Nurses as Commodities

by Nursetopia on October 16, 2012

A commodity is a general term for a marketable good lacking differentiation across markets. It is easily replaceable because there is no differentiation; the commodities are exact replacements of one another.

Too many times leaders and hiring/firing managers view nurses (and many other healthcare professionals) as commodities – easily replaceable goods rather than the service assets they are. The cost of replacing nurses is well-documented, costing healthcare organizations anywhere from $60,000 to $95,000 or more per nurse depending on the nurse’s tenure and specialty. Great organizations see nurses’ inherent value and understand them as an investment, giving them opportunities to exceed elsewhere in the organization or working with different leaders before tossing them and reaching for an “exact replacement.”

Of course, recognizing differentiation and value of nurses is not only an organization’s responsibility. No, it is the nurse’s responsibility, as well. Unfortunately, we often treat ourselves as commodities, too, lacking differentiation or minimizing the pursuit of increasing our value through education, varied experiences, leadership roles, etc.

What are you doing to ensure you’re not viewed as a commodity?

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