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February 5, 2014 - Landmark Nursing Initiative Launched at USA Medical Center

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Left to right: Valerie Heinl, Sharron Howard-Taylor, Brenda Spies, Tracee Andrews and Kortni Crook-Kennell.

The University of South Alabama Medical Center has launched a shared governance initiative in the form of a Nursing Practice Congress, designed to give nurses more of a voice in their workplace.  The formation of the Congress is the culmination of more than six years of collaboration between the USA College of Nursing faculty and the Division of Nursing at USAMC. This collaborative relationship has gained local, regional, national, and international recognition in nursing excellence. 

The purpose of the group is to examine issues that affect patient quality and safety, and empower and engage nurses to improve nursing practice at the USA Medical Center. A growing body of research indicates that shared governance positively impacts patient outcomes, productivity, empowerment, organizational culture, job satisfaction and staff retention. 

Registered nurses representing different areas and shifts hospital-wide have been selected to serve on the Congress.  Participation is not limited to representatives, however. All frontline nursing staff have the opportunity to work on action teams for specific nursing practice topics.

The shared governance steering committee is composed of Tracee Andrews, Kortni Kennell, Brenda Spies, Sharron Taylor, and Valerie Heinl.

Nursing Congress unit representatives are: Erica Massey, Tammie Franklin, Patricia Johnson, Shandra Abrams, Josette Shaw, Devin Hudson, Lisa Howard, Kimberly Tucker, Anna Gillman, Miranda Williams, Hayley Calametti, Lisa Caten, Amanda Toris, and Kacey York.

Dr. Valorie Dearmon, chair of adult health at USA College of Nursing, faculty member Dr. Ellen Buckner, and Lisa Mestas, who holds a master’s of science in nursing and serves as assistant hospital administrator and chief nursing officer at the USA Medical Center, serve as leadership mentors.


Congress representatives will meet every three weeks.

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