Bob Hess, presenter of 2017 O'Connor Chair Lecture

Hess to Present Hartwick’s O’Connor Chair Lecture

October 3, 2016

The Hartwick College Department of Nursing will present the 2017 O’Connor Chair Lecture on Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Slade Theatre, Yager Hall, on the College campus. Dr. Robert Hess, PhD, RN, FAAN, and founder and CEO of the Forum for Shared Governance, will be the guest speaker. His lecture, “Empowering Evidence for Shared Governance,” is free and open to the public.

Healthcare professionals often remain muddled about shared governance, despite its 40-year presence in the nursing literature. Nurses invented it, but they often can’t describe it. Hess will not only define shared governance, but discuss how he figured out how to measure it with the Index of Professional Governance.

Studies now link shared governance to better patient outcomes. Hess will present a growing body of research that associates shared governance with greater empowerment, higher job satisfaction, and enhanced self-concept in nurses. His presentation includes taped interviews with advisory board members from the Forum for Shared Governance, and an overview of the spread of shared governance to the Middle East, UK, South America, and Finland.

Hess is the world’s leading researcher on shared governance, and the author of the only instruments for measuring governance in organizations, used globally in 300 healthcare organizations and systems. He is also the executive Vice President, Education Programs & Credentialing, for OnCourse Learning Healthcare Group, (formerly Nursing Spectrum and Nurseweek),, and Today in PT and Today in OT. He leads the largest CE providerships for nurses and dietitians as well as 16 other health professions, granting 4,000,000 contact hours in 2015 through more than 2,000 currently active educational activities in all modes of delivery.  His interprofessional team of about 38 professionals coordinates the development of educational activities through thousands of authors and reviewers.

Hess is currently the chair of the development committee for the American Academy of Nursing; director of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing; and trustee for the Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association. He is also the past vice chair of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

The O’Connor Chair Lecture series, endowed by the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, brings notable speakers on health and nursing-related themes to campus each spring and fall for the benefit of the nursing department, Hartwick College and the larger community.

For more information on the O’Connor Chair Lecture, contact Coordinator of Nursing Opportunities Jane Bachman at or (607) 431-4790.