Nursing Leadership And Management


There is a big difference between leadership and management. A nurse leader may be

involved in designing a new procedure, or challenging the ethics of a new institutional policy.

She or he may also consult with the patient, or the patient’s family regarding the most effective

way to administer treatments. Nurse leadership is a must in hospices, emergency rooms, clinics,

or any other workplace that involves nursing because of the extreme stress and intense emotions

of the patients there. Nursing management is a lot different than leadership. Nursing

management is a branch of the nursing field which focuses on managing nurses and patient care

standards. An effective nursing management program is critical for most facilities which use

nurses, such as hospitals, clinics, and residential care facilities. People in this field often have

both nursing and management experience, and they have typically received special training to

prepare them for employment as managers and supervisors.

Leadership in my opinion is when an individual who can inspire others to work together

in pursuit of common goal, such as enhanced patient care. A leader act as a role model, and

influence his or her peers in a positive and responsible manner. A leader must also balance

assertiveness with a compassionate heart. A leader is someone who stands not only for his or her

cause but takes responsibility and motivates other individuals also. A leader is a motivation for

others and inspires individuals to aim high and attain that aim. A leader shows a positive attitude

and high self-esteem. He or she works towards the goal but never gets pushy for it. A leader not

only reacts positively but also helps other members of the group to see the brighter side of the


A leader have the ability to define a vision and guide individuals and groups toward that

vision while maintaining group-promoting teamwork, commitment, and effectiveness.

Teamwork embraces the productive aspects of group cohesion and it focuses on the leader’s

ability to ensure that team member relationships are collaborative and productive.


Leadership is not a quality but it is an individual’s behaviour. Situations are never in our hands

but reaction is always that we can control. Those persons are considered as good leaders who

have gained the trust and confidence. Communication plays a vital role in this situation. Unlike

management, leadership will come to a point where they listen to what your opinion is and try to

come together and work it out the best possible way to his or her agreement as well.

As we all know people love to be around positive people. Negative people always bring

you down and usually do not accomplish goals they have set. In the work world, you do not want

anyone on your team be negative. It can rub off on anyone in the group, or the whole group.

However, it is also true for a positive attitude and self-concept. Those who are positive tend to be

more driven and have a better self-concept. Attitude is a mental thing to a way of thinking or

being; a leaning toward that which you believe. A positive attitude is the way to generally be in

an optimistic state of mind. Positive attitude, positive thinking, and optimism are all

characteristics that will make a leaders life more positive and increase their self- worth. A leader

will most likely be more successful when using all of these characteristics. If you cannot get past

the negative and start concentrating on the positive you cannot succeed as a great leader because

your mind will be elsewhere. To accomplish a task a leader must have full concentration on the

objective. A positive mind set gives the leader the ambition and drive to accomplish the goals

your organization as given you. Everyone has goals. Some may be bigger and more advanced

than others but every leader has a goal.

Tappen identifies the difference between management and leadership as follows: There is

a close relationship between the concepts of leadership and management. Management is a

formal specifically designated position within an organization ((Tappen, 2010). Each


department and clinical area has a manager who is responsible for the organization of that

specific area. Tappen states, “leadership is an unofficially achieved position that may be assumed

by more than one person at any one time.” Tappen suggests that management is an assigned

role, leadership is an attained one (Tappen,2010). To be effective leaders and managers in

nursing profession, nurse professionals must have adequate nursing knowledge, self- awareness,

the ability to communicate clearly and effectively and the ability to mobilize, empower and be

enthusiastic about leadership activities (Tappen,1995). Burns state that there are two styles of

management leaders, relevant to nursing; transactional and transformational leaders (Marquis

and Huston 2000). It is also acknowledged in the literature reviewed and it highlights that that

there is confusion regarding the difference between leadership and management (Carney, 1999).

It is suggested that they are one and the same thing but the management role is task orientated,

while the leadership role is team orientated. John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions

inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”


On the other hand managers are not leaders. Managers believe in directing controlling

and planning and improving the efficiency of the organization. Manager believes in planning and

coordinating the work. He or she uses management techniques to manage others. Followers

voluntarily follow the leader. This may not be the case with managers. Is been asked to obey the

instruction of the manager by virtue of his or her position. The nurses may be obeying the

manager on his or her leadership skills or may be just as it is part of their duty. It is also common

that nurses dislike the manager and still follows his action to save his or her job. Managers also

have a different style of working. A manager keeps the organizational priority at his or her best.


A management are more like directing, organizing, planning, controlling and staffing.

Professional managers are trained to perform these functions. I think that decision making is an

important function of the manager. In the Emergency Medical Service Industry manager should

be good at decision making. He or she will have to make decisions in seconds. A manger is

trained to have these qualities. He or she then plans to achieve this by his or her nurses. A nurse

manager coordinates and manages a nursing staff. She ensures the staff under her runs

effectively. The nurse manager is efficient around the clock, following all administrative and

clinical procedures and polices according to a set of medical guidelines. The nurse manger

maintains an effective work environment supportive to all nurses and staff (Bumpres,2013).

A nurse manager, formerly called a head nurse, is responsible for the clinical and administrative

functions of a particular nursing unit, such as a pediatric floor or an intensive care unit (ICU).

The primary function of a nurse manager is to ensure optimal patient outcomes on her unit. A

good nurse manager wears many hats as an expert clinician, a mentor and support for her staff

and a tireless advocate for patients and families ( Keefe, 2013).

There are also different characteristics between manager and a leader. Some of the

characteristics that I thought of is when managers maintain while leader develop, has a short

view/has a long view, imitates/originates, isolate/correlate, instruct/inspire, formulate policy/set

examples, plan/experiment, ask how/wonder why, perform duties/pursue dreams and last but not

least manager is dependent while leader are independent. There are top ten characteristics of an

leader and those are 1) Is Truly Humble – Leads to Serve No one likes to work for a jerk or buy

from a jerk. If you are obsessed with your own self-image, you will be your own worst enemy. A


real leader lives to help others (Zhivago, 2010). 2) Is Non-Judgmentally Observant- If you

observe your own behavior non-judgmentally, but with the constant desire to improve, you will

get much farther than if you berate yourself, or excuse or justify your shortcomings. You will

also be a dispassionate listener. It will be more difficult for others to guess what you’re thinking,

and they will be more likely to tell you more. Everyone who works for you should know that

what you’re really interested in is the facts. You will also objectively observe other aspects of

their behavior and character – including how they treat those below them, how much they

contribute to the solution (rather than being part of the problem), how much others respect them,

how competitive or cooperative they are, how observant they are of others, how much they

include others, and so on. Being a calm observer will help you see these behaviors more clearly

(Zhivago, 2010).3) Faces and Solves Problems Once the good leader is satisfied that she has

uncovered the truth, she then sets out to solve the problem. She doesn’t procrastinate or spend too

much time gathering unnecessary additional data. She gets the right people involved right away,

she tells them what she has observed, tells them what she’s decided to do so far, and then works

with them to solve the problem. Even if they do acknowledge it, they may decide to ignore it;

push it off on to someone else to fix; or blame someone else for causing it, then fail to do

anything about it. They may also pretend they are solving the problem when in fact they are

doing nothing (Zhivago, 2010). 4) Ruthlessly Improves The best leaders are ruthless about

improvement. They are constantly finding new ways to educate their customers, employees, and

partners. They are always looking at their processes, policies, and systems, and asking

themselves: “How could we make this more efficient? What don’t we need anymore? What do

we need now?” They don’t fall into the “we’ve always done it this way” trap, which causes far too


many companies to struggle – and fail (Zhivago, 2010). 5) Is Fiscally Conservative I’ve seen

some spectacular company failures. They all had one thing in common: They overspent. They

managed to get some outside funding – either from venture capital or over-inflated stock prices –

and they spent like there was no tomorrow. They were right – ultimately, for these companies,

there was no tomorrow. A good leader will think twice and will keep asking himself, “Do we

need this now? Is there a less-expensive way of doing this?” (Zhivago, 2010). 6) Invests in the

Business Even in a terrible economy, a good leader will invest in the business. She will just

choose her investments wisely. The goal is to invest where it will have the most impact on

revenue growth. I recently interviewed a number of salespeople for a client who sells a very

complex software program. I ended up recommending that they increase education for their

salespeople, so they can answer more of the customer’s technical questions during the early

discussions (Zhivago, 2010). 7) Communicates Regularly, Clearly, and Purposefully Effective

leaders communicate regularly, clearly, and purposefully. Because they have been humble and

objective enough to get the real story, whatever they say rings true to those hearing it. The

listeners are open to whatever comes next – a solution or a new directive. If a leader has

obviously misread the signs, or has been misled, those listening will know it – and will not buy

into his “solution.” Communication is not just about talking and writing. It’s also about behavior

and character. If you say one thing and behave differently, your character will come into

question (Zhivago, 2010). 8) Gives Clear Direction The effective leader works out how a project

should proceed, then presents the plan in a well-organized, logical fashion that is easy for his

customers, employees, or partners to understand and act upon. He doesn’t ramble on, verbally or


in emails. He doesn’t “think out loud.” He doesn’t rant. He doesn’t berate anyone (especially in

front of others), except in the very rare instance when it is entirely appropriate to do so. Ranting

is a data dump that satisfies the ego of the person ranting without benefiting those who must

suffer through it – and then try to solve the problems anyway, as best they can. They will hesitate

to come to that manager with new issues, because they won’t want to sit through another

harangue. (Zhivago, 2010). 9) Evolves aggressively- A good leader knows that the company’s

products or services won’t be in demand forever. He doesn’t spend any time trying to imagine

what the market will need next; guessing always invites disaster. Instead, he keeps his finger on

the pulse of the customer’s world. The minute the customer feels a need and starts to make a

shift, he’s thinking about how he can best meet that need. He learns everything he can about it –

from customers. His interviews will either convince him that it’s only a passing fad, or that it’s a

real trend – and if it’s a trend, he starts working immediately to see how his company can help

customers meet their needs in that area (Zhivago, 2010). 10) Has a Sense of Humor Running a

company is serious business, but if you can’t laugh once and a while, you’re not going to be an

effective leader. A little wit goes a long way; no one considers a clown a leader. Light-hearted,

self-deprecating humor works best. You should be able to laugh about your weaknesses, while

constantly working to eliminate those weaknesses (Zhivago, 2010).

Over all these are the difference between leadership and management. What I described

above, I strongly believe one can be an effective leader and have a strong following. As you

know, leaders are not born. They are made. In order for one to become a leader, he/she must

continue to exercise his/her communication skills and continue to remain humble through it all.


As for myself, if I had to choose between being a leader and a manager I plan to become what is

necessary to be an effective leader. Management is not a goal in any way for me is too much

responsibility, I am the type of person that would love to ask for opinions and work my way up.

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