NUR 514 Differentiate between “leading” and “managing.”

NUR 514 Differentiate between “leading” and “managing.”

NUR 514 Differentiate between “leading” and “managing.”

The act of managing can be defined as, “a set of processes that keep an organization functioning … the processes are about planning, budgeting, staffing, clarifying jobs, measuring performance, and problem-solving when results did not go to plan” (Cantes, 2014). Those who manage people, organizations, or programs are actively engaging in roles that require them to hold and utilize leadership skills; however, this is not always the case. The act of leading is, “a process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a task or objective” (DeNisco, 2021). In this definition, it is important to note leaders are helping aid and supporting others in reaching the shared goal. When a nurse takes on the role of a leader, her or she must understand the goal in its entirety, know who is involved in reaching that goal, what role each person or entity plays in achieving the goal, and has the ability to objectively evaluate the progression of reaching that goal.

When one is a nurse manager, there is the expectation that he or she holds leadership skills, as he or she is in charge of managing a group of nurses to reach the many goals for the patients on the unit; safety, quality care, education, and so on. As an advanced practice registered nurse, you may not be in a manager role but you are able to manage tasks that are for you and tasks that are to be delegated to others on the team. In the role of a nurse practitioner (NP), the NP creates a plan of care for the patient; plans for what tasks are to be completed by the NP, the patient, the nurse, and the family. The NP manages the plans of care, evaluates the effectiveness of the plans, and makes alterations with the patient and team as needed. Here the NP is managing a patient’s case while also leading the team as each role and task is understood and the plan is being constantly evaluated by each member of the team to ensure the overall goal of patient care is reached.

Where I have not been in a management position as a nurse, I have experienced a small level of managing and leading during codes. On example was when it was my patient coding and I was doing compressions when other nurses came into help. I quickly assigned everyone who came in to help a role by saying their name and what I needed them to do. Doing this allowed me to be free to discuss the situation to the charge nurse and doctor by the time they got to the room. In this scenario, I utilized direct communication with each member of the team, delegated tasks, and was constantly evaluating the scenario for changes that could improve the situation.



Cantes. (2014). Leadership versus management: what is the difference? UZUMC. Retrieved November 26, 2022, from,The%20Wall%20Street%20Journal%202014).


DeNisco, S. M. (2021). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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Management is the coordination and administration of tasks to achieve a goal. Such administration activities include setting the organization’s strategy and coordinating the efforts of staff to accomplish these objectives through the application of available resources (Indeed, n.d.). Managers coordinate the daily activities of the unit, manage payroll and budgets, and maintain adherence to organizational policies.

Leadership has been defined as moving a group of persons toward a common goal. Leaders establish a direction and

NUR 514 Differentiate between leading and managing.
NUR 514 Differentiate between leading and managing.

influence others to follow it; they motivate people toward a shared goal (DeNisco, 2021). Great leaders know how to produce and sustain good followership and teamwork. They are watchful, responsive, and proactively engaged in maintaining team collaborations. They constantly engage their team and progress (Cruz, 2014).

As an advanced practice nurse operating as a clinical unit manager, management and leadership go hand in hand. As the manager, you are responsible for the activities and outcomes that happen in the unit. These management activities are what the team is graded on.

The clinical unit manager’s leadership portion promotes the team members’ collaboration to become involved in their unit’s progress, encouraging interaction and team growth.

In this position, I have taken the opportunity to explain how and why the daily operation is and encourage me to provide input on maintaining a positive interactive work environment while providing patient-centered care. One strategy used is the use of shared governance to allow staff to have a say in the unit’s operation, request the areas where they would like to see change, and provide a sense of ownership in their position.


Cruz, J. (2014). Great Leaders Inspire Great Followership. Leadership Excellence, 48.

DeNisco, S. (2021). Advanced Practice Nursing. Burlington: Jones & Barlette.

Indeed. (n.d.). Retrieved from Indeed:


A successful nurse manager is proactive in pursuing their passion for helping people. They take the role of nurse manager with drive and passion. The opportunity as taking on the job as a leader is embedded in a new set of responsibilities and demands aimed at improving patient outcomes by enriching the quality of care delivered by the clinical team.

Proven, mature clinical experience is the foundation of the nurse manager role.

In addition to experience, a few other skills play a key role in a nurse manager’s role as a success. Leadership, communication and collaboration, organization and emotional intelligence rank as the top five qualities of a great nurse manager.

A great nurse manager isn’t often easy to find, because they are multi-dimensional and require strong organizational and governance skills.

A nurse manager wears many new hats and that’s a lot for one person to wear but putting them on brings significant rewards.

The qualities of an effective nurse manager must possess to meet the demands of the role, clinical experience; leadership; communication and collaboration; and emotional intelligence result in a stronger team, which translates into improved delivery of nursing services on the floor. A nursing team naturally will follow a leader who has lived through and empathizes with the personal and professional stress accompanying long hours of sometimes thankless work.

I agree with your post. Good management is usually the brain behind the business. A good manager will strategize plans and analyze statistics that boost the bottom line and promote the company image. Leaders will hone in more on the individual workers, providing the support and encouragement they need to do their best work. Good managers oversee and leaders guide.

Managers often will check in on their employees and often will serve from a distance, while focusing on the overall process as a whole. Leaders will guide their staff through steps and stages, working with them to create a more efficient and effective workplace. There are times when these roles overlap, so it is not uncommon for managers and leaders to wear interchangeable hats. A manager is task-oriented while leaders are goal-oriented.

Managers assign duties and provide their departments with the tools needed to accomplish  certain tasks. Managers keep their employees on time and organized, as well as measure success by examining the performances. Leaders look at the goal, the desired end result, and let their employees accomplish their goals by choosing their own ways of accomplishing certain tasks. Leaders provide support and training when necessary, but tend to work toward the bigger picture.