1. Frisina, Michael E. MA

Article Content

Add financial management to your leadership repertoire

The thought of finances often creates anxiety at best and a values conflict at worst. Understanding the dynamics of financial management is an essential part of nurse managers' skill sets, a critical requirement in their management role, and an integral part of providing high-quality and safe patient care.


The money game

Successful nurse managers provide ever-increasing justifications of budget variances, labor costs, staffing effectiveness, return-on-investment, and a host of other financial indicators that drive the "bottom line." You can no longer count on your "on-the-job-baptism-by-fire" approach to acquire these skills. You must seek formalized education to acquire the knowledge of the terms, concepts, tools, techniques, and practices of financial management.


Budgeting forces us as managers to establish criteria related to workload, staffing, patient census, supplies, equipment, and revenue. Budgeting is about planning, and planning is essential to guiding how the organization successfully manages its resources.


Budget for betterment

In surgical services, successful budgeting and financial management are measured on the basis of three goals:


1. control of costs


2. optimization of resources


3. maximized outcomes.



Financial management and budgeting goals vary among nursing departments. An essential component of your budgeting process is identifying the goals or drivers used to measure your financial performance. Broken down into simple steps, budgeting becomes a process whereby you establish plans, then make an effort on a monthy basis to meet or exceed that plan's goals.


Nursing care demands a focus on patients' needs. Mastering the language, the concepts, and the tools of financial management will only enhance your ability to garner the resources you need to provide high-quality and safe patient care.