facilitate their administrative job of cutting staff to meet budget constraints and uphold their place at the wheel, steering their political authority in some directions of their own choosing.
Nurses have long been thought of as a single occupational group. This chapter should make clear that the workplace lives of modern nurses are highly differentiated. The nursing profession, along with other white collar occupations, is not one monolithic group but rather a highly segmented one, with wide variations in levels of control and autonomy.
Nurses in low class positions have little power economically, ideologically, or politically. They are white-collar employees who share the plight of the working class.
In high class positions are the administrative nurses who control their colleagues and enjoy influence outside the hospital. They share many of the powers and privileges of professionals.
Placed in a contradictory class position are middle managerial nurses. They find themselves pulled simultaneously in two directions: by forces of professionalization from above, by forces of proletarianzation from below.
From here on, I will refer to such class positions as simply high, medium, or low, depending on their levels of control, bearing in mind that all are contradictory.