CNO Roundtable 2024

Question 8: The Business Side

What should nurses do to educate themselves on the business side of healthcare?

Compilation of headshot photos from 20 CNOs interviewed in the article.

Wendy Cortez / Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center

Become involved in an initiative, committee, or community engagement activity, which builds awareness of healthcare economics and an understanding of foundational elements of efficiency, affordability, and high-quality service.

Danielle Gabele / VCMC and Santa Paula Hospital

Be a sponge. Read Becker’s Hospital Review and nursing journals, and shadow folks in unfamiliar disciplines, like case managers, finance analysts, or the CFO. Also, find a mentor. Some of the most informative mentor relationships I’ve had have been with finance people.

Anna Gonzales / Regal Medical Group

Take a proactive approach by leveraging conferences, articles, and web-based programs, and learn about the cost implications of care. This knowledge empowers nurses to advocate more effectively for their patients.

Karen Grimley / UCLA Health

Take the time to learn how your department runs. Consult your supervisor to learn more about things that impact resource utilization, and remind them to consult you! When the right people are involved in utilization and care delivery, care is more patient-centered and cost-effective.

Katie Hughes / Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare

Short of pursuing an advanced degree, consider taking CE courses that focus on leadership and the business of healthcare. Working on special projects or in unit councils can also provide more exposure to the business side of nursing.

Leila Ibushi-Thompson / Adventist Health White Memorial

Taking additional courses on healthcare management and administration or having a nurse leader or administrator mentor can provide a newer nurse with valuable insights into the business side.

David Marshall / Cedars-Sinai

Participate in projects within your organization, network with leadership, read journal articles or books on nursing economics, or pursue advanced education.

Mark Mitchelson / Adventist Health Simi Valley

Engage with your local case manager to discuss insurance challenges, volunteer for projects that expose you to other hospital dynamics, or join organizations like the Association of Nurse Leaders (AONL) or American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Theresa Murphy / USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

Get involved in professional organizations such as ANA, AONL, and ACHE, which offer great opportunities to better understand the complex business side of healthcare and navigate the unique circumstances and barriers that can affect patient outcomes.

Cindy Naveira / USC Care & Ambulatory Services

Spend time with stakeholders involved in quality metrics and finance to understand reimbursement and how payers (in particular the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) think, work, and pay for quality care. Understanding the revenue cycle is key.

Darlene Scafiddi / Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center

Reach out to management for resources, or shadow your managers for a day. Asking questions and participating in shared governance will help you to learn more about the healthcare industry and to educate yourself on operations and best practices.

Joyce Volsch / Redlands Community Hospital

A good starting point is to ask questions about how unit budgets are developed. During budget time, I also request my finance partners to lead a budget study hall for my leadership team, and I routinely share our financial statements with my new graduate advisory cohort groups at my CNO forums.

Vicki White / Henry Mayo

Leaders must be well-versed in the operational aspects of the business and able to effectively communicate that information to the nursing staff. When the entire team comprehends the broader economic landscape, it facilitates a constructive approach to challenges.

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