Men earn more even in the nursing profession, where women outnumber men, says a new study. The finding has been detailed in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers have found that males in nursing out-earn females by nearly $7,700 per year in outpatient settings and nearly $3,900 in hospitals, even after considering age, race, marital status and children in the home. It has also been observed that the pay gap remained same over the course of the study, 1988 to 2013. Researchers analyzed data from the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for years 2001-2013.
The Census Bureau has reported that in 2011, men constituted about 9 percent of registered nurses, which marks a three-fold increase from 1970. Although till 1980s men were not permitted in nursing programs at some schools, their overall earning was more as compared to women. The biggest disparity was seen for nurse anesthetists, with men earning $17, 290 more. Lead author of the study Ulrike Muench of the University of California-San Francisco said that the latest data does not indicate the reason behind this disparity; however, some of the researchers suggest that men have better negotiating skills which help them to start earning higher salaries.
Jennifer Stewart, who oversees nursing and other workforce issues at the health research group The Advisory Board, agrees to this explanation. She added “Also maybe some gender discrimination.” However, most people studying nursing trends opine that it is a difficult problem to sort out. Peter McMenamin, a health economist at the American Nurses Association, says that according to ANA policy there should be pay equality and the problem is not as large as the study suggests. McMenamin said “We would like any differentials in pay to be based on skills and experience and not on gender.”