Leadership versus Management in Nursing

Leadership versus Management in Nursing

In this article, we discuss leadership versus management in nursing. If you want to be a nurse, one of your goals could be to get a more important job, like one in nursing management or nursing leadership. Finding out more about the difference between nursing leadership and nursing management may help you choose the best career route. The following should be kept in mind when you evaluate your healthcare employment options.

Differences Between a Leader Versus Manager in Nursing

What distinguishes a nurse leader from a nurse manager? Although there are some similarities between nursing leadership and management jobs, there are also some significant differences. Nursing managers are in charge of overseeing department workers and running day-to-day operations in nursing departments. Typically, leaders oversee nursing teams and guarantee the overall success of the hospital or unit

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Similarities Between Leadership versus Management in Nursing

There are certain similarities between nursing leaders and managers, particularly in terms of the kinds of talents needed for both positions. You must have strong leadership and management skills if you want to succeed as a manager or nursing leader. You must be an effective communicator if you want to succeed in either of these roles. As a nurse manager or nurse leader, you’ll also need to work on your critical thinking and problem-solving skills so you can confidently make decisions about day-to-day operations. Both roles frequently involve delegating responsibilities to others.

Keep in mind that managers and leaders in the nursing profession may employ several leadership philosophies. These include transformational leaders who concentrate on bringing nursing teams together and servant leaders who concentrate on helping team members on an individual basis. Democratic leaders prioritize systemic changes, whereas authoritarian leaders adopt a take-charge strategy that frequently excludes team member input. Laissez-faire leaders frequently adopt a more relaxed, responsive style of management.

Why Both Are Important

Both nursing managers and nursing leaders are crucial in maintaining high-quality patient care. Leaders concentrate on the wider picture while managers are more concerned with making sure patients are getting the treatment they require or looking for ways to improve day-to-day operations. For facilities to continue offering dependable healthcare services, both roles are necessary.

Role of Nurse Manager

A nurse manager’s main concern is making sure that the department’s daily operations function as smoothly as possible. These supervisors typically don’t deal directly with patient care. Instead, they manage nurses and other personnel and offer training as necessary. The duties of nurse managers may also include developing a departmental budget, hiring personnel, maintaining the accuracy of electronic data, and communicating with stakeholders. As a nurse manager, you may also be required to collaborate with other managers at the facility and intervene when conflict arises between medical staff and their patients. You may also be responsible for managing problems with health insurance.

Role of Nurse Leader

A nurse leader concentrates on ensuring that each patient receives high-quality care. Leading a nursing team and, where necessary, working to enhance patient care may be among your duties as a nursing leader. The goal of improving patient care efficiency is frequently required of nursing leaders in order to decrease readmission rates, shorten hospital stays, and minimize healthcare costs. Other duties you can have in this role include reducing nurse turnover at your facility, educating patients to help them better manage medical conditions, and assisting them in understanding their treatment plans to enhance results. In addition to instructing patients, nursing leaders may also render direct healthcare services. You’ll also need to keep learning to stay current on healthcare issues.

What are the Qualities They Should Possess?

There are some differences between leadership and management in nursing, but in the end, both jobs require the same skills. Both nurse managers and nurse leaders must possess certain traits. Here are a few characteristics of a great nurse manager or leader:


leadership capabilities. It should come as no surprise that both professions require strong leadership abilities. Motivating teams is a skill that effective leaders possess. They are experts at managing tasks, assigning them to others, and solving problems. They consistently succeed in coming up with innovative solutions to issues, which is necessary for NMs and NLs. Additionally, effective leadership abilities boost employee motivation, maintain high morale, and increase job satisfaction.

interpersonal capabilities Without a good grasp on interpersonal skills, it would be challenging to accomplish jobs that demand teamwork and regular contact with people. In their working life, nurse managers and nurse leaders must communicate with both groups and people, thus they must establish trusting bonds and collaborate effectively.

abilities in analysis. For people who want to work in management and leadership roles in the nursing field, this is another crucial competency. You can solve any problem you are presented with using analytical skills, and they can also assist you in selecting the right course of action. For nurse managers and leaders, it is essential to have the ability to comprehend issues and carefully examine the situation to find workable solutions. They must comprehend, abide by, and adapt to new laws in order to maintain and hone their skills.

talents in communication. Nursing management and leadership positions naturally call for excellent communication abilities. These professionals must be able to communicate effectively about policies and procedures. They are in charge of making sure that the employees and people they are in charge of follow the new rules and policies. It is essential to know how to speak with them effectively if you want to adopt them.

technical expertise. Nurse managers and leaders must constantly be on their game. So, they have to stay on top of the latest changes in data analytics and healthcare technology. Imagine that a nurse manager can’t figure out how to use the electronic health record systems. How will the nursing staff learn to use these technologies if the hospital decides to use them? The success of NMs and NLs is significantly influenced by their technical nursing expertise.

How to Become a Nurse Leader

Being a registered nurse is a prerequisite for becoming a nurse leader. To do this, you need to finish your undergraduate degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX exam. If you succeed on this test, you’ll be given a license to practice as a registered nurse.

Your next move might be to enroll in a graduate program that is accredited. While getting your graduate degree, you can expect to get clinical experience that will help you turn what you’ve learned in school into skills you’ll need on the job.

The next step is certification if you want to work as a nurse leader. You can do this by signing up for a certification program, like the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification Program from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. These procedures must be followed in order for you to start working as a nurse leader.

We can support you if you’re thinking about becoming a nurse leader. The American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Post University offers a Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Organizational Leadership. Through this online program, you get a complete education that helps you develop the skills you need to be a nurse leader. For further details on this program, do get in touch with us right away.


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