Although Women Dominate the Nursing Profession, Do Men Make More Money?

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by allnurses allnurses (Admin)

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According to our 2015 Salary Survey, although 92% of the nursing workforce are female, male nurses make more. We will have more details from AN’s survey of over 18,000 nurses on June 14th when we release results including interactive graphs.

Why do you think male nurses earn more than female nurses?

Although Women Dominate the Nursing Profession, Do Men Make More Money?

Male nurses make $5000/year more across all specialties than their female counterparts. This was proven in our survey as well. And more importantly WHY? USA Today has an interesting take on this. They theorize that women frequently leave the workforce to care for children or family issues. When they return to work, they typically return to the same salary/hourly rate that they left with while men, who traditionally don't take time off from work for child care, continue up the salary scale. AN has had discussions also about the earnings disparity.

Stubborn Pay Gap is Found in Nursing: Males Earn $5100 more/Yr details a JAMA study released in March 2015 which was partially compiled by census data. Several posters in this thread agreed with all these findings by providing anecdotal incidents.

Another thread, from 2011, Male Nurses on the Rise and they Make More Money provides us with more possible reasons for this disparity: men work more overtime hours, men work more off-shifts and more males work in the higher acuity units like ICU and ER. Some members also pointed out that males seem more willing to try to negotiate for a higher salary when hired.

So, let's get some more input - why do you think male nurses earn more than female nurses?

References:

Male Registered Nurses Make Thousands More in Salary than Female Counterparts

Women Dominate Nursing, Yet Men Make More

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76 Comment(s)

LongislandRN23

LongislandRN23

Specializes in Step-Down. Has 5 years experience. 201 Posts

My hospital is unionized so there is a base salary for all new hires. Those with experience make a few dollars more as well as certifications and those with BSN/msn. All of these are clearly stated in the union contract so men and women are paid the same.

ArtClassRN

ArtClassRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg. Has 8 years experience. 630 Posts

Although haven't formally studied this issue and I am loathe to offend any sensibilities: I do strongly suspect that males, in general, give birth at a sharply lower rate than females.

Further, my own anecdotal experience has been that after getting married and having a couple children, men tend to become stay at home moms at a drastically reduced rate as compared to women.

Further, I have noticed a definite trend that men, when they stop working at a job, get paid a rate generally on par with women who aren't working that job as well.

All this, if course, in only my personal "lived experience".....

CanadianRN16

CanadianRN16

Specializes in Geriatrics. 110 Posts

ArtClassRN said:
Although haven't formally studied this issue and I am loathe to offend any sensibilities: I do strongly suspect that males, in general, give birth at a sharply lower rate than females.

Further, my own anecdotal experience has been that after getting married and having a couple children, men tend to become stay at home moms at a drastically reduced rate as compared to women.

Further, I have noticed a definite trend that men, when they stop working at a job, get paid a rate generally on par with women who aren't working that job as well.

All this, if course, in only my personal "lived experience".....

My anecdotal experience tells me that there are only women in leadership roles, who all make more than I do. Does that mean I disproved the study? :p

But seriously, most places in my area are unionized, so one's hourly wage is based only on accumulated hours worked/ experience and not gender.

bgxyrnf

bgxyrnf, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU. Has 10 years experience. 1,208 Posts

I earned more than nearly every female colleague.

Why? I worked much more overtime.

Beyond that, we're all on the same pay scale which hourly rate is determined solely by longevity.

MikeFromMT

MikeFromMT

Specializes in Med Surg, Ortho/Neuro, Hospice.. Has 5 years experience. 30 Posts

How long are we going to keep beating this horse?

I just posted this in the other thread.

Men tend to make more money based upon the hours they work, both amount and time of day, as well as being willing to leave one job for a better paying one, women tend to work fewer hours and will stay in a job they like for less pay rather than risk their comfort for what's behind door number three. This has been well documented in several studies.

Even in my personal life this is true, my wife wants 5 shifts per pay period in exchange for a guarantee of steady work but lower pay, I work relief where I can self schedule, I get a higher base pay but am also the first to be called off for low census, even with my call offs I still take home substantially more money than she does. I also am willing to go in on days off if we are short staffed. She isn't.

GE90

GE90

88 Posts

come on feminists, where are u? time to come out, blame men or the society for ur personal failure

TiffyRN, ADN, BSN, PhD

Specializes in NICU. Has 29 years experience. 2,309 Posts

I'm pretty freakin' liberal. But I like to express that liberal thinking by analyzing things myself. Now, to start, anecdotally, I didn't see it. My husband is an RN (in the same specialty) with about 9 years experience less than me. I always made more than him until I "topped out". But. . . I've never had kids, and I've always worked full-time. I will say, he's occasionally made a few thousand more per year, when he chose to work more overtime than me. My choice.

Now, are there differences out there? Yep, and I even think some of them are problems we should work on. But. . . I have trouble believing they are related to employers purposefully paying women less. I believe it's more related to women taking a penalty for taking breaks to have and raise kids, being the go-to kid carer, go-to helper when mom needs help as she gets older.

There's a great Freakonomics podcast featuring Claudia Goldin, an economics professor at Harvard who specializes in gender employment issues. She echoed many of my pre-existing views but she had actual quantitative data. Google it for a great listen!

RAndaRoo

RAndaRoo

203 Posts

The whole gender wage gap thing in general irritates me. There's no way of knowing anything in any career field unless you actually have two people who start at the exact same time, work the same hours, same PTO, same FMLA, same OT, etc. Then there's experience, performance raises, negotiating salaries.

And why do we all care so much about what other people make? Work hard, do your job, get what you deserve. Realistically not everybody deserves to make the same amount so I don't understand why this is a continuous issue. I personally don't care what my male counterparts make, that has nothing to do with me.

TiffyRN, ADN, BSN, PhD

Specializes in NICU. Has 29 years experience. 2,309 Posts

That podcast discussed how the most enraging stats are so flawed. They don't usually compare apples to apples. There isn't usually much difference when they try to match women and men to more equivalent jobs.

But. . .

Could women have less of a pay difference if there were not as much of a difference for expectations that mom will care for sick kids, do school functions, go part-time when grandma gets frail and needs more care? Those factors are difficult to affect.

AJJKRN

AJJKRN

Specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown. Has 6+ years experience. 1,224 Posts

I still think that (in nursing at least) if there is a pay difference other than accounting for overtime than it would be because of studies showing - I have no access to them now as I have to start back to school for EBSCO, etc access - that males and minorities are more likely to further their educational careers and/or become managers, NP's (before everyone and the kitchen sink decided to), and CRNA's.

Now what I really don't get is why Uncle Sam has taken so long to catch up. I'm assuming everyone gets a yearly statement from social security saying what you would be paid monthly if you retired at what age and so on, right?

For the last two decades, even though my husband has been a stay at home dad and student for the last four years and his previous work was seasonal and often under the table, my statement continued up until just this last year to put me as earning way less a month in social security as my husband would.

We both started working at around age fifteen and started out with minimum wage jobs until we became adults. Has anyone else noticed this..?

And I did take two years off for my first child but couldn't afford to take time off with the second so...

Get2theChoppa

Get2theChoppa

Specializes in Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. 210 Posts

Serves as a reminder to myself why after the first year, I told bf he is the primary caregiver.