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Economic Value of Nursing


Ensuring the visibility of nursing's value contribution to the global healthcare economy is paramount. It entails a paradigm shift, recognizing nursing not merely as a labor cost but as a revenue-generator within healthcare systems. By advocating for investments in the nursing workforce that align with the economic value nurses provide, we can create a healthcare ecosystem where nurses are viewed as both essential caregivers and strategic assets—key drivers of improved patient outcomes and financial sustainability in healthcare institutions worldwide.

In pursuit of enhancing the visibility of nursing's value contribution to the global healthcare economy, the ANA Enterprise Institute for Nursing Research and Quality Management is spearheading an Economic Value of Nursing Research Project, a 2-year study (Ref.: ANA Enterprise Research Advisory Council Strategic Research Priorities).

The purpose of the Economic Value of Nursing Project is to:

  • Develop a conceptual model of the Economic Value of Nursing focusing on the structures and processes that contribute to the economic value of nursing. This model will drive a forward-thinking definition of economic value of nursing.
  • Conduct a systematic review of studies related to the economic value of nursing. Summarize research questions, patient and nurse populations, methods, measurement, and findings, including gaps in science.
  • Validate/refine the conceptual model and recommendations for measurement of the economic value of nursing based on recommendations from a diverse group of researchers.
  • Conduct a proof-of-concept study of the conceptual/measurement model.

The Nursing Human Capital Value Model

May 29, 2024 - Unlocking the Value of Nursing in Healthcare

In the world of healthcare, where quality and efficiency are paramount, a revolution is brewing—one that directly impacts nurses and the care they provide. It's called value-based payment reform. The model proposed by researchers Dr. Olga Yakusheva and Dr. Marianne Weiss and supported by the ANA Enterprise through the Institute of Nursing Research and Quality Management, emphasizes the critical role of nursing in healthcare and introduces the Nursing Human Capital Value Model.

Picture this: instead of just going through the motions, hospitals are now rewarded for delivering top-notch care efficiently. Good outcomes and smart spending mean more money, while poor results lead to financial penalties. Value-based payment reform is like a compass guiding all healthcare providers towards a destination where patient care isn't just about procedures, but about outcomes and efficiency.

Nurses are the backbone of patient care, providing the hands-on support that directly impacts outcomes. They're also savvy when it comes to spotting inefficiencies and waste. Yet, in this evolving landscape, nurses find themselves in a tricky spot. While they're essential for quality care, they're also a significant portion of a hospital's expenses. And when budgets get tight, guess who's often first in line for cuts?

According to Yakusheva and Weiss, it's not just about providing excellent care; it's about showing how that care translates into better outcomes and savings for the organization.

The Nursing Human Capital Value Model recognizes that nurses aren't just cogs in a machine; they're the engine driving it forward. By investing in nurses—through education, support, and development—we're not just ensuring quality care; we're creating a cycle of value that benefits everyone.

The Nursing Human Capital Value Model draws from three foundational economic theories: human capital theory, production theory, and value theory. It starts with nursing as a crucial asset, adding value to healthcare delivery. It then directly connects nurses' attributes and allocation to healthcare quality, volume output, and organizational finances.

This innovative approach to nursing's economic value establishes a value creation cycle through investment in nursing human capital, resulting in enhanced care delivery, improved outcomes, and organizational revenue growth, all of which underscore the importance of investing in nursing for sustainable value generation across healthcare systems. When nurses thrive, patients thrive, and so do organizations. It's a win-win-win.

As stated by Dr. Yakusheva at the Re-imagining the Economic Value of Nursing Summit: “By advocating for their own economic value, nurses are enabling themselves, and our healthcare system, to provide the highest quality, affordable, equitable care that our patients and families need.”

You are welcome to contribute your thoughts, insights, ideas, or comments. Together, we can move this conversation forward.

feedback form: Economic Value of Nursing Project

May 15, 2024 - Economic Value of Nursing Update

Recently, the ANA Enterprise Institute for Nursing Research and Quality Management hosted a summit focusing on redefining the economic value of nursing. The event sparked meaningful discussions, shifting the perspective from viewing nurses merely as labor costs to recognizing them as invaluable human capital.

The discussion included the persistent hurdles like poor working conditions, inadequate staffing levels, and limited autonomy faced by nurses. It delved into the intricacies of these challenges and the shortcomings of current economic models in adequately valuing nursing. Often, these models overlook the multifaceted and nuanced responsibilities shouldered by nurses, failing to capture the true essence of their vital contributions.

It was emphasized that supporting and investing in nurses not only improves patient care but also enhances their job satisfaction and well-being. A standout topic was the innovative ways in which nurses are seen not just as caregivers but as key drivers of healthcare innovation and revenue generators. Therefore, the need for models that more accurately reflect the value nurses bring to healthcare, considering their contributions to team dynamics, process improvements, and operational efficiency.

"The Nursing Human Capital Model” below was proposed and critically evaluated, with experts calling for a shift in how the value of nursing is calculated and perceived. Overall, the summit served as a call to action for the healthcare community to rethink and transform how the economic value of nursing is defined and integrated into healthcare planning and policy. The event was not only inspiring but also set the stage for future advancements in recognizing and supporting the vital role that nurses play in the healthcare system.

You are welcome to contribute your thoughts, insights, ideas, or comments. Together, we can move this conversation forward.

Feedback Form: Economic Value of Nursing project

April 18, 2024 - Summit to Re-Imagine the Economic Value of Nursing

Press Release


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