Scholars describe organizing professionalism as ‘the intertwinement of professional and organizational logics in one professional role’. Organizing professionalism bridges the gap between the often-described conflicting relationship between professionals and managers. However, the ways in which professionals shape this organizing role in daily practice, and how it impacts on their relationship with managers has gained little attention. This ethnographic study reveals how nurses shape and differentiate themselves in organizing roles. We show that developing a new nurse organizing role is a balancing act as it involves resolving various tensions concerning professional authority, task prioritization, alignment of both intra- and interprofessional interests, and internal versus external requirements. Managers play an important yet ambiguous role in this development process as they both cooperate with nurses in aligning organizational and nursing professional aims, and sometimes hamper the development of an independent organizing nursing role due to conflicting organizational concerns.