Nursing leadership and management

Nursing leadership and management is governing nursing organizations to achieve organizational goals. It involves decision making and implementation of rules and policies in nursing. Just like other management rules, nursing leadership and management involves planning, organizing, controlling, directing and staffing.

There are different ranks of management in the nursing profession. The overall head of nursing in a health facility is known as chief nurse. The chief nurse establishes a connection between the board and the clinical practices. The service nurse follows in the rank right after the chief nurse. Service nurses oversee nursing practices in one particular service, for example, women services and emergency services.

Nurse Managers are in charge of a unit.  They engage in practices such as staffing, budgeting and overseeing the daily management of operations at the unit level. They work hand in hand with the charge nurse who is in charge of shifts and running of the unit. The charge manager ensures patients are adequately attended to and they receive high and effective care. The nurse manager is superior to the charge manager.

There are three levels of managers; top-level, middle level, and frontline level. Top-level managers include the presidents, vice presidents and chief nurses. Middle-level managers govern sections of a health facility, for example, service nurses and department heads. The frontline managers, manage units, for example, charge nurse and nurse managers.

Managers look for personnel who can perform certain tasks efficiently and allocate them the work. This is known as staffing. It is the harnessing of human resources to achieve organizational goals. Directing is leading and motivating workers to work efficiently. Managers also provide personal development training to employees.

The nurse administration sets standards and compares whether the performance in the organization aligns with these standards if there are any deviations they rectify them to ensure maximum results. They also set short and long term goals and plan on the activities to engage in to achieve these goals. To be a nurse manager one should have an advanced level degree. They should also possess good communication and human relation skills.

All the levels of managers are responsible for the proper utilization of resources. The level of skills needed in each category differs depending on superiority. First-level managers should have more skills than middle-level managers. This is because they engage in more complex tasks and are attending to a wider group as compared to middle-level managers. Each level of managers is accountable to their superiors.


Tomey, A. M. (2008). Guide to nursing management and leadership. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 15(11), 41.

Tappen, R. M., Davis, F. A., & Tradewell, G. T. (1995). Nursing leadership and management: Concepts and practice. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 11(5), 280.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2009). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


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