Why Nurses Need An #RNgoogledoodle: Innovator No. 9, #murse No. 1

Jetting South in a few, typing as I wait for a plane that seems to be a tad tardy. Gotta love one-a-day blog challenges to make you wish your flight would come just twenty minutes later…

Today, I wrote the Doodlers about a #murse. That’s right, RN innovator No. 9 is a male nurse, and it’s about damn time. You may have never heard of Dr. Tim Porter-O’Grady, but I’m quite certain you’ve heard of Shared Governance.

Speaking of which, anybody talking to their friends about Google’s snub of the nursing profession?


To: proposals@google.com
From: 12hourRN@gmail.com
Subject: Why Nurses Need A Google Doodle: #RNgoogledoodle Innovator No. 9
April 14, 2014 8:16PM

Hey, Doodlers!

Lately, I’ve felt a tad sexist. Eight days have passed, eight female nurse innovators worthy of their own Google Doodle, and I’ve yet to share with you a male nurse innovator. I’d love to talk about Walt Whitman, or Luther Christman, both innovative and diverse male nurses, but sadly, they aren’t current members of the living, modern nursing profession that our country boasts, and my project depends upon.

So, for our ninth nurse innovator introduction, I will introduce you to your first male nurse innovator: Tim Porter-O’Grady, DM, EdD, RN, FAAN. Dr. Porter-O’Grady has done countless innovative things through and in his role as a nurse, including authored many books, hundreds of articles, won American Journal of Nursing’s prestigious Book of the Year Award not once, but eight times, and now owns and runs an international health care consulting firm.

All of these things, including his vast clinical experience and massive educational credentials, are impressively innovative. To make it as far as he has as a nurse, much less a male nurse (did you know only 6% of nurses are male?), shows a penchant for forward thinking and creativity.

What I noticed most about my readings on Dr. Porter-O’Grady was a little credit on his rap sheet: Shared Governance. Shared governance is a model of nursing that champions the voice of the bedside nurse, focusing on autonomy, shared decision making, and a focus on the use of nurse expertise in the operations of unit functioning. Implemented at Rush University in 1983, Dr. Porter-O’Grady virtually revolutionized the way nursing operations ran through this model of care.

Nowadays, shared governance is the buzz word around hospitals. Union and non-union organizations are implementing shared governance models because Dr. Porter-O’Grady’s organizational theory was accepted by a little organization called the American Nurses Credentialing Center. This organization, which oversees the certification of hospitals with the prized Magnet status, requires the presence of a shared governance nursing council. Hospitals that are seeking this nurse-centric designation are likely doing so while relying on Dr. Porter-O’Grady’s research.

Shared Governance brings nursing voice from bedside to boardroom. My experience with committees has ranged from in-unit groups to executive-level planning tables. Some hospitals, despite strong union presence, are able to use the experience of their clinical nurses for operational decisions because of this model. In my opinion, it encourages bedside nurses to push themselves beyond the sometimes formulaic tasks of bedside care, into the realm of administrative understanding and planning.

And to think, all of the structure came from a #murse. Innovation everywhere.

See ya!

Amanda Anderson, RN

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