VUMC Nursing Staff Bylaws point way to latest, best practicesby Matt Batcheldor Dec. 1, 2016, 8:24 AM
More than 150 nurses from Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) convened in Langford Auditorium on Nov. 16 for the biennial Nursing Staff Bylaws Convention.
The convention is an opportunity for VUMC nurses to make shared decisions in updating the document that governs how they do their daily work and practice. Nurses nominate the delegates who gather every two years to approve changes to the bylaws. Many of those same delegates worked for hours at a retreat in July to draft proposed revisions.
“This work today is creating the infrastructure that allows us to advance the practice of nursing at Vanderbilt,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., Executive Chief Nursing Officer. “The bylaws are really the undergirding part of something we hold philosophically important to nursing at Vanderbilt, and that is our system of shared governance.”
VUMC has had nursing bylaws since 1980, and has held conventions during even-numbered years in recent history.
Changes to the bylaws included input from delegates representing VUMC inpatient units, clinics and specialties, as well as the Bylaw Task Force, which is co-chaired by Kathy Moss, MSN, MBA, R.N., and Julie Williams, MSN, R.N. This year’s parliamentarian was Haley Vance, DNP, APN.
The 2016 convention approved 38 editorial amendments and 22 substantive amendments that were on the agenda, in addition to two amendments that were introduced on the convention floor.
Editorial amendments are typically updates to terminology and titles, without changing meaning, while substantive amendments change the meaning or function of bylaws. The number of amendments is greater than the last convention in 2014, in large part to update names and titles that have changed after the legal separation of Vanderbilt University and VUMC.
“We are privileged in this organization to have nursing bylaws that govern our practice and shared governance structure,” said Erin Tickle, MMHC, R.N., director of Shared Governance. “This year was unique for the taskforce and delegates as we focused on making sure our bylaws are consistent with operating independently as a Medical Center. The high level of participation from this group allowed us to complete this work successfully.”
The evolution of the structure and practice of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses was reflected in four substantive amendments. Other substantive amendments included the following topics:
• Better defining the responsibilities of the Bylaws Task Force
• Adding the Nursing Enterprise Cabinet to reflect current operations at the executive nursing level
• Allowing leadership groups that have a Shared Governance Leadership board to align with the Bylaw Structure
• Adding responsibility for mentorship and professional development as a core mission for nursing leadership
• Changing committee structures and bodies
For additional information and bylaws resources, visit www.VanderbiltSharedGovernance.com.
The Bylaws Task Force will meet soon to begin implementing the changes.