Let's take the mystery out of putting a child to bed. Remember that you are the parent. This means you are in charge; you set the rules, not your child. You can set the rules in a loving and nurturing fashion, but you must do it.
Establish a bedtime; stick to it.
Establish a bedtime routine. For instance an hour after dinner the child has her bath, followed by a period of quiet time with the family, then a story in bed, then lights out. Stick to your established routine these will be cues for your child to know it's time to wind down and get ready for sleep.
If you've been having difficulty in the past with getting your child to stay in bed, it may take more than a couple nights to get your child accustomed to the new order. The key here is to be consistent.
If your child gets up after lights out, take her back to bed without discussion, without wavering, kiss her goodnight and leave the room. She will soon understand that there is nothing more for her to do except stay in bed and go to sleep.
Night lights, comfort blankets, or favorite stuffed animals will help make your child more secure in bed. If your child is not feeling well, then this would warrant additional time from you, but sleep is when the body repairs itself so don't use this as an excuse to keep the child up.