An operating budget is one type of budget. This is the budget used to plan/anticipate the unit's day-to-day expenses and revenues. The operating
budget is a written plan -much like a plan of care for a patient- that tries to project/anticipate operating expenses and revenues.
Operating expenses are estimated by collecting data, especially data on patient volume, patient acuity, and required staffing and supply levels for providing care. Once the data is collected, the nurse manager can estimate the next year's expenses by: looking at last year's costs, adjusting for inflation, then adjusting for any increases likely in patient census and subsequently, nursing staff.