Both the structure and philosophy of NorthShoreUniversity HealthSystem's (NorthShore) Department of Nursing reinforce shared decision making, an integral element of our Magnet Journey.  The Department is organized in a Councilor Model focusing on clinical practice, quality, professional development and education, research, management and operations, and customer loyalty.

Staff Nursing Advisory Councils (SNACs) give every unit, department or specialty area with nursing staff the opportunity to have two-way communication with each other across all sites. Their mandate is to define, discuss and resolve common issues, and to create a forum for discussion. SNACs for each site in the organization serve as a communication hub, linking to individual Councils for each nursing service and unit to research and performance improvements. These Councils are designed to generate open conversation and stimulate improvements based on careful assessment of clinical nursing practice. Councils hold monthly meetings, and agendas and minutes are posted on NorthShore's intranet, Pulse.

Nurses are involved in shared decision making regarding both their patient's care and their own professional practice. "Nurses are both empowered and accountable for decision making across the organization," said Nancy Semerdjian, RN, BSN, MBA, Chief Nursing Officer at NorthShore.

In a purposefully collaborative atmosphere, care for their colleagues is as important as care for patients, and this philosophy is explicitly stated in the Department's organizational plan.

"Nursing at NorthShore supports relationships among colleagues to create a professional work environment founded on mutual respect and collaborative practice."

Kellogg Cancer Center nurses and physicians work as a team to care for patients throughout their cancer experience. Oncology nurses are often a lifeline for these patients as they undergo new treatments, struggle with side effects and have questions about what happens next.

"Physicians rely on their collaborative oncology nurses, who are tumor site experts," said Christina Fernandez, RN, BSN, Clinical Services Director of the Kellogg Cancer Centers at NorthShore. "They truly are partners—managing all aspects of a patient's care together—and their teamwork provides enormous support for patients.

"We hear from patients all the time who tell us they would not have gotten through the experience without the support of our amazing nurses," Fernandez said.

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