Objective: To characterize the registered nurse's management activities in an emergency department. Method: Qualitative research, implemented from February to April 2009 by a semi-structured interview with eight nurses from an emergency department at a university hospital in Curitiba, PR. Brazil. The data was submitted to content analyses. Results: Two categories emerged: Management focused on meeting the institutional demands that emphasizes the Registered Nurses' burocratic activities required by the hospital; and Management focused on meeting the nursing care demands that prioritizes the care as the main management activity. Conclusion: The study reached its objective and joined the literature findings that the division between care and management does not match with the registered nurse's performance at an emergency department.
Nursing; Emergency nursing; Nursing administration research; Practice management