Nursing Management





Functions of management


Planning means to decide in advance what is to be done. It charts a course of actions for the future. It is an intellectual process and it aims to achieve a coordinated and consistent set of operations aimed at desired objectives.

Essentials of good planning


The formal organization depends on two basic principles:

a) Responsibility: responsibility n an organization is divided among available personnel by grouping the functions that are similar in objectives and content. This should be done in a manner that avoids overlaps and gaps as much as possible. Responsibility may be continuing or it may be terminated by the accomplishment of a single action.

b) Authority: when responsibility is given to a person, he must also be given the authority to make commitments, use resources and take the actions necessary to carry out his responsibilities.


1. Scrutiny of present personnel strength.

2. Anticipation of manpower needs.

3. Investigation of turnover of personnel.

4.  Planning job requirements and job descriptions. 

  • Giving orders

  • Making supervision

  • Leading

  • Motivating

  • Communicating

Giving orders: the central task in directing is giving orders. The order is the technical means through which a subordinate understands what is to be done. To facilitate this there are certain characteristics of good orders which manager should be aware of:

Supervision is the activity of the management that is concerned with the training and discipline of the work force. It includes follow up to assure the prompt and proper execution of orders.

Supervision is the art of overseeing, watching and directing with authority, the work and behaviour of other.


Leadership is the ability to inspire and influence others to contribute to the attainment of the objectives. Successful leadership is the result of interaction between the leader and his subordinates in a particular organizational situation.

There are number of styles of leadership that have been identified such as autocratic, democratic participative leadership.

The continuum of leadership styles, ranges from the completely authoritarian situation with no subordinate participation to a maximum degree of democratic leadership, enabling the subordinate to participate in all phases of the decision making process.


Motivation refers to the way in which the needs (urges, aspirations, desires) control, direct or explain the behaviour of human beings. The manager must motivate, or cause, the employee to follow directives.


Communication is the passing of information and understanding from a sender to receiver.

Communication is vital to the directing function of the management, one way to visualise this importance is to view the manager on one side of a barrier and the work group on the other. Communication is the means the manager has of reaching through the barrier to attain work group activity.

  • Corrective co ordinations are those coordinative activities that rectify the present error or correct a dysfunction in the organization.

  • Preventive coordination comprises those coordinative activities that are aimed at preventing the occurrence of anticipated problems of coordination, or at least minimizing the impact of these problems.

  • Regulatory coordination comprises those coordinative activities that are aimed at the maintenance of existing structural and functional arrangements in the organizations.

  • Promotive coordination has those coordinative activities that are aimed at attempting to improve the articulation of the parts of the organization, or to improve the existing organizational arrangements without regard for specific problems.


1. Establishments of standards.

2. Measuring performance

3. Comparing the actual results with the standards.

4.  Correcting deviations from standards.

Reporting and recording

Reports are  oral or written exchanges of  information shared between caregivers or workers in a number of ways. A report summarizes the services of the person, personnel and of the agency. Reports are written usually daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.

Purposes of reporting:

  • To show the kind and amount of services rendered over a specified period.

  • To illustrate progress in reaching goals.

  • As an aid in studying health conditions.

  • As an aid in planning.

  • To interpret services to the public and to the other interested agencies.

Records and reports must be functional, accurate, complete, current organized and confidential.


Features of budget:


Managers address complex issues by planning, budgeting, and setting target goals. They meet their goals by organizing, staffing, controlling and problem solving. The nurse manager can assist the staff to think strategically about what it is doing and what it should be doing for its clients , for example, in today’s world of cost containment, examining what clients pay for the care they receive from the health care professionals.


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  4. Koontz H & Weihrich H. Management a global perspective. 1st  edn. New Delhi: Tata Mc. Graw Hill publishers;2001.

  5. Anthony M K, Theresa S, JoAnn Glick, Martha Duffy and Fran Paschall. Leadership and nurse retention, the pivotal role of nurse managers. JONA. Vol 35, Mar 2005.

  6. Beyers Marjorie. Nurse executives’ perspectives on succession planning. JONA. Vol 36. June 2006.

This page was last updated on: 09/12/2020