Programs and Councils

Patient Care Services Shared Governance

Shared governance is a hallmark of nursing excellence. Through a dynamic staff-leader partnership, shared governance promotes collaboration, shared decision-making and accountability for improving quality of care, safety, and enhancing work life. At Johns Hopkins All Children's, the new shared governance structure engages multidisciplinary front-line team members to create solutions around issues in clinical practice, quality improvement, professional development and nursing research. Unlike a traditional or typical decision-making hierarchy, this model shares responsibility and accountability across all levels of our Patient Care Services division to provide equal power, authority and decision-making. The benefits of shared governance become evident through front-line empowerment and an increased sense of ownership by nurses and clinical staff. In turn, these promote individual and group motivation, development of new knowledge and skills, and greater employee satisfaction-which in turn supports recruitment and retention of outstanding staff. All these benefits of the shared governance model enhance quality of care, resulting in improved outcomes and increased patient and family satisfaction.

Shared Governance Benefits:

  • Shared responsibility and accountability at all levels
  • Improved quality of care, resulting in increased patient satisfaction and improved outcomes
  • Equally shared power, authority, and decision-making
  • Increased staff motivation
  • Increased sense of ownership by nurses and clinical staff
  • Front line empowerment
  • Development of new knowledge and skills
  • Increased employee satisfaction, which helps with recruitment and retention

Shared Governance Goals:

  • Improve quality
  • Recognize and promote the value of the voice of the staff
  • Support staff awareness and involvement in unit-based and hospital-wide decision-making
  • Implement our Nursing Strategic Plan through the council model

Interdisciplinary Councils

Patient Care/Nurse Executive Council

Chair: Cindy Driscoll

The purpose, scope and goals of the Patient Care/Nurse Executive Council are to: establish strategic direction for nursing and clinical practice; develop full scope of each nursing role within the

organization; develop and monitor metrics focused on outcomes, customer service and finance; develop transformational leadership within the organization; provide oversight of councils; and develop the nursing annual report. This council is responsible for overall decision-making authority and facilitates collaborative efforts among sub-councils.

Patient Care Services: Patient Safety and Quality Council

Advisors: Melissa Macogay & Kathy Renn

Chairs: Sara Barron & Darlene Socha

The PCS Patient Safety and Quality Council is a multi-disciplinary group that serves in an advisory capacity to the Patient Care/Nurse Executive Council and the hospital's Patient Safety & Quality Council. Participants collaborate to identify improvement opportunities intended to enhance overall patient safety. The Council evaluates trends from quality reports, adverse event analysis, near misses and other sources and recommends appropriate actions to team members throughout the All Children's Health System.

Professional Development, Education, and Advocacy Council

Advisor: Tina Spagnola

Chair & Co-Chair: Sarah Major & Beth Nardine

The Professional Development Education and Advisory Council assists in both the development and support of staff education, professional development, and advocacy. The Council consists of a multi-disciplinary group that ensures the sustainability of education across the health system by evaluating trends and identifying educational needs, using data from the annual needs assessment surveys, quality, risk management, and education initiatives. The Council recommends appropriate actions for improvement to the individual unit-based or department-based education councils. In addition, the Council assists with the promotion of professional practice enhancement through continuing education programs.

Research and Evidence-Based Practice Council

Chair & Co-Chair: Gen Cline & Lindsay Jones

The purpose of the Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Council is to educate, mentor, and support front-line staff throughout all levels of the organization to utilize and generate new research, drive evidence-based practice, and promote improved patient outcomes related to quality care and safety.

Patient Care Practice Council

Advisor: Cherilyn Ashlock

Chair & Co-Chair: Linda Watson & Katherine Davis

The Patient Care Practice Council assists in the development and sustaining of a professional practice environment in which clinicians will retain and enhance influence over decisions that affect practice, professional development, self-fulfillment and the work environment. It is the responsibility of the council to foster and coordinate the work of the unit-based practice councils.


Introduced in 2013, the Ladder for Excellence and Advancement in Patient Care Services (LEAP) is a voluntary three-tier career advancement program for full- and part-time multidisciplinary professionals in clinical practice at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. It promotes professional excellence in all areas of the professional practice model, TREAT (treatment, research, education, advocacy and teamwork). LEAP recognizes professional growth and development, rewards achievement, enhances employee satisfaction and contributes to recruitment and retention of qualified employees. Registered nurses and respiratory therapists involved in direct patient care in either the inpatient or outpatient setting may apply for bronze, silver or gold recognition, submitting a portfolio of activities and accomplishments in the five areas of the TREAT model. Applicants are awarded a bronze, silver or gold recognition medal based on their submission and receive a commensurate increase in compensation for a one-year period. They are encouraged to apply for recognition again the following year.

Pediatric RN Residency Program

The Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Pediatric RN Residency is dedicated to providing a 12-month foundational program for the graduate or otherwise eligible nurse to provide the support and knowledge to grow into a competent pediatric professional practitioner. In addition to hospital nursing orientation, the RN Residency Program consists of 40 hours of general classes within the first 10 weeks, followed by a 4-hour Survive & Thrive session, scheduled monthly for the remainder of the first year. These classes will be accompanied by preceptor-led orientation to the unit of hire, unit specific classes and training, looping opportunities to other hospital departments and services, simulation, a mentor program, clinical debriefings, and support time/self-care sessions. All new graduate nurses are expected to actively participate in the RN Residency Program.