Leadership and Management Skills

Leadership and management skills are vital for any nurse, as they allow one to be a successful nurse leader, who can assist not only patients and their families but the whole healthcare system. Even those who do not occupy any formal management position need to develop their competencies to manage duties successfully. Today, nursing organizations underline the most general competencies that should be obtained by nurses, but they differ in their views to some degree.

American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) tends to discuss leadership in relation to evidence-based management practices, as it can be considered the best way to make sure that the chosen focuses and operations are really successful. The organization believes that “nursing leadership plays an extremely important role in creating the work environments that attract and keep nurses and that current management practices are not uniformly successful” (Finkelman, 2011, p. 25). According to AONE, the common core set of competency domains for health care leadership is “communication and relationship management; knowledge of the health care environment; leadership; professionalism; business skills and principles”, each of which also consists of several variables (AONE, 2015, p. 2).

While AONE is seen the creation of the beneficial work environment, as the main goal of leadership, American Nurses Association (ANA) focuses on the assistance that the leaders can offer to make others become professionals and reach their highest potential. The organization underlines that a leader should educate the team and be able to implement changes needed to improve performance and advance health (ANA, 2013). ANA also underlines that the professionals should develop their traits and skills to become transformational leaders. Collaboration and communication are the main competencies that should be considered by a leader.

American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) is not an exception and has the same views as the previously discussed organizations. It believes that leadership skills are significant for nurses in all nursing positions. Just as AONE and ANA, AACN thinks that they should be constantly developed to create healthy work environments. Still, this organization underlines the connection between the role of nurse leader and patients more than others. “Health care environments, safe and effective care” are mainly considered by AACN when discussing leadership and management competencies (AACN, 2006, p. 1). These competencies are related to business management and leadership in two perspectives: as a tool to lead others and personal skill.

Thus, AONE, ANA, and AACN underline competencies connected to decent communication, creation of the healthy environment, and leadership. They also pay attention to the value of evidence-based practice “reflected in competencies of business acumen, systems thinking, and learning capacity” (ANA, 2013, p. 2). In general, the organizations discuss the same leadership and management competencies but put emphasis on different ones. They all are seen in relation to transformational leadership. The Institute of Medicine also believes that being leaders, nurses play a vital role in enhancing the quality and safety of health care (Finkelman, 2011). Its recommendations are tightly connected with the competencies outlined by AONE, ANA, and AACN in terms of education, work environment, and cooperation. The evidence-based approach is discussed as the most efficient one. In other words, regardless their positions, nurses are encouraged to develop their leadership skills in order to continue education, receive new knowledge based on practice, create healthy work and care environments, effectively communicate with teams and patients, and lead changes.


AACN. (2006). Nurse manager: Skills inventory. Web.

ANA. (2013). Competency model. Web.

AONE. (2015). Nurse executive competencies. Web.

Finkelman, A. (2011). Leadership and management for nurses: Core competencies for quality care. New York, NY: Pearson Education.

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