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How Do Nurse Leaders Navigate The Business Environment Within Healthcare?


The variety of roles within the healthcare industry makes it a top employer. Nursing is an obvious example and allows qualified nurses to make a real difference in their community. 

Nursing itself has many specializations to pursue and a good variety of specific areas to work in. While becoming a nurse practitioner is one example, advancing to take on the role of nurse leader is another interesting option to consider. Leaders in nursing work at a senior level and help to provide motivational support to their teams while also ensuring that patients receive quality treatment. 

Nurse leaders also have a responsibility to look after the business side of nursing in healthcare facilities and must ensure they approach their role in a business-savvy way. In this article, we discuss how working nurses can pick up the business skills needed to lead effectively and how they navigate healthcare facilities as businesses.

Obtaining The Business Skills Required By Nursing Leaders 

When looking to advance into more senior positions, qualified nurses need to develop their leadership and management skills, as well as their business acumen and strategic mindset. To do so, they should consider formally studying nursing executive leadership. DNP Executive Nursing Leadership programs are offered by reputable institutions such as Baylor University, whose online program delivers advanced learning in core business areas, such as resource attainment and allocation, and strategic and financial concepts. With 100% online coursework, this program is targeted towards future leaders in nursing.

Utilizing Business Skills As a Nurse Leader

Once nursing leaders have developed their business skills, they are ready to move into senior industry roles and navigate their workplace in business terms. Below are some of the ways that nurse leaders utilize business skills: 

Strategic Planning And Management

Strategic planning and management are core business concepts that are evident throughout healthcare at senior levels. Strategic planning helps nurse leaders set a clear direction for their team and pinpoints clear objectives to aim for. Strategic management enables leaders to monitor the progress made in achieving these objectives to ensure they are met as outlined. 

For instance, a nursing leader might expect an increase in the number of patients in their facility moving ahead and plan strategically for this by looking at staffing levels and what extra supplies might be needed. They would then strategically manage this process to ensure any extra staff or supplies were ready in time. 

Financial Stewardship

Any leader within modern nursing will navigate their facility in business terms by practicing sound financial stewardship. By working according to sound financial principles, nurse leaders are able to ensure their area operates within a fixed budget and does not overspend. For example, a nurse leader may closely monitor the ordering of supplies or approval of overtime hours to ensure there is no overspending in these areas. 

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Leadership in any business setting is about making decisions, and this is also true for nursing leaders. To approach it in a rational, professional way, nurse executives use data to drive their decision-making. This enables them to base their decisions on hard facts rather than hearsay or emotion. 

Taking a data-driven approach to decision-making ultimately leads to better decisions and means nurse leaders have hard evidence to back up any calls they make. A good example of this would be a nursing leader analyzing data gathered regarding patient feedback and drawing actionable insights from it. 

Patient-Centered Care

In all businesses, customers are the most important thing, and it is crucial to keep them happy. Nursing is no different, and this means that focusing on the patient experience is crucial for leaders. After all, happier patients mean more people will use the facility and help it build a better reputation. Nurse leaders may focus on this area by speaking to patients about the care they receive and always making decisions that put patients first.

Quality Improvement Initiatives

A major part of working as a nursing executive involves finding ways to constantly improve the quality of care given by nursing staff. Developing initiatives that improve the quality of care is a good example of how leaders in the sector achieve quality improvements. They may evaluate which nursing-specific areas within their facility need improving and then consider the most effective ways to achieve that improvement. Once a method of achieving that goal is determined, leaders will then roll out the quality improvement initiative to staff and monitor how effective it proves to be.  

Talent Management And Staff Development

Finding ways to boost employee productivity is key in business and a crucial business-focused area for nurse leaders to keep an eye on. Staff development is a must because it shows staff you value them and provides a natural way to enhance their productivity. Professional development also enables team members to enhance their skills and enables leaders to boost the quality of patient care.

Successfully navigating the business side of nursing leadership also involves the management of talent. By finding ways to inspire those they manage and provide effective pastoral support when needed, leaders are able to retain their best workers.  

Risk Management

All healthcare facilities are places where the risk of accidents is ever-present. Another core way nurse executives handle health settings in business terms is by practicing effective risk management. 

This involves performing risk assessments to identify any potential areas of concern and then taking steps to manage any risks noted in the most effective way. This ensures they are able to reduce the chance of accidents happening in their workplace and shows that the facility did everything it could to avoid an incident if something did happen. 

Nurse Leaders Need To Have a Head For Business In Modern Healthcare

It is easy to see why most people focus only on the patient care side of nursing. Once people in this sector start to progress in their careers, though, they also need to pay attention to the business side of healthcare facilities. This is true for nursing leaders, and the above shows how they utilize their business skills when working in these settings. 

Written by Mia

Hey Everyone! This is Mia Shannon from Taxes. I'm 28 years old a professional blogger and writer. I've been blogging and writing for 10 years. Here I talk about various topics such as Fashion, Beauty, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, and Home Hacks, etc. Read my latest stories.

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