J Nurs Adm. 2021 Apr 1;51(4):206-211. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000999.
For more than 40 years, shared governance has supported structural empowerment and engaged nurses in their practice. Although progress has been made in advancing nursing ownership of practice through shared governance, mature nursing autonomy has yet to be achieved. It is time to evolve to professional governance, emphasizing accountability, professional obligation, collateral relationships, and decision making. Nurse leaders are provided with historical context and recommendations for effectively leading professional governance in an empowering work culture.