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.

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 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:

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There are definitely some similarities and paths that are interchangeable leading and managing, but for the most part, there are many differences, and pros and cons. An effective manager will possess leadership skills, and an efficient leader also needs good managing abilities in order to be successful. “Management controls or directs people and resources according to principles or values that have been established by the organization where they work. Leaders set a new direction or vision for the people who follow them. They coach, guide, develop, and inspire the people around them, communicating their vision of what can be achieved and helping evolve strategies to realize that vision. They motivate people and negotiate for resources and other support to achieve their goals (, 2021).” Based on my experiences in the health care industry, an advanced registered nurse can lead well and provide management. Someone I think about who embodied great leadership and management skills was a former Nurse Practitioner I used to work with. There were so many characteristics about her that made me want to emulate them in my own nursing practice and as a leader. She was calm, strong, unwavering in her decisions yet collaborative, communicative and never jumped to conclusions. Obviously, all these characteristics are ideal, but the one thing I admired most about her was her willingness to take time to educate. Because of her willing to take time to teach, I learned so much from her clinically, emotionally and personally. Whether a formal or informal leader, or whether they know it or not, they change and influence the next generation of nurses moving forward. I have had many different roles in my hospital from ED/Trauma RN to charge nurse to house supervisor to ED manager and now ED/Trauma educator. Along this path I have learned so much as to how to be a leader and manager. One of my biggest lessons in both of these areas, was to always seek the whole story before forming an opinion or a response, this is one strategy I learned to become a more effective leader and manager.

The difference between leadership and management. PEP. (2021, March 30). Retrieved November 26, 2022, from 

To manage is to exercise command over a set of people to achieve an objective. A leading refers to someone who can get others to do what they need to complete the organization’s goals. Achieving a goal requires the ability to manage and lead, yet both roles require different skill sets to guarantee success.

Advanced Practice RN are placed in leadership roles providing care for the patient and family and function as leaders for an organization. They are managing patient-centered care: using their clinical expertise and advanced nursing knowledge to provide appropriate, high-quality patient-centered care to patients and families and providing clinical expertise in a specialty area having specialized clinical knowledge that is refined to meet the unique needs of the population they serve (Lamb & Latimer, 2018).

In my experience as a leader, I practice teamwork and encourage my team members to do the same. Providing clinical support and effective communication are ways to gain the trust and confidence of the team. Other effective leadership methods are delegating, staffing, coordinating, directing, providing adequate staff for a shift, and assigning team members according to roles and responsibilities.


Lamb, A., & Latimer, M. (2018). Describing the leadership capabilities of advanced practice nurses using a qualitative descriptive study. Nursing Open, 5(3), 400-413.

The diverse nature of individuals in the healthcare department who undertake various roles to ensure patients get the desired outcomes means that group leadership and management are key. The implication is that the healthcare setting has both leaders and managers who ensure that the organization’s mission, vision, and goals are accomplished and that the patient care outcomes are achieved (Bergstedt & Wei, 2020). Even though managing and leading are, in most cases, used interchangeably, the two have differences. It is important to note that the interchangeable use of the two terms emanates from the fact that the roles of leaders and managers in the healthcare setting often overlap. For example, both work to inspire nurses and other healthcare staff to achieve the set goal.

Leading and managing differ substantially. While managing entails controlling a group of individuals to obtain specific goals, leadership mainly involves inspiring the led people to achieve success as guided by the organization’s goals, mission, and vision (Kakemam et al.,2020). Therefore, it is evident that the difference comes in terms of the intended focus or the approach. Leadership focuses on influence, while managing focuses on controlling a group of individuals to achieve a specific or set goal. An advanced registered nurse should focus or aim toward combining the strengths of leadership and management for better practice and performance.

           Advanced registered nurses should practice open communication and honesty to help them lead and manage well. Through such strategies, they will be able to fulfill their obligations and help the organization achieve its goals (Bergstedt & Wei, 2020). The strategies used in leadership and management can be applied in different situations. One strategy I have applied is open communication and taking a keen interest in the staff’s concerns. This helped in improving the staff’s focus, confidence, and commitment.


Bergstedt, K., & Wei, H. (2020). Leadership strategies to promote frontline nursing staff engagement. Nursing Management51(2), 48-53. DOI: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000651204.39553.79

Kakemam, E., Liang, Z., Janati, A., Arab-Zozani, M., Mohaghegh, B., & Gholizadeh, M. (2020). Leadership and management competencies for hospital managers: A systematic review and best-fit framework synthesis. Journal of Healthcare Leadership12, 59-68.

As a nurse, being able to manage and lead a group of individuals involves having great communication skills among other things. Having the capabilities to help others achieve their goals and maintain success as a team is great for a manager or leader. Managing involves controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success (Hodges, 2016). Advanced practice nurses often manage their own practice, so to be a successful, advanced practice nurses should be able to be both a strong leader and manager to get their team on board to follow them towards their vision of success. While I have never managed anyone, as a charge nurse, I’m often leading teams on the weekend schedule. I’m fully aware of many of my team members’ strengths and weaknesses. I often help the newer nurses with their assignments if I don’t have a stronger nurse to replace them with.  While managing the operating room schedule, I will give the less complex cases to the newly released orientee. Doing so will increase their confidence in the OR, without the nurse feeling intimidated by being alone in the case. My current manager love to delegate mostly all of the required duties. She lacks the ability to effectively communicate, therefore the moral in the department has decreased. As a leader, one should support, encourage, and motivate the people in their department (Turaga, 2017).

Hodges, J. (2016). Managing and leading people through organizational change: The theory and practice of sustaining change through people. Kogan Page Publishers.

Turaga, R. (2017). What Maketh an Effective Leader?. IUP Journal of Soft Skills11(4), 65-75.