March 31, 2023

Is a Clinical Nurse Leader the Same as a Health Care Manager?

What is a Clinical Nurse Leader?

A clinical nurse leader (CNL) is a highly skilled professional nurse who has received training beyond a traditional nursing degree in the area of clinical leadership. The responsibilities of this type of nurse vary depending upon the organization where they work, but often include a higher level of management, leadership and responsibility. In many cases a clinical nurse leader will manage other nurses working a shift, making important decisions about patient care. They may also manage all nurses working in a particular unit, including things such as scheduling, addressing employee issues and overall management. They are an important part of organizations such as hospitals, long term care facilities, rehab facilities and many more.

What is a Health Care Manager ?

A health care manager is responsible for the management and administration of a number of health care organizations. They can work at the mid-level, managing a physicians practice, behind the scenes at a hospital or other health care facility or helping with finance or marketing in a health care setting. They may also rise to higher level positions such as CEO or CFO of a hospital or other health care facility. The places in which they can manage spans all areas of health care, including the pharmaceutical industry, managed care, insurance companies and many others.

How are Clinical Nurse Leaders and Health Care Managers Different?

There are many differences between these two areas of practice. A CNL is a nurse and regardless of their level of responsibility, they are still responsible for providing direct care to patients. They have received training as a professional nurse, with additional training in management and leadership. A health care manager is not trained in the direct care portion of the health care field. While they may be responsible for patient outcomes, they do not provide direct care to patients. Those working in this area are seen as “behind the scenes” participants in the field of health care.

How are Clinical Nurse Leaders and Health Care Managers Similar?

The most important similarity between these two fields is the area of management. Both CNL’s and health care managers are in management positions, guiding and directing others. They are also similar in that, both positions are ultimately responsible for enhancing patient care and patient outcomes.

While the fields of clinical nurse leadership and health care management have many differences, they also have a number of important similarities. Both fields are centered around providing health care in the best possible manner, while adhering to the standards and governing rules of the industry. The fundamental goal for professionals in both fields is to enhance their health care organization by using their leadership skills.