Why Nurses Need a Plan B: Understanding Mergers and Acquisitions Effects
Nurses, here is some recent news on merger and acquisition (M&A) activity with dozens of deals involving hospitals, drug developers and medical device manufacturers. By the end of the third quarter of 2023, there were 53 hospital mergers or acquisitions announced, a number which matched the total of deals in all of 2021 and 2022, according to data from Kaufman Hall and Becker’s Hospital Review. It is estimated that over a third of the transactions were due to financial distress. Simultaneous with the announcements were mentions of an expected reduction in force, meaning job loss in the workforce. The merging of multi-hospital systems also results in the elimination of duplicated positions.
The move to corporatizing healthcare is resulting in many hospitals becoming lostpitals. The number of rural and community hospital closings is alarming as well; however, I’ll be concentrating on M&A’s.
Nurses need to understand M&A activity better to know how to prepare best for their own financial security and career viability. Nurses need to have a Plan B. The days of job security for nurses in traditional settings no longer exists. Mergers and Acquisitions have a profound effect on hospitals and the healthcare workforce. Since nurses comprise the hospital’s largest healthcare profession; nurses feel these effects the most. Why do companies engage in M&A activity? There are several reasons, but the most common are:
- Become bigger.
- Pre-empt competition.
- Synergies and economies of scale.
- Achieve domination.
- Tax purposes.
These reasons are fairly obvious in the examples above, however, the ones I think are especially driving healthcare systems today are to pre-empt competition, and synergies and economies of scale. One system perhaps has more ambulatory surgical and out-patient facilities, where another has premier neuro and rehab facilities. Instead of competing, by joining forces they can both gain market share and save money. However, nurses need to understand where there is duplication, and there will be, jobs will be eliminated. This brings me back to why nurses need a Plan B and more in today’s healthcare marketplace.
Hospital administrators are doing what they must do to remain competitive; are you doing what you need to do to remain competitive and marketable? Is your resume updated with current and relevant information? Does it convey the nurse you are? What about the nurse you choose to become? Whether you choose the traditional or non-traditional route, nurses have unlimited options to express their potential.
Nurses have a tremendous cache of knowledge and experience that can be pivoted into entrepreneurship and become a lucrative source of income in the form of products, services, and programs. Books, Audio-Recordings, Presentations, Seminars, Coaching, Advocacy, Consulting, Study-Guides are just a few examples. Who is better than an OR and PACU nurse to advise patients on surgery, before, during and after or to consult with for improved OR procedures and processes? There are hundreds of specialties and options on how nursing knowledge can be developed for additional income streams. Nurses have an advantage in becoming business owners because the nursing process is very similar to creating a business plan. Nurses make great entrepreneurs because they are problem solvers and that is exactly how really successful entrepreneurs describe themselves.
Since 1985 the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) has been dedicated to advancing and promoting Nurses in Business, Nurse Entrepreneurs, and Intrapreneurs. Nurses can practice independently at the top of their license through entrepreneurial models. Our conference is July 25-27, 2024 in Orlando, Florida and it is a great opportunity for you to discover how nurses become entrepreneurs and how nurses succeed in business!
© 2018-2023 Michelle Podlesni RN, CEO, USN Veteran, accomplished businesswoman, bestselling author and management consultant. Founder of UNconventional Nurse® and President of the National Nurses in Business Association.