When equating status with authority in the field of nursing, it is possible to cause some confusion in understanding nurses’ or leaders’ roles depending on the aspect of power. In the field of nursing, there is a hierarchy of roles that are associated with individuals’ professional status and assigned authority. Being at the top of this hierarchy or closer to it means having a higher status in a certain area of operations. This status is also determined by the position in an organization and a job title. However, only some individuals in the field of nursing, who have a specific high status, can demonstrate authority as the power to make decisions and resolve issues (Huston, 2019). In addition, the authority for completing certain tasks or realizing decisions can be transferred to nurses or other medical staff regardless of their status. This situation is observed if employees’ power is determined by their job position and the scope of their professional roles.
From this perspective, it is important to note that the concepts of status and authority in the area of nursing should be regarded as rather different notions. Equating these concepts can lead to confusion because of possible misunderstanding of the authority demonstrated by different employees depending on their status. As a result, status and authority should also be discussed with reference to the idea of power in nursing. The reason is that the extent of control accessible to nurses is usually associated with their status and the level of authority they have (Huston, 2019). In order to avoid confusion for nurses, leaders and human resource managers should clearly distinguish between status and authority when determining the roles and responsibilities.
Huston, C. J. (2019). Professional issues in nursing: Challenges and opportunities (5th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.