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What is advanced-level nursing leadership and management?

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What is leadership and management in nursing at an advanced level

Leadership and management in nursing are parts of healthcare that need more knowledge and skill. Nursing leadership and nursing management have this and other things in common, but they are also different in many ways. The distinction between a nurse leader and a nurse manager is reflected in the roles they take on, the credentials they hold, and the tasks they perform. 

This article defines leadership and management roles in nursing, explains the main differences between them, and talks about the different tasks of leadership in nursing in the UK. 

What is nursing leadership and management in the UK?

Nursing leadership and management are roles played by healthcare workers who direct nursing staff, manage the organisational structure of medical processes and lead nurse teams in patient care. While many nurses take on informal leadership roles throughout their careers, the two are not the same. 

Nursing leadership in the UK 

In the UK, nursing leadership means taking charge of activities that aim to improve medical practices and results. Nurse leaders rely on their abilities to motivate nursing staff to provide higher-quality practices and patient care methodologies. These professionals take on higher-level nursing and leadership roles and take a less hands-on approach to nurses than nurse managers. 

For example, if a nurse leader's job is to oversee and implement new care policies, they would focus on strategic planning and work with the nursing staff. 

What are the primary duties of a nurse leader in the UK?

As the nursing manager's main job is to promote the mission and vision of the healthcare facility, their main duties are: 

1. Keeping up with the latest trends and developments in medical research. 
2. Promoting and safeguarding the health and safety of patients. 
3. Attempting to lower the number of patients who have to go back to the hospital and shorten the average length of their stays 
4. Attempting to reduce healthcare costs by improving nursing efficiency. 
5. Providing team members with the resources and information they need to provide quality care. 
6. Ordering and evaluating diagnostic tests. 
7. Creating treatment strategies to enhance patient care and results. 
8. Managing teams that offer direct patient care 
9. Overseeing patient advocacy and education programmes. 
10. Reducing the turnover rate among registered nurses. 
11. Managing community health nursing efforts and addressing public health issues such as obesity, hypertension, and infectious disease prevention. 

Nurse management in the UK

In the UK, nurse management refers to the process of leading the nursing team and department to maintain the best practices and organisational structure while providing care. Nurse managers direct the daily processes and routines of the medical facility where they work, and they train nursing staff through hands-on approaches to ensure the efficacy of patient care and treatment plans. 

Nurse managers are in charge of hiring, staffing, and evaluating their team's performance. Nursing management requires leadership skills, but the nurse manager also works directly with patients and the nursing team to carry out initiatives introduced by the nursing leader. 

What are the primary duties of a nurse manager?

They serve as the key link between the organisation's administrative goals and its patient care. Their main duties include: 
1. Managing day-to-day activities. 
2. Recruiting and evaluating nursing personnel, as well as supervising and training team members. 
3. Handling disagreements between patients and healthcare staff. 
4. Designing and maintaining a budget as well as collaborating with various stakeholders to optimise care while staying within budget. 
5. Managing insurance and other payments. 
6. Managing electronic health record systems.  
7. Collaborating with other executives to obtain the best patient outcomes. 

What distinguishes nurse leaders from nurse managers?

Some of the biggest differences are in the tasks they do at work, the roles they play in their organisations, the credentials they have, and the education they get. Here are some main distinctions between the two: 


In the UK, nurse leaders and nurse managers generally have different duties. Nurse leaders, for example, establish practise standards and policies, initiate transformation and change in the medical setting, and influence the nursing team and staff. Nurse leaders ultimately work to achieve an organisation's vision, mission, and long-term goals while trying to execute the best care possible. 

Even though nurse managers often work directly with patients, they also lead and give instructions to their teams and departments. In the UK, many nurse managers are in charge of other nurses and healthcare workers and tell them what to do during procedures, treatment, and keeping patient records. 


During their careers, nurse leaders and managers in the UK have different roles and responsibilities based on their specialties and qualifications. Nurse leaders perform leadership functions across the healthcare sector, such as leading department and facility changes, developing innovative methods to improve patient care, and pioneering the way their organisations achieve objectives and align with core values. 

On the other hand, nurse managers may take on the role of leadership throughout their careers, but their main role within a healthcare organisation is to direct the process of patient care, including care plans, procedures, and nursing practices. Their primary role is to oversee nursing teams and supervise critical nursing processes like reporting and documentation. 


The educational background for nursing leadership and management roles can vary. The role of clinical nurse leader (CNL), for example, might require different educational training than a nurse management role like a patient care director. During college, they will often study a variety of subjects, disciplines, and majors. 


Even though both nursing leadership roles and nursing management roles require nursing certification and credentials, the Certification in Executive Nursing Practise (CENP) credential is often used to define leadership roles. Nurse managers, on the other hand, are frequently required to hold the Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) credential. 

For instance, the CENP credential allows nursing leaders to work in executive-level and administrative roles within a healthcare organisation. While nurse managers can work closely with nursing staff to organise and supervise patient care and treatment, they can also directly influence and manage outcomes with the help of CNML. 

These are some of the basic differences between nurse leadership and nurse management in the UK. 

Nurse Group is the best nursing staffing agency in the UK. It has offices in Yeovil, Bournemouth, Salisbury, and Taunton. We hire nurses and other healthcare workers who are able to lead and manage in a healthcare setting.

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