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VUMC Nursing Staff Bylaws guide way to latest, best practices

Dec. 4, 2014, 8:46 AM

More than 150 nurses from Vanderbilt University Medical Center convened in Langford Auditorium recently for an occasion that happens once every two years: the Nursing Staff Bylaws Convention.

The convention is an opportunity for Vanderbilt nurses to make shared decisions in updating the document that governs how they do their daily work and practice. Nurses nominate the delegates who make decisions at the biennial convention.

The recent Nursing Staff Bylaws Convention in Langford Auditorium drew more than 150 Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurses. (photo by Joe Howell)

“Our bylaws convention exemplifies the tremendous work our nurse delegates do to ensure our guiding documents reflect the latest and best practices,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., executive Chief Nursing Officer. “This is a living document in which every nurse has an opportunity to make a difference.”

More than a year of preparation went into the document, which included input from delegates representing VUMC inpatient units, clinics and specialties, as well as the 20-member Bylaw Task Force. This year’s convention approved 15 editorial amendments and 16 substantive amendments that were on the agenda, in addition to two amendments that were introduced on the convention floor.

“We are privileged in this organization to have nursing bylaws that govern our practice and shared governance structure,” said Erin Tickle, MMHC, BSN, R.N., director of Shared Governance. “The taskforce and delegates have done a great job in ensuring the bylaws are up to date and applicable to daily work.”

Editorial amendments are typically updates to terminology and titles, without changing meaning, while substantive amendments change the meaning or function of bylaws.

The substantive amendments included:

• Addressing director-level participation in unit/clinic boards

• Revising and updating the composition of the Nursing Executive Board, Medical Center Nursing Board, and Entity Nursing Leadership Boards

• Updating roles in categories of staff and adding the Clinical Staff Leader role in the Bylaws

• Clarifying the wording and process for reappointments and corrective action

• Updating the composition of some of the councils.

For additional information and bylaws resources, visit

The Bylaws Task Force will meet soon to begin implementing the changes.

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