Some unsettling stats recently indicated that the nursing pay gap persists. Yes, even in such a female-dominated field as nursing — where approximately nine out of every ten nurses are female — women are not receiving equal pay for equal work.
According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, the fact that male nurses earn more than female nurses continues to trend, with male registered nurses earning an average of more than $5,000 higher pay each year than female registered nurses.
The study examined male and female RN salaries from 1988 through 2013 via the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and from 2001 through 2013 via the American Community Survey. In sum, the surveys represented approximately 300,000 self-reported RN salaries. Findings indicate that the nursing pay gap persists in all specialties except orthopedics.
Here are some specific stats broken down by the Becker Hospital Review about the wage gap in nursing:
- In ambulatory settings, the gender pay gap was reported as $7,678
- In hospital settings, the pay gap was $3,873
- At $3,792, chronic care had the smallest pay gap
- At $6,034, cardiology had the highest gap
“Nursing is the largest female dominated profession, so you would think that if any profession could have women achieve equal pay, it would be nursing,” lead study author Ulrike Muench from the University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters.
The study does not offer any reasons for the pay gap, but its researchers have been quoted saying they hope the stats will inspire nursing employers to take a hard look at their pay structures and work towards income equality amongst all registered nurses.
What do you think about the fact that the nursing pay gap persists? Are you surprised by the study’s findings? Share your thoughts in the comments.