NRS 451 Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management

NRS 451 Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management

NRS 451 Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management

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). 

Valiga, T. (2019). Leaders, managers, and followers: Working in harmony. Nursing2022.

Whitney, S. (2018). Theories and Concept in Leadership and Management. Grand Canyon University (Ed.). Nursing Leadership and Management: Leading and Serving.

I’d also like to add the management functions to plan, organize, staffing, direct, and control the work environment. I can appreciate the fact that leadership and management both share similar character traits such as your afore mentioned encouragement, support, and mentorship of their followers. I have never been to keen on management as I felt it would ultimately take me away from the bedside. Patient interaction is my favorite part of my career. As I grow older in this career path, I see that management can hold equal responsibility to successful hospital systems as well as the efficient care our patients receive. “The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following” (Peterson, 1993). Action is a reflection of leadership, Organizational politics are necessary for influence and power, so the nurse leader or manager should have an awareness of organizational politics and use appropriate political strategies when necessary (Whitney, 2018).


Whitney, S. (2018). Theories and concepts in leadership and management. Nursing leadership and management: Leading and serving. Retrieved from

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Nurse Manger-Some managers do not practice leadership. Work done through people, with satisfaction of the public, employer, and the employees. Managers follow the goal. Managers keep employees aligned with the core company goals and values. Managers think Execution. Control, main responsibility is to complete their tasks and reach their goals based on the leader’s vision. “ Tasks include planning, organizing, staffing, evaluating, supervising, negotiating, and representing. The nurse manager role entails making assignments and coordinating tasks to be completed, developing and motiving staff as needed by encouraging professional development, defining goals, evaluating outcomes, and offering feedback to staff”,(Whitney, 2018).

NRS 451 Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management
NRS 451 Describe the difference in roles between leadership and management

Nurse Leadership-Some people lead without a managerial role. Social Influence, Motivates a group of people. Leaders set the goal. Clear vision of organization and future. Leaders transfer the company’s mission, goal, and vision to the entire organization. Leaders think Ideas. Looking for improvements.

Leaders form the culture, Managers support it. Leaders inspire employees, Mangers push them to their success.

Directing willing employees are completed by both Managers and Leadership. A nurse leadership can take control of this overlap by encouraging and supporting the willing employees. A nurse leader can influence the mood of the employees. Be positive and give direction (Duggal, 2022).

Nikita Duggal, (2022). Leadership vs Management: Understanding The Key Difference.

Whitney, S. (2018). Nursing Leadership & Management: Leading and Serving. Theories and Concepts in Leadership and Management. Retrieved from

Leadership often lacks the authority but obtain power through influence; wider range of roles than managers; goals that may not align with those of the organization; willing followers; focus on interpersonal relationships and the empowerment of others; and they focus on gathering information, group processes and providing feedback (Whitney, 2018). Whereas management is assigned by the organization; they are a source of power and authority with specific duties and responsibilities; willing and unwilling subordinates; manipulate resources; and they focus on control, decisions making, evaluation, and the results (Whitney, 2018).

In nursing, leadership and management have an impact, not only on the other staff members, but also the patients under the staff’s care (Whitney, 2018). They influence those around them. Nurse leaders are looked up to by all their staff. I have seen this play out in my own workplace. As the charge nurse, I am looked at as the clinic leader. How we conduct ourselves, how we treat others and how we handle certain situations. I am the one that they look up to for change within the clinic and when something goes wrong, they as for a way to change the outcome in the future. 

Whitney, S. (2018). Nursing Leadership & Management: Leading and Serving. Theories and Concepts in Leadership and Management. Retrieved from

Leadership is a quality of influencing and inspiring people, in other to be able to willingly achieve a goal or an objective, (Surbhi, 2018). A leader must lead by example, because they have people watching them and people they are leading and directing. Whereas management is a discipline of managing things in the best possible manner. According to Surbhi 2018, he says that management is a combination of four terms, i.e., man+age+men+t (technique), which refers to a technique that is used by man for dealing with and managing people of different age group and working together to achieving a common objective. Management involves planning, leading, controlling, coordinating, organizing and staffing (Surbhi, 2018). However, qualities of a manager require leadership skills to inspire their subordinate. 

Nursing leadership and management are both necessary roles that are vital to the long-term success of all health care organizations (Whitney, 2018).

The goals of management and leadership overlap in many ways, which include clear lines of communication, critical thinking, time management, organization skills and wanting the best for the department. For example, when a manager and a leader need to make decision about a staff for employment or promotion, both the leader and the management will discuss and decide on what to do. Also, nurses can be a manager and a leader at the same time in other to promote patients’ health, when management is helping on the financial aspect of patients care or insurance, the leader is delegating appropriate staff to care for the patient with task within their power and the leader, also leading by example.

As a leader in nursing department and been part with the management, I will advocate for nurses about the need and requirement. In other to make the department better, as a leader I know what the people wanted and what is lacking in the department or setting I will communicate their needs and ensure to discuss how they can help in organization of seminar that will increase nurses’ knowledge in other to promote the way they care for patients for quick and productive result.

Surbhi, S. (2018). Difference between leadership and management. Retrieved from

Whitney, S. (2018). Nursing leadership & management: Leading and serving. Theories and concepts in leadership and management. Retrieved from

The difference in roles between leadership and management depends on the organization and assigned roles within. According to Whitney (2018), leaders often have various functions, direct the willing, focus on relationships, and empower others. Compared to managers, they are assigned power with specific oversite responsibilities. A nurse can be a manager but lack leadership skills. According to Whitney (2018), this can be described as a failure.  

The goals of management and leadership can overlap in several areas. Nurse leaders and managers have authority over other staff through formal or informal designation. They also support the organization’s values and mission, encourage positive change, and have a sense of political awareness (Whitney, 2018). An example of shared responsibilities is when a Registered Nurse is caring for a patient workload and manages the care for their patients. The nurse is responsible for reviewing, organizing, implementing, and delegating orders and tasks to others on the healthcare team. This is achieved with the assistance of the charge nurse, who provides organizational support and oversite for the floor nurse.

As a nursing leader, I can utilize this overlap to motivate and inspire new nurses and staff. I can be a role model supporting organizational standards while providing safe patient care. And I can learn leadership skills to gain experience and upward mobility to management and director positions. 


Whitney, S. (2018). Theories and concepts in leadership and management, Nursing leadership and management are leading and serving Grand Canyon University.

Leadership establishes the vision, strategy, and mission of the organization and provides ongoing clarity to ascertain that the objectives of the organization align with transparency, integrity, and strategy (Nghe et al., 2020). Leadership ensures the sustainability of an organization as it constantly scans internal and external environments to inform the organization’s direction. On the other hand, management roles involve supporting the organization by executing activities, functions, and tasks that align with the strategy and objectives of the organization (Nghe et al., 2020).

The goals of management and leadership overlap in pushing for an organization’s growth. The roles of leadership and management are geared towards the realization of company goals although their exertions are different (Kakemam et al., 2020). The roles overlap, for example, in improving organization skills. Leadership encourages the improvement of organization skill through setting good example and delegating duties to the junior staff. Management encourages the same by organizing employee training and improving technology and operations.

As a nurse leader, facilitating change by taking advantage of the overlap includes encouraging employee to accept change. The management will push for the change through bureaucratic means, and this leads to resistance to change. However, as a nurse leader one uses the overlap by accepting the change and encouraging others to do the same through motivation.


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.

Nghe, M., Hart, J., Ferry, S., Hutchins, L., & Lebet, R. (2020). Developing leadership competencies in midlevel nurse leaders: An innovative approach. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration50(9), 481-488.