4.1 Leadership & Management Introduction

Learning Objectives

  • Compare and contrast the role of a leader and a manager
  • Examine the roles of team members
  • Identify the activities managers perform
  • Describe the role of the RN as a leader and change agent
  • Evaluate the effects of power, empowerment, and motivation in leading and managing a nursing team
  • Recognize limitations of self and others and utilize resources

As a nursing student preparing to graduate, you have spent countless hours on developing clinical skills, analyzing disease processes, creating care plans, and cultivating clinical judgment. In comparison, you have likely spent much less time on developing management and leadership skills. Yet, soon after beginning your first job as a registered nurse, you will become involved in numerous situations requiring nursing leadership and management skills. Some of these situations include the following:

  • Prioritizing care for a group of assigned clients
  • Collaborating with interprofessional team members regarding client care
  • Participating in an interdisciplinary team conference
  • Acting as a liaison when establishing community resources for a patient being discharged home
  • Serving on a unit committee
  • Investigating and implementing a new evidence-based best practice
  • Mentoring nursing students

Delivering safe, quality client care often requires registered nurses (RN) to manage care provided by the nursing team. Making assignments, delegating tasks, and supervising nursing team members are essential managerial components of an entry-level staff RN role. As previously discussed, nursing team members include RNs, licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VN), and assistive personnel (AP).[1]

Read more about assigning, delegating, and supervising in the “Delegation and Supervision” chapter.

An RN is expected to demonstrate leadership and management skills in many facets of the role. Nurses manage care for high-acuity patients as they are admitted, transferred, and discharged; coordinate care among a variety of diverse health professionals; advocate for clients’ needs; and manage limited resources with shrinking budgets.[2]

Read more about collaborating and communicating with the interprofessional team; advocating for clients; and admitting, transferring, and discharging clients in the “Collaboration Within the Interprofessional Team” chapter.

An article published in the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing states, “With the growing complexity of healthcare practice environments and pending nurse leader retirements, the development of future nurse leaders is increasingly important.”[3] This chapter will explore leadership and management responsibilities of an RN. Leadership styles are introduced, and change theories are discussed as a means for implementing change in the health care system.

  1. American Nurses Association & NCSBN. (2019). National guidelines for nursing delegation. https://www.ncsbn.org/NGND-PosPaper_06.pdf
  2. Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2017). Nursing leadership and management. In Cherry, B. & Jacob, S. (Eds.), Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, and management (8th ed.). Elsevier, pp. 294-314.
  3. Dyess, S. M., Sherman, R. O., Pratt, B. A., & Chiang-Hanisko, L. (2016). Growing nurse leaders: Their perspectives on nursing leadership and today’s practice environment. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(1). https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-21-2016/No1-Jan-2016/Articles-Previous-Topics/Growing-Nurse-Leaders.html


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Nursing Management and Professional Concepts Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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