Male nurses earn $5,000 more per year than female nurses, according to a study.

Three thousand registered nurses across America were surveyed earlier this year by Nurse.Org in order to shed some light on salaries. Based on the assumption that the average salary for nurses in 2020 was $75,330 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, what we found is going to shock you. 

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The reality is – there is a VERY large disparity in salaries for nurses not only based on location, experience, and specialty but also on gender. In 2021, it’s baffling to think that gender would play a role in determining a salary; however, the sad truth is it does. And according to our findings, it matters more than it should.

Gender Pay Inequality in Nursing

While Nurse.org’s study found a variety of reasons affecting nurses’ pay, it also confirmed gender inequality. 

Of the male nurses that responded to the survey, it was found they earned an average of $2.73 per hour more than their female counterparts. 

  • Male RNs reported average hourly pay of $38.61
  • Female RNs earned an average salary of $35.88 per hour
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History of Pay Differences Based on Gender

In 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which established minimum wage and overtime pay for employees. In 1963, Congress amended Section 6 of the Fair Labor Standards Act and called the amendment the Equal Pay Act. This act called for employers to not discriminate based on gender if two individuals have equal abilities

Why the Pay Difference?

Even though nursing is a predominantly female profession, the 12% male nursing workforce continues to see higher wages despite equal education, equal skills, and equal certifications. Some possible explanations for the pay difference may be, 

  • Men are more likely to negotiate with employers
  • Women are more likely to work part-time to care for family and children
  • Women are more likely to work in primary care and long term care which are less paying specialties
  • Men change jobs more often than women leading to more negotiating power

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