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Collegian ; 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1372938


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.