Study Finds a Persisting Gender Gap in Earnings Among Registered Nurses

A new study led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco finds that male registered nurses earn on average more than $5,000 than women registered nurses. Furthermore, the study found that this gender gap in wages among registered nurses has persisted for three decades.

The data showed that unadjusted male salaries were higher than female salaries every year between 1988 and 2008 by an average of approximately $10,000. Male salaries, adjusted for speciality were, on average, higher by $5,148. Over a 30-year career as a registered nurse, women are earning more than $150,000 less than men.

Ulrike Muench, an assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences in the School of Nursing at the University of California San Francisco and the lead author of the study, stated that “given the large numbers of women employed in nursing, gender pay differences affect a sizable part of the population and their families. Employers should examine whether there are legitimate reasons for paying these men more than women and take action to correct existing inequities. By increasing transparency of gender differences in compensation, the hiring climate may become more conducive for female nurses to negotiate with their employer for wage parity.”

Dr. Muench holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the Yale School of Nursing.

They study is scheduled for publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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