Nurses take a significant part of the healthcare budget. Therefore, care provision should be cost-effective to achieve patient care needs (Neeraj & Sarkar, 2017). Non-productive time in nursing refers to the time allocated to indirect care activities, which take a significant portion of the nurse activity with additional costs to a healthcare facility. Non-productive time creates a need for more personnel to cover expected nursing tasks, which requires more resources. Although time spent on non-productive activities may appear insignificant, it plays an important role in enhancing facility performance, while improving patient care.
Non-productive time may require more budgetary allocations. Whereas direct nursing or productive care focuses on mainstream clinical activities, such as collecting the specimen, providing personal hygiene, and performing procedures among other activities, nonproductive time is spent on other activities, including billing, communicating, preparing for procedures, documenting, and reporting among other activities (Neeraj & Sarkar, 2017). However, the time spent in certain indirect activities such as social communications and phone calls may enhance psychological stability and protect burnout for nurses. Time spent on such activities has financial implications on a budget since they create a need for more nurses to manage care.
Lundgren and Segesten (2001) illustrate that how nurses use their time has been a subject of criticism. According to the authors, nurses occasionally spend more at their desks, affecting the flow of work and general performance of facilities. Besides, registered nurses (RNs) spend more time supervising the activities of primary care nurses, which affect their involvement in care provision, leading to time wastage. Such wastages reduce tasks achievable per nurse and create a need for more caregivers, which leads to high budget allocation. As facilities continue to manage resources through budgeting, it is significant to ensure that patients, who are principal beneficiaries, receive more time with the nurse to improve healthcare outcomes.