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Power in nursing is also related to oversight roles and the management of the daily running of nursing activities (Daly, Speedy and Jackson, 2003). A nurse manager can adopt a leadership or management technique that involves issuing incentives to employees performing exceptionally well in the activities. According to Daly, Speedy and Jackson (2003), this is referred to as reward power. In addition, the nursing manager can also cancel or do away with these additional incentives when the employees perform poorly in their duties. This is described as coercive power (Daly, Speedy and Jackson, 2003). A situation where good performance is rewarded and poor performance fined is an illustration of two types of power being used simultaneously.
It is worth noting that gender has an influence in how power is used in nursing. According to McMurry (2011), nursing is considered a feminine vocation or line of work. However, there are some men who have in the past pursued nursing as a career contrary to this conventional viewpoint. In some health institutions, male nurses have not been allowed to participate in caring activities involving female patients. McMurry (2011) additionally posits that "In some facilities, policies actually barred men from certain jobs such as in birthing and womens surgery units, especially in private catholic hospitals" (p. 24). Subsequently, women working in vocations subjugated by men experienced similar prejudice and unfairness.
Other factors that creates power imbalances in nursing include race or ethnicity, level of education, economic status, and also physical disabilities. All these factors contribute to prejudice and unfairness in the workplace. Discrimination affects the level of productivity and involvement of individuals in work related activities. Therefore, women are more likely to be rewarded in the nursing field as they are favored by the vocation as compared to men.
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