NUR 674 What is the difference between leadership and management?

NUR 674 What is the difference between leadership and management?

NUR 674 What is the difference between leadership and management?

Leadership and Management

Leadership and management are usually used interchangeably due to their closeness. However, they are different concepts since leaders and managers play different organizational roles. Management has much to do with controlling people and directing them to accomplish goals, while leadership involves influencing and motivating others toward organizational success (Drew & Pandit, 2020). Managers are usually responsible for things/specific tasks such as advertising, human resources, and information technology. On the other hand, leadership involves leading people. Unlike management, people must be involved in leadership. Headship plays a fundamental role in placing people in leadership and management positions. It involves putting people in positions by virtue of official authority; they often have no control over circumstances. For instance, experienced departmental leaders and staff are consulted by stakeholders to give directions regarding optimizing productivity.

All nurses should be considered leaders. Their everyday role characterizes leadership and offering solutions as leaders. As health care experts, nurses guide patients and their colleagues about particular diagnoses, patient issues, and population problems. They also educate and serve as role models. As frontline health care workers, nurses understand patient needs and advocate for better services and environments to achieve the desired health outcomes (Nsiah et al., 2019). They serve as the voice of patients and patients, which involves passionate and visionary leadership.

The transformational leadership theory can accurately illustrate the nurses’ role as leaders. Transformational leadership is founded on the principle that leaders envision a desired outcome and inspire others to achieve the desired vision through cultural change (Ree & Wiig, 2019). In routine practice, nurses identify practice areas requiring improvement and initiate the interventions necessary to improve care quality, patient safety, the environment, and other objectives. Engaging in such roles requires commitment for better results. Nurses also need to motivate stakeholders, organizational leadership, and colleagues to support the envisioned change through material and financial resources. They cannot succeed without executing the leadership obligation successfully.


Drew, J. R., & Pandit, M. (2020). Why healthcare leadership should embrace quality improvement. BMJ368.

Nsiah, C., Siakwa, M., & Ninnoni, J. (2019). Registered Nurses’ description of patient advocacy in the clinical setting. Nursing Open6(3), 1124–1132.

Ree, E., & Wiig, S. (2019). Linking transformational leadership, patient safety culture and work engagement in home care services. Nursing Open7(1), 256–264.

A leader keeps an entire organization in mind and works with all employees to achieve success. At the same time, a manager focuses solely on accomplishing goals within one specific group or team. Leadership creates positive change through detailed planning, vision, decision- making and strategy, making up the characteristics of a good leader. A leader always takes the initiative and makes an effort to accomplish the vision of the company. (Toor & Ofori, 2018). Management is all about performing pre-planned tasks regularly with the help of others.

Click here to ORDER an A++ paper from our Verified MASTERS and DOCTORATE WRITERS NUR 674 What is the difference between leadership and management?:

The difference between leadership and management is that leaders are considered visionaries. Managers set out to achieve organizational goals by implementing processes, such as budgeting, organizational structuring, and staffing. A manager’s vision can be to implement strategies, plan, and organize tasks to reach the goal set out by leaders. However, both leadership and management roles are equally important in any situation. Managers achieve their goals by using organized activities and tactical processes. They break down long term goals into tiny segments and organize available resources to reach the desired outcome (Roussel et al., 2020). Leaders are more concerned with how to influence people than how to assign work to them. Leader asks questions about what and why, whereas a manager focuses on the questions of how and when. Also, leaders might question and challenge the authority to reverse decisions that may not be in the better interests of the team and managers may not be required to assess and analyze failures. Leadership is not necessarily headship. Anyone can be at the head of an organization but may have the qualities of a leader. As a leader, I act in ways that inspire others to do their best. It makes no difference to me whether I have a specific title or position.

NUR 674 What is the difference between leadership and management
NUR 674 What is the difference between leadership and management

In my opinion, not every nurse can be a leader.  There is always a need for followers and not everyone possesses the abilities needed to be a leader. I believe all nurses should strive to be leaders at the hospitals, local, state, and federal levels. I know being a leader requires a lot of responsibility, such as advocacy for the patient and self, communication, and encouraging change for the better. Transformational leadership is one type of leadership that allows nurse leaders to excel in an organization and navigate where they want to go, and how they can involve the team.   In some ways, the public is not used to viewing nurses as leaders, and not all nurses begin their career with thoughts of becoming a leader.  All nurses must be leaders in the design, implementation, and evaluation of, as well as advocacy for, the ongoing reforms to the system that will be needed (National Library of Medicine, 2019). Nurses will need leadership skills and competencies to partner successfully with physicians and other health professionals in redesign and reform efforts across the health care system. I look forward to taking on more leadership roles with grace and dignity as sometimes these roles can be hard to handle. 

 National Library of Medicine. (2019). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. In (5th ed., Vol. 24). National Academies Press (US).

Roussel, L., Harris, J. L., & Thomas, P. L. (2020). Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Toor, S.-R., & Ofori, G. (2018). Leadership versus management: How they are different, and why. Leadership and Management in Engineering, 8(2), 61–71.

Management is the allocation resources within an organization’s objective, the setting of priorities, the design of work and the achievement of results. It about controlling and maintain. Leadership focus on the creation of a common vision. It means motivating people to contribute the vision and encouraging them to align their self-interest with that of the organization. It means persuading, not controlling and not commanding.  

Nurse managers should learn to practice leadership behaviors that stimulate motivation within their constituents, practicing professional nurses, and other nursing personnel. These behaviors include promotion of autonomy, decision making, and participatory management by professional nurses. Transformational leadership is a leadership style that can inspire positive changes in those who follow. Transformational leaders are generally energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate. Not only are these leaders concerned and involved in the process; they are also focused on helping every member of the group succeed as well. The theory of nursing leadership is part of nursing leadership. The Leadership is a process of influencing a group to set and achieve goals. Bennis and Nanus (1985) believe the wise use of power is the energy needed to develop commitment and to sustain action. 


Bennis, W., & Nanus, B. (1985). Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. New York, 

NY: Harper Row.

As a matter of fact. I think the culture of monitorship for nurse leaders is changing. My preceptor for this class is really new in her position. The CNO of sister facility is teaching a mentorship program course as part of her DNP project. The company is looking forward to the success of the program so, they can institute the program nationally. I thought this was awesome, when I was Director for the same company, I had to just figure it out.

An essential task for nursing leaders today is to create a sustainable nursing workforce in a health care system that is currently undergoing unprecedented changes including the loss of experienced nurses to retirement, and new graduates to horizontal loss through death. Mentoring is one method that can enhance staff satisfaction, and therefore, can reduce the feeling among nurses that they are being devalued, discriminated against, and disempowered by their own peers. In utilizing mentoring to enhance staff development, to assist nurses to adapt to new and different roles, and to increase staff satisfaction, nursing leadership must understand that mentoring is influenced by the organizational culture within which it exists. That is, staff nurses and nurse managers alike must recognize and understand the interrelationships among mentoring, organizational culture, and leadership for the optimal development of effective mentoring. As a means of achieving success in this endeavor, professional nurses must align the organizational culture with appropriate leadership and mentoring strategies. 

By utilizing principles and qualities adapted from transformational leadership registered nurses can assist in creating an empowering, innovative, and dynamic culture within which successful mentoring can be developed and sustained. Consequently, this will lead to increased job satisfaction, more effective nursing care, and the promotion of quality health care outcomes


Cummings, G. G., Lee, S., Tate, K., Penconek, T., Micaroni, S. P. M., 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 Studies115, 103842. 

Developing a mentor program to improve support and retention. American Nurse. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from

I think it is essential to understand the differences between management and leadership and their transformational role. The idea of selecting potential and future healthcare leaders that will make a difference in the world is the preferable example of transformational leadership making that difference. Transformational leadership inspires and motivates followers with the use of evidence-based practice (Lai et al., 2020). Understanding the overall reason for an effective motivation process is essential to creating an ideal characteristic. I know I have a positive leader that I admire at my job. She has transformed the whole unit in a matter of six months. She goes above and beyond for others while never complaining. Even on our worst days, she motivates us to get through the day. Though research shows that the motivation process is limited, they suggest work engagement as an essential but neglected mechanism deserving more attention. Work engagement was proposed as a motivational construct and describes how employees express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally while performing work roles. I believe work engagement is team members coming together to provide a positive and productive work environment. I have had jobs where the work environment was hostile, and it showed in patient care, communications between providers, and overstepping roles. Work engagement brings a different vibe, it makes people enjoy going to work and working together.

Lai, F.-Y., Tang, H.-C., Lu, S.-C., Lee, Y.-C., & Lin, C.-C. (2020). Transformational leadership and job performance: The mediating role of work engagement. SAGE Open, 10(1), 1–11. Sagepub.

There are several key differences between leadership and management. Leadership is primarily focused on the empowerment of others and delivering a shared vision to positively impact the team’s outcomes as a whole. Leadership encourages the work of every team member towards the collective goal with clear understanding of the purpose and the impact each team member can have. Management on the other hand aims to restrict and direct others with the goal of getting tasks done to achieve their vision. Their vision is generally to maintain the status quo by directing others and being directed on the tasks at hand. Leadership and management have key differences however taking into account headship brings a new perspective. Headship is being placed in a higher-level position within the organization. The position we hold in our careers or our life don’t actually make us leaders. We need to look beyond the title by the behaviors and actions we exhibit which is leadership (Roussel et al., 2019).

All nurses should think and behave as leaders but unfortunately not all should be considered leaders. Ida Orlando’s Deliberative Nursing Process Theory although targeted at patient interaction can be applied to the role of the nurse as a leader. The theory stresses the importance of interpersonal relationship building and quickly identifying the needs of others and taking appropriate action (Caffrey, 2020). The nursing profession is looked at as a prestigious line of work from the perspective of the public. To maintain that perception, all nurses should take action and behave in a way that is consistent with leadership practices. These leadership practices should be applied in any position or location whether at the bedside, in a leader role, or out in the community. Nurses are always on the stage and should uphold our professionalism as nurses since we are the most trusted profession. Nurses are leader of themselves and others by holding themselves and others accountable with continued growth and development. Nurses’ ought to develop their skill set in order to conduct themselves in a manner that all nurses will be seen and heard as leaders (Roussel et al., 2019).


Caffrey, C. (2020). Ida Jean Orlando. Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia.

Roussel, A., Thomas, T., & Harris, J. (2019). Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed.). Jones and Bartlett Learning.

There is absolutely a difference between leaders and managers. “To be a leader is to put people first and processes second. You must lead people in such a way that they choose to lead themselves well, they choose to lead others well, and they choose to manage their processes well” (Lush, 2019). A good leader leads with courage, authenticity, and self-awareness. He or she can find inspiration from within and stay relevant by telling a story to relate to each staff member. “Relationships are the bridges that connect authenticity to influence and value creation. Leadership is not influence for its own sake; it is influence that makes a difference and enriches the lives of others” (Cashman, 2017). Management is a role, it is a title that is used for the person who sets goals, creates change, hitting targets, and are engaged with the staff on a more regular basis. According to Lush (2019) a few differences are that leaders are focused on creating a successful future vision and managers create the goals to meet those goals, leaders build relationships with loyalty, trust, and honesty while managers set the structure to achieve goals and objectives, leaders are lifelong learners and managers rely on a proved set of skills, policies and procedures, leaders can talk-the-talk while the managers walk-the-walk, and leaders drive the change by being innovative and striving for constant improvement while managers maintain equality and the status-quo. Headship does not make a person a leader. “The head of an organization may not have any influence over the members. He may be a head without an influence. But as he gains influence he becomes a leader because leadership basically involves the capacity to influence” (Sociology, 2022). The leader has a following and the relationship between them is a mutual respect so as the followers influence the leader just as much as the leader influences the followers. Headship only plays a role if there is a title in the leaders position to place them in a hierarchy.

Not all nurses should be considered leaders. I believe it is a formality that comes with experience and time. Nurses “require opportunities for self-discovery, self-reflection, and critical thinking to understand their strengths and build their skills. Skill building occurs through on-the-job training and coaching, along with support from peers and mentors who are effective leaders” (Roussel et al., 2019). There are different ways to incorporate or use nursing theory in leadership. “Being adept in recognizing these styles not only enables nurses to develop their skills to become better leaders but also improves relationships with colleagues and leaders who have previously been challenging to work with” (Xu, 2017). Transformational leadership is a theory that I believe works best in a nurse leader role. It requires authenticity, vulnerability, and a mutual respect between leader and followers. The transformational leaders are known “as change agents who use their qualities and personalities to motivate their followers to achieve their goals, to share their visions, and to empower them. Transformational leaders influence followers by encouraging and inspiring them to achieve organizational objectives” (Xu, 2017). I believe that transformational leadership styles positively impact the organization and are the best to empower staff members.


Cashman, K. (2017). Leadership from the inside out: Becoming a leader for life. BK Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Lush, M. (2019). The Leadership Versus Management Debate: What’s the Difference? NZ Business + Management, 33(4), M20–M23.

Roussel, A., Thomas, T., & Harris, J. (2019). Management and leadership for nurse administrators (8th ed.). Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Sociology Guide. (2022). Leadership vs. headship. Retrieved on June 5, 2022, from

Xu, J. (2017). Leadership theory in clinical practice. Retrieved on June 5, 2022, from

Just posting a response here to Professor Beck-Little’s comment on the feedback to my post. The question was whether or not I believe education plays a role on the ability to lead (if it has an influence on it or not)? When I first started the program for my Bachelor’s degree, there was a lot of talk about the differences between an Associate’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree. At first, because I felt a little biased having been a nurse for 14-years and only having an Associate’s degree, I did not feel that education had an influence on the ability to be a good leader, or a good nurse for that matter. However, after going through the Bachelor’s program with GCU, I learned A LOT about evidence-based practice, how to use it in my daily work, and how to be a better prepared nurse. It definitely made me change my mind; I felt that we were just “paying” to take some non-sense courses that would make us a Bachelor’s prepared nurse and that time and experience outweighed anything in the classroom. I no longer feel that way. I do believe that education has a large part in becoming a better leader. It may not have to be a Master’s degree, but getting any kind of added leadership education (certifications, courses, work related programs, etc.) definitely makes a difference in the type of leader someone is. “Nursing research and practice must continue to identify and develop evidence-based improvements to care, and these improvements must be tested and adopted through policy changes across the health care system” (IOM, 2011). These are characteristics that are learned and developed through nursing education. “Nursing leaders must translate new research findings to the practice environment and into nursing education and from nursing education into practice and policy” (IOM, 2011). I am very happy that I chose to advance my degree and have gained a wealth of knowledge along this journey!


Institute of Medicine. (2011). The future of nursing: leading change, advancing health. Retrieved on June 11, 2022, from