Preparing and Managing an Operating Budget
Prepare an 8 – 10 page operating budget for a hospital unit.
Note: Assemble your budget figures in a table, using a
format of your choice. You may use either Microsoft Word or Excel to create
your budget table.
Sound financial management is essential to the fiscal
well-being of all health care organizations, and the nurse leader plays an
important part. Consequently, the preparation and effective management of
operating budgets is a critical skill for nurse leaders. The budget guides
leaders in optimizing the use of resources, and because nurses are closest to
patients, they understand very well what it takes to operate on a daily basis
and provide safe, high-quality care.
This assessment provides an opportunity for you to develop
an operating budget for a health care unit. Keep in mind, staff is a large part
of this budget and is often hard to control.
Numbers on a budget sheet or report are only numbers. Nurse
leaders are major decision makers who must be informed and able to make
data-driven decisions, often in a very limited amount of time. Financial
analysis consists of the organization and presentation of data in a meaningful
and relevant format that enables analysis, comparison, and synthesis.
You are the nurse manager of a 35-bed hospital unit with 20
full-time equivalent (FTE) staff. You have been given the task of getting the
budget under control. Several people have recently left the unit, and you have
been working to fill those open positions. Your staff work scheduled overtime
and many sign up to work extra shifts. Your unit serves an older population, as
well, and has incurred expenses associated with this group of patients.
As you prepare to complete this assessment, you may want to
think about other related issues to deepen your understanding or broaden your
viewpoint. You are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them
with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of
your professional community. Note that these questions are for your own
development and exploration and do not need to be completed or submitted as
part of your assessment.
What major sections would you include in an operating
What are your primary sources of budget information?
Would you include nice-to-have items in your budget? Why or
What factors, such as organizational objectives, policies,
and competition for funding, might affect the development and management of an
Note: The following
requirements correspond to the grading criteria in the assessment scoring
guide. Be sure that your budget addresses each point, at a minimum.
Prepare and submit an
operating budget for your hospital unit.
Prepare the operating
Note: Assemble your
budget figures in a table, using a format of your choice. You may use either
Microsoft Word or Excel to create your budget table.
Explain how the
budget was designed and created.
Develop a strategic
Develop an approach
to ongoing budget management.
Present budget data
and information clearly and accurately.
and credible sources of evidence to support your budget data and information,
correctly formatting citations and references using current APA style.
If you use Microsoft
Excel to create your budget table, submit the Excel file along with your budget
narrative. You may also add the Excel file to your Word document as an embedded
Format your budget
narrative using APA style.
Use the APA Style which should include:
An APA-formatted title page and reference page. An abstract
is not required.
A minimum of five properly formatted citations and
Your budget should be at 8 -10 pages in length, not
including the title page and reference page.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will
demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment
Competency 1: Design an operating budget that incorporates
variances or discretionary spending.
Prepare an operating budget.
Explain how a budget is designed and created.
Competency 2: Develop a plan for managing the labor force,
within the parameters of the budget and productivity.
Develop an approach to ongoing budget management.
Competency 5: Apply financial principles to a strategic plan
for achieving organizational goals and fiscal success.
Develop a strategic plan.
Competency 6: Communicate effectively with diverse
audiences, in an appropriate form and style, consistent with applicable
organizational, professional, and scholarly standards.
Present budget data and information clearly and accurately.
Integrate relevant and credible sources of evidence to
support budget data and information, correctly formatting citations and
references using APA style.
Preparing and Managing an Operating Budget