Leadership and management are important aspects of organizational operation. An effective manager requires the proper leadership skills to succeed in his leadership position. Similarly, an effective leader needs proper management skills in order to lead his team effectively. Unlike other forms of nursing, travel and registry nursing entails handling employees, who might not be part of the organization’s permanent employment schedule. In both cases, managers and leaders handle employees working on a contractual basis to provide health care services under the leadership and management of their contractor. In registry nursing, also known as nursing agency, a business is contracted by the local healthcare facilities to provide temporary nursing staffs during certain periods, especially when these healthcare facilities face staff shortages. Travel nursing also offers a service, which operates in a similar concept of responding to the nursing shortages. However, in this case, the nurses travel to work temporarily in health care facilities when these facilities face shortages. Nursing leaders and managers often have a responsibility in controlling the operations of these travel and registry nurses. Leadership is usually acquired while management is rewarded. Nevertheless, effective performance of a manager, it is equally important to embrace leadership qualities.
Leadership and management have often been confused for their crosscutting roles in different organizations and setting including nursing. These terms have been used interchangeably in most cases. The major role, which makes leadership and management similar, is the role in guiding and controlling a group of people to perform in the desired manner to achieve a desired goal. In several cases, professionals have differentiated management from leadership arguing that managers find fault, leaders praise; management plans, leadership inspires; and managers give directions, leaders ask questions. Nevertheless, the qualities ascribed to managers can also be ascribed to leaders. Understanding the differences between the leadership and management concepts is significant for leaders and managers to understand their roles and for their followers to understand their responsibilities. Understanding the differences in these roles as well as how they overlap is very important in ensuring that these concepts are used satisfactorily to their goals.
Nursing management and leadership can be differentiated in different forms. A common difference between leadership and management is the assertion that, management is doing things right, and leadership is doing the right things. According to their definitions, nursing management refers to the process of doing things through other people. It is the art of reaching the goals of an organization using the resources available to the organization. Generally, management refers to the process of leading, controlling, planning, coordinating, and organizing the work of the members of an organization using the available resources to reach a predetermined organizational goal. Managers influence and direct the operations within the organization to obtain the desired results, which is aimed at enhancing the actual performance within the organization. In the travel and registry nursing, managers are charged with different responsibilities including recruiting the staffs, planning their work, coordination their operations, remunerating them, and providing them with the desired instruments to successfully accomplish their responsibilities.
On the other hand, leadership refers to the ability of an individual to motivate, influence, and enable other members of his team to actively contribute towards the success and effectiveness of the organization to which they are attached. As opposed to managers, leaders offer their followers the opportunity have things done in their best interest as well as the interest of the organization. On their personality styles, leaders are often referred to as mercurial and brilliant, and with great charisma. However, they are also seen as loners and private people. Leaders are commonly known for their higher risk taking abilities, even in wild and crazy risks. In contrast, managers are usually under control, rational problem solvers often focused on structures, goals, availability or resources, and personnel. A common attribute of management is a strong will, persistence, intelligence, and analysis. Managers are majorly concerned with work processes while leaders are concerned about people. In this case, while a manager might be concerned with planning and coordinating among other responsibilities, leaders are concerned with ensuring that the travel and registry nurses work according to their roles as predetermined in their appointments.
Travel and registry nurse leaders and managers also differ in their approaches to work and risks, roles in decision making, operational styles, organization, power, and appeals. While leaders simply look at problems and contrivance new, creative solutions using their commitment and charisma to motivate, excite, and focus others to solve problems, managers create policies, strategies, and methods to create ideas and teams that join to operate smoothly within the organization (Tappen, Davis, & Tradewell, 1995). Managers also believe that the combination of these ideas, policies, strategies, and teams reduces the intrinsic risk and leads to success. In decision making, leaders are usually facilitative as opposed to the involved managers. There are different types of management as well as leadership. The different types of leadership include consultative, transformational, and participative leadership styles. However, management styles include authoritative, doctoral, transformational, democratic, autocratic and liaises faire. Their styles of management and leadership often determine their powers, which are usually gained through charisma and influence, and formal authority and position in leadership and management respectively. While managers have subordinates, leaders have followers.
In nursing leadership and management are interrelated in many aspects. While a nurse leader does not have delegated authority, and acquires the power informally from the followers, management powers are provided with the status of formal role provided by the organizational chart. According the systems theory, the whole is more than the sum of parts and the system is explained as a totality (Tomey, 2009). This theory also provides for an open and a closed systems. The open system, which is the commonplace idea, refers to the interrelatedness of different components of the environment with each other as well as the environment. This defines the idea behind the registry and travel nursing where different health care facilities (systems) interact with the travel and registry nurses (environment) to provide health care services during shortages.
Leaders and managers have equal responsibility in bringing the success in the aforementioned relationship. While managers assemble the resources in the organization and avails them to the nurses, leaders have the responsibility of ensuring that these nurses are willing and able to conduct their responsibilities according to the requirements of the organization without coercion. In most cases, managers require leadership skills to successfully control, coordinate, organize, and plan the duties and responsibilities of the nurses as well as the organizational resources. According to the results of different studies, leadership is a significant facet of management, which ensures that managers have control of their subordinates.
Tappen R. M., Davis, F. A., & Tradewell G. T. (September/October 1995). Nursing Leadership and Management: Concepts and Practice. Journal of Nursing Staff Development. 11 - 5, p. 280
Tomey, A. M. (2009), Nursing leadership and management effects work environments. Journal of Nursing Management, 17: 15–25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2008.00963.x