Business acumen for nursing leaders, optional or essential in today’s health system? A discussion paper

Article


Raftery, Chris, Sassenberg, Anne-Marie and Bamford-Wade, Anita. 2021. "Business acumen for nursing leaders, optional or essential in today’s health system? A discussion paper." Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research. 28 (6), pp. 610-615. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2021.08.001
Article Title

Business acumen for nursing leaders, optional or essential in today’s health system? A discussion paper

ERA Journal ID14073
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsRaftery, Chris (Author), Sassenberg, Anne-Marie (Author) and Bamford-Wade, Anita (Author)
Journal TitleCollegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research
Journal Citation28 (6), pp. 610-615
Number of Pages6
Year2021
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN1322-7696
1876-7575
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2021.08.001
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1322769621000986
Abstract

Background: Over the last number of years, the healthcare system has become more complex in managing increasing costs and outcomes within a defined budget. To be effective through reform, especially moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare leaders, specifically in nursing, have an increased need for business acumen beyond traditional leadership and management principles. Aim: This paper examines the concept of business acumen in the profession of nursing, specifically for managers and higher nurse leaders, establishing whether these skills are optional or essential. Discussion: Nurses learn and develop broad skills in leadership and management, but less specifically about business or the broader system. With a contemporary Australian health system aiming to be more effective, nurses may require a greater level of business acumen to adequately understand the mechanics of business decision making in the system when designing care models, as well as representing the business potential of nursing in balance with clinical outcomes through reform. Conclusion: The modern nurse, in addition to clinical skills, may need a foundational understanding of business evolving throughout their career, to maximise innovative growth across the system, in meeting the healthcare needs of our community now and into the future. Without a foundation level of business acumen and an understanding of the system across the profession, nurses may not be empowered with their full potential of being a strong voice influencing health system reform.

Keywordsnursing, leadership, business, skills, acumen, system
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420599. Nursing not elsewhere classified
420505. Nursing workforce
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Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Health, Queensland
School of Business
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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