Nurse leadership and management are not the same, but they are often confused.
There is a difference in the scope of skills and proclivities. In this blog post, it will discuss the differences between nurse leadership and management, as well as what qualities define those who have these positions.
Nurse Leaders promote a healthy work environment for nurses by embodying values of collaboration, competency, compassion, courage, creativity, and ethical behavior.
They function at higher levels with greater decision-making authority to effect change on large-scale systems or work environments. They manage well by engaging people in their lives with others to end undesired behaviors that may challenge patient safety or quality care delivery.
A nurse leader is someone who is interested in and has the ability to advance health and healthcare with other nurses. A nurse leader shows a nursing staff how to act in ways that will best benefit patients, themselves, and their colleagues.
This can be thought of as leadership for the nursing team as a whole.
Quite often, leaders within the nursing field will have extensive qualifications. They may have done courses such as the DNP Executive Leadership program or similar. These programs will often require a nurse to have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience.
It is often said that anyone can be a leader; however, some individuals show more leadership characteristics than others.
Nurses who are considered leaders have an interest in working with others and in making things better. They are naturally inclined to work collaboratively with others, demonstrate capabilities for planning and to provide direction, and keep the needs of their team in mind.
In addition to these skills, many nurse leaders have advanced degrees or certifications that set them apart from other nurses. They also may be responsible for overseeing multiple departments or large groups of employees as part of their role as leaders within the organization.
A manager’s role is to manage; they ensure the smooth flow of work within the institution.
Their day-to-day tasks may include hiring, training, scheduling and managing assignments, tracking employee performance and attendance, counseling employees, and disciplining those who have failed to meet expectations.
Their job can be thought of as “keeping the ship afloat.”
Nurse managers shouldn’t be overlooked, and every good nursing team needs a great manager. A good manager can empower their team, and in turn, that team will feel invested in the success of the organization.
Nurse managers must ensure that a safe environment for all is created and maintained. They are also tasked with keeping their department within budget, ensuring that policies and procedures are followed, and overall just making sure things run smoothly for the organization.
Just as there are certain characteristics that define nurse leaders, there are many traits that set management apart from leadership.
There is some overlap between leadership and management, as leaders often have managerial duties or responsibilities; however, they do not always have to.
If you are considering moving into nurse leadership, there are a few skills you should develop throughout your extra training.
Good leaders need to be able to communicate. They should be able to articulate their thoughts clearly and specifically.
They should be able to listen for understanding and encourage others to speak about the issues at hand.
In addition, they must have excellent listening skills and be able to take in multiple points of view before taking action or making a decision.
Nurse leaders should not deny that problems can arise in the workplace, but rather they must acknowledge that they do exist and then work with others to develop solutions.
This requires patience and excellent conflict resolution skills as there will always be some disagreements during the process.
Nurse leaders must know how to think critically about the issues presented to them. They must analyze situations and come up with effective solutions to problems.
They should also be able to remain calm and collected when dealing with difficult people or situations. They must approach each problem as an individual who cannot be generalized; they must keep an open mind yet be able to stay firm when leading their team through difficult times.
Nurse leaders should be flexible and willing to change their minds if necessary, especially when new information is presented or the situation has changed drastically since the original plan was put in place.
In the same sense, they need to be flexible to meet the needs of their team members and available to them when there are questions or concerns.
Nurse leaders need resilience in order to remain strong and firm yet still be able to have compassion for others.
They should be able to separate their emotions from their thoughts while making life and death decisions; they also should be able to work through multiple obstacles without letting fear or anxiety stop them from changing old habits or beliefs that may possibly not be working as efficiently as they once did.
They must take into account the feelings of others and support their team through conflicting personalities or situations.
Nurse leaders need to be able to think strategically and tactically when facing problems. They must have an understanding of the organization’s mission and values and be able to work with other staff members to accomplish these goals.
They should also have a great sense of leadership and be able to inspire their co-workers because they should always lead by example, not only verbally but also in action.
In addition, they must possess strong communication and problem-solving skills as well as critical thinking skills, resiliency skills, flexibility and adaptability skills, teamwork skills, conflict resolution skills, empathy skills, and leadership qualities.
Nurse leaders are in charge of a department or team within an organization. They are responsible for leading their staff and the way in which their department is run.
Nurse leaders must be sensitive to the needs of others and provide positive reinforcement when needed.
Good leadership is something that has to be developed over time through experience working with others in diverse settings.