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Male Nurses Earn More than Female Nurses. Why?

March 26, 2015
Plain English Version

nursesMost registered nurses are women. Fewer than 10 percent are men. In some specialties, such as cardiac care, male nurses earn about $6,000 more. In chronic care, they earn nearly $4,000 more. On average, male nurses earn about $5,000 more.

The pay difference is greatest among nurse anesthetists. About 40 percent are men. They were paid $17,290 more on average per year than females.

These are the results of a new study. The study looked at two sets of statistics. The study does not answer the question of why there is a wage gap.

An expert said, “You may think women have caught up or even might be ahead of men, but we find that’s not the case.”

A researcher said, “Men may be better negotiators for their wages, for instance, or perhaps women more often leave the workforce to raise children. Women may have a tougher time getting promoted.”

“A workplace may offer a bit more to the men in order to diversify,” said another expert.

Only about 20 percent of the more than 1.6 million hospital nurses are in a union.

A union nurse said, “I was surprised to read this study. Every time I have changed jobs or gotten an increase in pay, it had to do with my education or certification.”

She said she had thought nursing salaries were “immune” to a gender gap. Experts say the industry uses the same skills across the board. And the unions should make a difference.

A researcher said nurses should ask employers for wage data by gender. People with the same jobs, with the same experience and the same education, should earn the same pay.

Source: The New York Times March 24, 2015

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