As you prepare to complete this assessment you may want to think about other related issues to deepen your understanding or broaden your viewpoint
Prepare an 8–10-page operating budget for a hospital unit.
Note: Complete the assessments in this course in the order in which they are presented.
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.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
- 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.
Use this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.
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.
One of the major challenges facing nurse leaders with regard to financial analysis is determining how many and what types of health care goods and services to deliver. Leaders must also consider how much to charge for goods and services and how to break even or generate profits.
Questions to Consider
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 budget?
- What are your primary sources of budget information?
- Would you include nice-to-haveitems in your budget? Why or why not?
- What factors, such as organizational objectives, policies, and competition for funding, might affect the development and management of an operating budget?
The following resources are required to complete the assessment.
- APA Style Paper Template [DOCX]. Use this template for the written portion of your operating budget.
The resources provided here are optional. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this assessment; however, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. The MSN-FP6216 – Advanced Finance and Operations Management Library Guide can help direct your research, and the Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to help support you.
The following articles address budget preparation and the management of operating costs, and may help you with preparing your operating budget in this assessment.
- Danna, D. (2017). Learning and mastering the operational budget. Retrieved from http://www.strategiesfornursemanagers.com/ce_detail/213520.cfm#
- Provides information and general terminology useful when considering an operating budget.
- Duffield, C. M., Roche, M. A., Homer, C., Buchan, J., & Dimitrelis, S. (2014). A comparative review of nurse turnover rates and costs across countries. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(12), 2703–2712.
- Will help you understand how to calculate the cost of nursing turnover and its impact on an operating budget.
- Hill, K. S., Higdon, K., Porter, B. W., Rutland, M. D., & Vela, D. K. (2015). Preserving staffing resources as a system: Nurses leading operations and efficiency initiatives. Nursing Economics, 33(1), 26–35.
- Discusses use of effective staffing, which represents the biggest drain on the operating budget.
- Kirby, K. K. (2015). Hours per patient day: Not the problem, nor the solution. Nursing Economics, 33(1), 64–66.
- Provides a method of calculating the costs of staffing.
- Mitton, C., Dionne, F., & Donaldson, C. (2014). Managing healthcare budgets in times of austerity: The role of program budgeting and marginal analysis. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, 12(2), 95–102.
- Provides general information to help understand healthcare finances and budgets.
- Russell, J. (2014). When in doubt, don’t. Nursing Management, 45(5), 22–25.
- Examines value analysis as a way to reduce health care costs.
Operating Budget Preparation
The following interactive exercise introduces you to the process of preparing an operating budget.