Most 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