Examine the nurse leader’s role in the context of a healthcare financial management and budgeting - Essay Prowess

Examine the nurse leader’s role in the context of a healthcare financial management and budgeting


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Examine the nurse leader’s role in the context of a healthcare financial management and budgeting


Leaders in the nursing profession play vital roles in facilitating for the creation of healthy and safe working environments as well as engaging other nurses to make positive contributions in the nursing practice setting (Chase, 2010). There are two major factors that tend to differentiate healthcare service provision from other professional services. Firstly, most of the healthcare providers exist as nonprofit making organizations whereas most other organizations are investor owned. Secondly, payment for healthcare services is in most cases catered for by some other person rather than the one directly receiving healthcare services (Sherman & Pross, 2010). This in essence postulates a rather unique position as to what entails healthcare finance. This essay seeks to look into the manner with which nurses in leadership position engage their leadership skills in healthcare finance so as to ensure the best possible healthcare outcomes are accessible to people who need them.

Types of budgetary approaches for financial management

In most healthcare systems around the world, it is the role of the administrative arm of government to allocate limited financial resources for services and program implementations through an agreed upon budget process (Drouin, 2008). An appropriate budgeting process entails the formulation of a budgetary framework encompassing the need for a budget process as well as a mission statement to propel the implementation of the budget as recommended.

The budget process incorporates a number of broad maxims which tend to reflect the implications of a budget as a managerial and political tool which also encompasses technical and financial proportions. Four of the principles adhered to in the formulation of a budget process include, the establishment of long-term goals to serve as a guide in healthcare institution decision making processes. A healthcare provider has to set long-term goals which define where a healthcare institutions wants to be in the near future. Secondly, the budget should highlight methods with which set goals can be achieved (Sherman & Pross, 2010). This entails following specific management strategies outlining how long-term goals are to be met.  Thirdly, the budget development criteria should be consistent with chosen approaches towards goal attainment. This implies that the agreed upon financial plan should work within the limits of available financial resources. Lastly, the budget should be continuously evaluated and appropriate adjustments made towards the attainment of set healthcare provision goals.

Direct and indirect expenditures for a nursing department   

It is a good financial principle to ensure that every cost incurred by a nursing department should be generated by the same nursing department (Drouin, 2008). Direct costs are expenditures which are openly auditable such that there is supporting documentation as well as visible evidence that an incurred expense was indeed necessary for the operations of the nursing department these include, computing expenses, travelling, communication, supplies and materials, healthcare equipment and subcontract agreements. Indirect costs are also referred to as the real costa incurred in operating a nursing department. Indirect costs include expenses incurred by a nursing department in electricity bills, heating, and phone services and so on which are essential for the day to day operations of a nursing department.

The nurse leader’s role in managing, monitoring, evaluating and communicating the department/unit’s budget

Nurse leaders have the broad role of ensuring that budgetary and financial matters are well addressed. This is notwithstanding roles such as patient care and safety concerns, quality healthcare provision among a host of other responsibilities (Sherman & Pross, 2010). This implies that a nurse leader has to have both emotional and social intelligence to be able to dispense tasks at hand. This implies that it a nurse leader has to have excellent verbal as well as written communication skills so as to build relationships that can ensure the success of any proposed nursing department project. Decision making skills are essential in the implementation of any budgeted action such that they are a significant interface between the nursing department and other departments in a health care setting. This implies that it is the role of a nurse to ensure that the budget is well communicated to other members of the nursing department such that evaluation and monitoring are carried out flawlessly.


Chase, L. K. (2010). Nurse manager competencies.”PhD diss., University of Iowa, 2010.

Retrieved on 16th November, 2013 from http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/2681.

Drouin, A. (2008). Methods of financing health care: A rational use of financing mechanisms to achieve Universal coverage. International Social Security Association.

Sherman, R. & Pross, E., (2010). Growing Future Nurse Leaders to Build and Sustain Healthy Work Environments at the Unit Level. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 15, No. 1, Manuscript 1.