What is the difference between leadership & management in nursing?

Updated March 23, 2017

Leadership and management are two different concepts in business. The nursing field is no different, as individuals in this career field need both leadership and management skills to complete their tasks and activities.


Leadership often involves setting a vision, communicating goals and objectives to other individuals, providing knowledge for tasks and handling conflicts between workers. Management is the organisation and coordination of resources according to company policy.


Nurse leaders help motivate, inspire and influence other individuals in the working environment. These individuals may also help less-experienced workers feel confident the working environment. Nurse managers often control work processes, make decisions and reward or punish employees for their actions.


Medical providers use a mix of leadership and management to accomplish tasks and activities in the workplace. Not all nurses are natural leaders or managers, which may lead to additional training to develop these skills. Schedules may also include a manager or leader to ensure each shift runs smoothly during working hours.

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