© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Aim: This study aimed to analyse the study focus, thematic trends and evolution of studies on the leadership and care in nursing by using a bibliometric analysis. Design: Descriptive and bibliometric analyses were employed. Methods: The study universe included 3558 articles on the leadership and care in the Web of Science (WoS) database. The data analysis and graphical presentation were conducted using Bibliometrix Package in R software. Results: Within the scope of the study, articles published by 10,255 authors in 184 different sources between 1982–2021 were reached. Five thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight author keywords were found in these studies. The most frequent author keywords included “leadership,” “nursing,” “nurse,” “evidence-based practice,” “management,” “nursing leadership” and “patient safety.” It was further suggested that the most frequently used trend topics in early years were “new roles,” “faculty practice,” “research implementation” while trend topics such as “systematic review,” “older adults” and “COVID-19′ have become popular in recent years. Conclusion: The number of studies on the leadership and care in nursing has gradually increased over the years, and this subject has already become an active field of study in nursing research. In addition, nurse-related themes such as job satisfaction, teamwork and retention have been reviewed more intensively while patient-based and fundamental care-based themes have been less studied. Impact: This study was the first bibliometric analysis to focus on the research focus, thematic trends and evolution of research on the leadership and care in nursing. Only a limited amount of data are available on the current knowledge structure, research focus, thematic trends and evolution of research on leadership and care in nursing. The results of this study may establish a solid ground to design further studies and provide guidance.