DQ: Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management

DQ: Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management

DQ: Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management
Replies to Sara Habib

For an organization to be successful it is important to have effective nurse leaders and managers. Nurse leaders are often on the clinical floor, are leading RNs, and assist in patient safety and advocacy (Post University, 2021). A nurse manager is often someone who has decision-making powers and has control over large teams of nurses, coordinates the training of staff, collaborates with other managers, and uses evidence-based practice (Post University, 2021). Both nurse managers and leaders need to have skills of patience, being open-minded, being compassionate, and being persuasive (Whitney, 2018). Without having a combination of these skills it would be difficult to be a good leader or manager.

According to Whitney (2018), leadership and management go together; there cannot be leadership without management and vice versa. At some point, all nurses carry out leadership and managerial roles. Managerial roles and leadership roles may overlap in a sense that both look ahead and are not narrow minded (Whitney, 2018). Both roles also heavily influence, not only their group, but outsiders as well (Whitney, 2018). Whitney (2018) goes on to say, “Nurse leader-managers are change agents. They accept the current structure and processes of the organization but are aware of the need for change according to ever-changing realities and desire organizational growth as needed.” Nurse leaders can take advantage of having influence over a group and beyond that to facilitate change. Valiga (2019) argues that “leaders utilize the strengths and talents of those around them to influence positive change, often empowering others to take on leadership roles of their own. They encourage, support, and mentor their followers. In turn, followers challenge leaders and suggest alternatives to their ideas.” Despite being very similar, however, there are also some differences. For example, managerial positions are assigned, whereas leadership roles are appointed through influence (Whitney, 2018). More differences include–managers typically are in authoritative roles and have subordinates, compared to leaders who usually lack that same authority but have followers (Whitney, 2018).

When I worked in postpartum our nurse manager would review incident reports. The nurse manager noticed there had been an increase in nurses reporting postpartum hemorrhages. So the nurse manager got together with the nurse leaders and talked about what could be done. The nurse manager decided to implement the post-partum hemorrhage scale. The nurse leaders were in charge of implementing and teaching the new scale and the nurse manager reviewed the forms and incident report to evaluate its effectiveness.

Post University. (2021, July 28). Nurse Manager vs Nurse Leader: What’s the Difference? The Sentinel Watch.

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Whitney, S. (2018). Theories and concepts in leadership and management. In Grand Canyon University (Ed.), Nursing leadership & management: Leading and serving

Leadership is getting people to believe in and understand you and your work to achieve your goals (Whitney, 2018). Management ensures the day-to-day operations are done correctly (Whitney, 2018). Anyone can manage, but it takes special skills to be a leader.

DQ Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management
DQ Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management

First, people must look up to and believe in a leader Both management and leaders bring teams together. Managers use the team to make improvements, while leaders use groups to make changes. As nurse leaders, we can take advantage of this overlap by getting all staff members, not just nurses, to work as a team; everyone can be assigned different tasks and assignments, boosting the employees’ morale and reaching goals and desired outcomes(Cummings et al., 2021). In my own experience, in my place of work, we have four nurses in my school. Assigning everyone a different take makes everyone feel just as important as the next person, building the newer nurse’s morale and creating a better work environment.


Cummings, G. G., Lee, S., Tate, K., Penconek, T., Micaroni, S. P., Paananen, T., & Chatterjee, G. E. (2021). The essentials of nursing leadership: A systematic review of factors and educational interventions influencing nursing leadership. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 115, 103842.

Whitney, S. (2018). Theories and concepts in leadership and management. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Nursing leadership and management: Leading & serving.

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Over centuries healthcare, nursing, and the roles of the advanced practice nurse has changed. The ACCN describes an advanced practice nurse as “master’s-prepared nurses who provide direct clinical care”. Typically, this encompasses nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetist, and the clinical nurse specialist (DeNisca & Baker, 2021). However, the definition and roles of an advanced practice nurse continues to expand. Nowadays, the term advanced practice nurse includes other specialties that do not provide direct clinical care which could include public health nurses and nursing administration. Even today the definition of who is considered an advanced practice nurse is debated. For example, clinical nurse leaders were not considered in the definition of advanced practice. A clinical nurse leader brings evidence-based practice to the bedside, creates a culture of safety, and provides high-quality care (DeNisca & Baker, 2021). These are fundamental qualities found in an advanced practice nurse. As the needs of society and healthcare continue to grow and change the roles and the scope of advanced practice nursing will continue to do the same.


DeNisco, S. M., & Baker, A. M. (2021). Advanced Practice Nursing: essential knowledge for the profession (4th ed.). (S. M. DeNisco, Ed.) Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett.