Dr. Robert Hess Jr, PhD, RN, FAAN

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Robert Hess, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Founder & CEO of the Forum for Shared Governance and webmaster for He is the author of the only instruments for measuring governance in healthcare organizations, used globally in 300 healthcare systems, and coauthor of a new instrument, Council Health, which measures shared governance councils’ effectiveness. He is the world’s leading researcher on shared governance.

Dr. Hess retired at the end of 2018 from his day job as executive vice president, chief clinical executive, for Relias (formerly Nursing Spectrum/Nurseweek, Gannett Education, OnCourse Learning), which publishes and He led the largest CE providership in nursing and the first-ever winner of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Accreditation Premier Program Award, 2007, which was awarded twice again, spanning 2009-2015. Capping his work as a commissioner and appraiser, he was the vice chair of ANCC’s Commission on Accreditation.

Dr. Hess and his team were responsible for the development of continuing education for nurses, physicians, pharmacists and 21 other healthcare disciplines through podcasts, webinars, live seminars, career fairs and through the most trafficked websites in nursing, including, visited frequently by healthcare professionals from such far-flung places as Madrid, Athens, Tokyo, Sydney, and Samoa. His provider units awarded millions of contact hours every year. In addition to, CE was provided through and

Dr. Hess’s current focus is interprofessional shared governance and related professional, organizational, and patient outcomes. He also the flotilla staff officer for human resources and a vessel examiner for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary in Stuart, FL. Dr. Hess is still a very active researcher and prolific author in shared governance.

Dr. Hess is the past Vice Chair of the ANCC’s Commission on Accreditation, a past Director of the American Association for Men in Nursing, past Chair of the Development Committee (personal fundraising) of the American Academy of Nursing, and a past Trustee for the National Student Nurses Association’s Foundation.