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What Is the Nurse’s Role in Cost-Conscious Care?

First and foremost, the nursing profession focuses on providing high-quality patient care. Many nurses may not be aware of the role they play in their healthcare organization’s bottom line, but the truth is that nurses are key to cost-conscious care. For example, nurses make up the highest percentage of healthcare workers in hospitals and other healthcare settings, so their salaries make up a large percentage of the budget.

Healthcare organizations need to be cost-conscious and look for ways to save money without sacrificing patient care. Hospitals that find ways to reduce costs are more financially solvent and thus more stable. This financial stability allows them to continue providing high-quality services and nursing care to patients.

How Cost Savings Can Affect Patient Care

Healthcare systems need to be careful when it comes to saving money. Cost-cutting measures can have major effects on the quality of patient care. However, providing cost-conscious care by trimming expenditures in strategic ways does not have to worsen the care that patients receive. The key is knowing which costs to cut and how to cut them — and which costs not to cut.

Saving Money While Maintaining Quality Patient Care

It is entirely possible to save money in the clinical setting and provide cost-conscious care without any negative effects on nursing care. The following are some ways nurses can play an instrumental role in the process:

  • Producing, sending and keeping information such as patient records in electronic format.
  • Ensuring nursing departments stay on budget.
  • Reducing waste.
  • Creating adequate staff schedules that avoid overtime hours.
  • Seeking out lower-cost employee benefits.

Providing cost-conscious care requires some extra effort, but the benefits can be significant.

Learn more about the Arkansas State University online RN to BSN program.


Vanhook, P. M., PhD, APRN, BC. (2007, September). Cost-Utility Analysis: A Method of Quantifying the Value of Registered Nurses. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing

Sherman, Rose, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. (2012, November). The business of caring: What every nurse should know about cutting costs. American Nurse Today

(n.d.). Medical Practice Efficiencies & Cost Savings. Health IT

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