An individual’s status is related to social position and professionalism in one’s career. According to McEwen and Wills (2019), nurses need to understand that an occupation is a job and career, whereas a profession is a learned occupation that has a status of superiority. Therefore, one can be in an occupation but not a professional (Mcewen et al., 2019). On the other hand, professional authority comprehends power, relative liberty, and respect accorded to medical staff like doctors upon recognition by society. Following my analysis, I find the act of equating status with authority confusing.

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Firstly, not all individuals, especially nurses in society, have the right to exercise power, and not all professionals with authority, enjoy status. For instance, the community evaluates nurses with a higher social status since they trust them due to their significant contributions to society and distinctive service provision (Mcewen & Wills, 2019). However, this does not necessarily mean that nurses have equal powers with doctors, surgeons, and nurse leaders. Thus, equating them will say they have similar forces and status in society hence creating confusion.

On the other hand, different people argue that equating status and authority is not confusing since it’s a way of expressing respect. Thus, a nurse can be related to a doctor in the sense of the respect they are granted. Besides, both occupations play a significant role in ensuring that individuals of a given society are in good health hence expressing the importance of the professional relationship.

Secondly, the situation should not be confusing since one remains within the legal limits of professional authorization. Therefore, equating status and authority will not affect nurse’s and doctor’s field performance, but will help the community in understanding distinguished professionals and levels in the healthcare system (Mcewen et al., 2019).


Mcewen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2019). The theoretical basis for nursing. Wolters Kluwer.

1 day agoSonia Piterechu
RE: Discussion Prompt 1
Status refers to taking a societal position in one’s society, whereas authority expresses one is right to exercise some degree of power. Authority is the power to influence or command thought opinion or behavior. (Huston, 2017). When looking at the definitions of these two, it does not seem that equating status and authority would cause much confusion. I do not find equating status to authority to be confusing, especially in the nursing profession, because the nursing profession is critical in delivering quality health care rather than professionalism, and nursing is one of those professions that enjoys a tremendous professional status. Nursing involves a direct impact on patients, so the status and authority one has in this field have a significant influence on the execution of duties, satisfaction, and attainment of professional goals. Patients and their families trust nurses even though this is different from other health care professions, such as medicine. (Casida & Parker, 2016). The reason for the low status in nursing compared to medicine is related to the trait theory that outlines the number of traits that qualifies a profession to attain professional status, among which nursing was lacking an independent knowledge of its own as it primarily drew from medicine. I do not see how equating situation to authority confuses because professional status is only prestigious and does not necessarily improve health care service delivery. Still, the nursing profession should be accorded professional status since the state is intertwined with higher power and status, which is needed for nurses to continue the integration of evidence-based practice and nursing research in improving patient care.


Casida, J., & Parker, J. (2016). Staff nurse perceptions of nurse manager leadership styles and outcomes. Journal of Nursing Management, 19(4), 478-486.

Huston, C. J. (2017). Professional issues in nursing: Challenges and opportunities.

Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Thank you PEER 1. Do you feel that patients may not trust the nurse as much as the physician?(PROFESSOR ASKED HER QUESTION)!

Authority and status in health care present with many challenges. Nurses, to begin with, are constantly challenged in role as health care professionals as the perception of authority tends to come from physicians. While nurses may practice using clinical judgment and critical thinking to enhance patient outcomes, the understanding is nurses follow direct orders from physicians. In a study completed in the early nineties, the topic of nursing as a profession in comparison to physicians was conducted. May (1993), argues nurses are to follow physicians orders dependent on institutional and hierarchical structures. According to May (1993), due to the physicians advanced education and credentialing the validation of nurses holding less power in healthcare is given. Later, with much debate, other studies indicated nursing is an entirely different profession in comparison to medicine. Nurses continue to receive more responsibility in the health care setting and yet are still treated as though they lack any authority in patient care scenarios. To better understand where the focus lies in healthcare, the American Nursing Association (2008), challenges the definition of positional power. Northouse (2001), describes power as the capacity or potential to influence with a subset definition indicating positional power and personal power. Personal power, or the capability to perform individually, as defined by Northouse (2001), is where nurses hold the majority of their ‘power’ whereas physicians tend to exhibit positional power. According to Johnson, Norton and Wilson (1992), to encourage physicians to recognize and validate the authority and power nurses have, medical schools have created a program to teach students the importance of listening to the nurse. Ultimately, the more collaboration and fluidity nurses and physicians develop the more positive the encounter for both staff and patients alike (Paynton, 2008).


Paynton, T. (2008). The informal power of nurses for promoting patient care. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 14(1). doi: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol14No1PPT01

Johnson, S. B., Norton, J. C. & Wilson, E. A. (1992). A program to foster residents’ appreciation of the nurse’s role. Academic Medicine 67(7): 12-23.

May, T. (1993). The nurse under physician authority. Journal of Medical Ethics (19): 223-227.

Northouse, P. G. (2001). Leadership: Theory and practice (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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HiPEER 2…I like your comment about physicans recognizing a nurses authority. Though it is not as bad as it used to be, some physicians still look at nurses as hand maidens.(PROFESSOR RESPOND)

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