Gender Pay Gap in Nursing: 2017 Salary Survey vs. 2015?

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Over the past couple of years, several studies and surveys have revealed that there is a gender gap in nursing salaries. Published in 2016, an allnurses.com survey yielded results also showing the wage gap with men making more per hour than their female coworkers. Is it just about gender or are there other variables that factor into the results? Hopefully the results of the 2017 allnurses Salary Survey which will be released soon will shed some light on this.

What do you think of the gender pay gap?

Gender Pay Gap in Nursing: 2017 Salary Survey vs. 2015?

In 2015 The Journal of American Medicine released a study on the pay gap between male and female nurses. That survey revealed that male nurses earn about $5100 per year more than women. This survey sparked much interest and dialog as to the reasons for this disparity.

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The new analysis, which included data on more than 290,000 registered nurses, also found that the pay gap had not narrowed within workplace settings and specialties from 1988 to 2013. The new study is the first to have measured gender disparities in pay among nurses over time.

Published in 2016, an allnurses.com survey yielded results also showing the wage gap with men making more per hour than their female coworkers. Is it just about gender or are there other variables that factor into the results?

Women make up 92% of the nursing workforce while men hold only 7.74%, as noted in the allnurses. com 2015 survey. The majority of nurses at the time were paid hourly, 80%, in fact. Men tended toward specialty areas like anesthesiology (with 41% of nurse anesthetists being men), cardiac care, critical care and Emergency room care. The AMA study found that approximately 40 percent of nurse anesthetist are men and were paid on the average $17,290 more annually than female nurse anesthetists.

It seems that one of the main factors that may influence the gender wage gap is that woman take time off to care for family and children. When they return to the workforce they often come back at generally the same pay grade while men have continued working and have received hourly wage increases along the way.

Women are also more apt to regulate their work hours. They seek out opportunities for a more traditional 9-5 nursing job or a shorter work week, again to meet the needs of work/family balance. Men are more likely to take "off hour" opportunities for higher pay and have more overtime on a regular basis.

In the 2017 allnurses Salary Survey nurses were asked to provide the number of regular hours they work per week as well as how many hours of paid overtime they average per week. This data, as well as a breakdown by gender, could shed some additional light on the gender gap in salary.

Men are also known to negotiate salary increases and higher pay rates than women. This accounts for some of the higher wage per hour values noted.

As we are nearing the release of the current (2017) allnurses.com salary results, it will be interesting to see if the gender gap has narrowed over the past year and what the variables will look like! What are some of your thoughts on this finding?

The complete results including interactive graphs are posted now in these 2 articles:

2017 allnurses Salary Survey Results Part 1: Demographics and Compensation

30% of Nurses Leaving the Workforce - 2017 Salary Survey Results Part 2

Resources:

Pay Gap Between Male and Female RNs Has Not Narrowed

Although women dominate the nursing profession, do men make more money?

2015 allnurses Salary Survey Results

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32 Comment(s)

ElectricCabbage

ElectricCabbage

17 Posts

As the saying goes, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Women who would like to take time off for their families- that's fantastic. Good for you. But don't come back to work and complain that you're making less money than the nurses (male or female) who have continued to actively progress in their fields while you've been gone.

Jmoneyhoney92

Jmoneyhoney92

9 Posts

I don't think it's accurate to say women "like" to take time off to take care of their families and then come back and "complain" they don't have a higher wage. Rather and in general society expects them to provide the care in the family. I think gender roles still have a lot to do with this as women are more likely to be the care takers of children and of the elderly, so because of this extra role they miss out on wages and increased salary. Not asking for special treatment, just acknowledging societal facts. The wage gap issue is deeply embedded in our culture and isn't so cut and dry as to say "welp, guess you shouldn't take time off to take care of your sick elderly mother!" I think if men and women participated equally in the "domestic and caring duties" the wage gap could narrow as women wouldn't miss out as much on working hours and salary increases due to family issues.

Edited by Jmoneyhoney92

firemedic12

firemedic12, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Critical Care, ER, Cath lab. Has 6 years experience. 63 Posts

Jmoneyhoney92 said:
I don't think it's true to say women "like" to take time off to take care of their families and come back and expect a higher wage. Rather and in general society expects them to do so. I think gender roles still have a lot to do with this as women are more likely to be the care takers of children and the elderly, so because of this extra role they miss out on wages and increased salary. Not asking for special treatment, just acknowledging societal facts. In general, women tend to have to burden more of the "domestic" and care taking responsibilities than men, perhaps we need to address this and we could help narrow the gap? It's not a black and white issue, instead I feel it is deeply embedded in our culture and society.

Couldn't disagree more. I'm caught working 48-60 hours a week in the ICU and caring for a chronically ill wife and other family. I also have seen numerous men dealing with more than their fair share of domestic issues while working similar hours that I do. Domestic roles aren't exclusive to women, some of us men choose to take on that responsibility as well. I'd love to not have to worry about domestic crap and work less hours, but I have a duty to my family to both take care of and provide for them.

AntonioErvin

AntonioErvin

3 Posts

I personally believe that it many women feel obligated to stay home and take care of their families. Many of my female co-workers often say "I take care of other people's family members for living. So ofcourse I am going to take care of my owe family". However many of those same co-workers always make excuses about furthering their education while us men do whatever it takes to achieve more education. I work full-time single father of 3 and I am in school for my MSN, so it can be done.

Jmoneyhoney92

Jmoneyhoney92

9 Posts

firemedic12, I am sorry about your wife and your situation. However, it's not a valid argument to say "that isn't true for me, therefore it doesn't exist", that's like saying, "I'm not starving therefore hunger does not exist". I am not using absolute statements that ALL men do not participate but rather in general women do take on most the domestic roles. My comment is also affirmed by this AllNurses article as well.

My argument is supported by the links below including the Pew Research Centre

Women more than men adjust their careers for family life - Women more than men adjust their careers for family life | Pew Research Center

- "Women most often are the ones who adjust their schedules and make compromises when the needs of children and other family members collide with work, Pew Research Center data show."

The Gender Wage Gap Double Whammy - The Gender Wage Gap Double Whammy - Center for American Progress

- "Women are also more likely to leave a job or make the shift from full- to part-time work in order to provide ongoing care to an elderly, ailing parent."

You do have your own opinion, but not all opinions are equal, and facts are facts.

Edited by Jmoneyhoney92

Nerd eNurse, ADN

Specializes in CVICU/ICU. Has 24 years experience. 2 Articles; 80 Posts

What is the measurement being used to determine a discrepancy of pay between genders?

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg. 155 Articles; 5,907 Posts

Gaitor said:
What is the measurement being used to determine a discrepancy of pay between genders?

The allnurses survey is using data collected from more than 18,000 respondents. The data will be presented in interactive charts in which you can change various filters such as age, gender, years of experience, specialty, total full time hourly pay, total full time salary pay, state of employment, degree, license, etc. to customize the results.

ElectricCabbage

ElectricCabbage

17 Posts

Quote
I don't think it's accurate to say women "like" to take time off to take care of their families and then come back and "complain" they don't have a higher wage. Rather and in general society expects them to provide the care in the family. I think gender roles still have a lot to do with this as women are more likely to be the care takers of children and of the elderly, so because of this extra role they miss out on wages and increased salary. Not asking for special treatment, just acknowledging societal facts. The wage gap issue is deeply embedded in our culture and isn't so cut and dry as to say "welp, guess you shouldn't take time off to take care of your sick elderly mother!" I think if men and women participated equally in the "domestic and caring duties" the wage gap could narrow as women wouldn't miss out as much on working hours and salary increases due to family issues.

I can't comment on people taking time off to care for family, nor did I in my previous post. I would disagree with your initial statement though- I think that many, many women do like taking time off to raise families. And I'll say it again- that's great. There is nothing wrong with that. However, I do think that it's that cut and dry- if you take time off to raise a family, your wage will be lower than your peers who did not take time off. I can't speak to the States, but I know that in Canada childcare options do exist for the middle class, and it is up to a woman whether or not she will utilize them.

Nerd eNurse, ADN

Specializes in CVICU/ICU. Has 24 years experience. 2 Articles; 80 Posts

tnbutterfly said:
The allnurses survey is using data collected from more than 18,000 respondents. The data will be presented in interactive charts in which you can change various filters such as age, gender, years of experience, specialty, total full time hourly pay, total full time salary pay, state of employment, degree, license, etc. to customize the results.

I appreciate that. With the number of union hospitals driving the wage scale in many areas it is hard to fathom that there is truly a wage disparity between the genders. If there is it seems that it should be able to be isolated to a specific area, system etc. Data is useless unless your going to do something about it other than complain. I hope this study can identify the sources of wage discrimination so they can be dealt with. The majority of CNO's are female so who is doing the discriminating? Identify the source to get to the root of the problem.I look forward to seeing the results.

Jmoneyhoney92

Jmoneyhoney92

9 Posts

Yes, I acknowledge that people do enjoy to take time off to take care of family and participate in their family's lives. The priority for those people is family not necessarily salary or career - and that is amazing!

I am just stating it's not fair to over generalize that narrative to every woman. Because some women really don't "chose" to take time off, but the responsibility of care more often than not ends up in their laps.

txla4

txla4

17 Posts

In the States, paternity leave hardly exists. So yes, child rearing and other domestic obligations fall to the mother. It's a societal issue, and wage-gaps will continue to exist until men and women are truly 50-50 at home. Choosing to believe it isn't an issue, doesn't mean it's not an issue. It's a problem that will only be solved with a complete restructuring of societal gender norms and domestic duties.