplication of efforts can be minimized when possible. By joining the talents of clinical experts from the various sites, system-based education delivers programming that benefits all of Advocate's nurses.

Nursing Certification Review Courses
Advocate nurses are supported in their efforts to become certified in their clinical specialties.

The leadership at Advocate Health Care actively encourages nursing certification for professional recognition and development by offering a wide range of certification courses for Advocate nurses. Participation in these courses affords learners the opportunity to assess their knowledge deficits and to create a study plan that will facilitate success. Several of the courses offer mock exams to provide practice in test-taking. Certification courses are offered in medical-surgical nursing, critical care, progressive care, orthopedics, operating room, emergency nursing, oncology, perinatal, pediatric nursing and more! Most courses are offered at least once per year, and as needed.

Nurse Residency and Internship Program
Making the successful transition from nursing student to professional nurse requires organizational support.

Selected Advocate sites offer nurse residency programs designed to ease the transition from student to professional.

At Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, the newly licensed registered nurse residency program helps to bridge the transition from nursing student to practicing nurse. Preceptors, mentors, self-care groups, as well as clinical experiences and didactic instruction, comprise the program.  Click here for more information on the RN Residency program at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

The one-year residency program developed by educators at Advocate Christ Medical Center and Advocate Children's Hospital - Oak Lawn focuses on helping new nurses to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills through classes, seminars, role playing, simulation, journaling  and facilitated discussions.

A new RN graduate residency program is also offered at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, featuring unit rotations,  facilitated discussion groups, blended learning, networking, workshops and mentor support.  This program was also developed by educators at Good Samaritan and has been in place for several years.

Continuing Nursing Education
Advocate Health Care (OH-368, 10/1/2014 ) is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Ohio Nurses Association (OBN-001-91), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

The Advocate Health Care Continuing Nursing Education Provider Unit facilitates the delivery of a complete catalog of continuing education at both the site and system levels. Over 340 new offerings, as well as many repeated programs, were delivered to nurses at Advocate in 2010. From live classes to self-learning modules, from computer-based training to journal clubs, from nursing grand rounds to interdisciplinary programming, Advocate nurses can choose from many learning opportunities designed to meet their learning needs. Nurses new to clinical specialties attend courses designed to introduce them to essential knowledge in their area.  As they move from novice/beginner to expert, multiple opportunities for education await them, many of which are offered at a centralized training site in Oak Brook. An impressive selection of continuing education classes offered at the clinical sites rounds out the many options for CE at Advocate.

Nursing Advocacy
Nurses remain the most respected resource when it comes to educating legislators on health care and patient care issues.

The Nurse Advocacy Council works to educate nurses about legislative issues and to empower nurses to contact legislators with their personal opinions. The Nurse Advocacy Council members decide how and when to act on issues important to the council. The council’s accomplishments include an Annual Nurse Education Summit, Nurse Advocacy Days in Springfield, Legislative Forums at hospital sites, testimony at committee hearings, and advocacy on a number of legislative issues, including the Nurse Practice Act, the Nurse Acuity Bill and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

The Success Through Excellence in Practice (STEPs) program is designed to recognize, support, develop, and reward nurses who are engaged in direct patient care. 

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