Male Nurses Earn More Than Female Nurses
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 3, 2013
This issue raises some very interesting questions. First, because men are a minority in Nursing, is it justifiable for them to earn more than those, who as a group, dominate the profession?
Or, is parity genuinely or truly parity?
Should men and women earn the same amount of money if they do the exact same kind of work?
Or, are there accountable differences in the pay which justify the difference, however slight – and is very slight.
Male Nurses Make More Money
- February 25, 2013, 1:17 PM
Hospital patients are more likely than ever to see a male nurse at their bedside — and odds are he earns more than the female nurse down the hall. Men made up close to 10% of all registered nurses in 2011, according to a new Census report released today. That may not sound like much, but it’s up from less than 3% in 1970 and less than 8% in 2000.
It’s no mystery what is drawing men into nursing. Male-dominated professions such as construction and manufacturing hemorrhaged jobs during the recession and have been slow to rebound during the recovery. The health-care sector, meanwhile, actually added jobs during the recession and has continued to grow since. All told, health-care employment is up by nearly 1.4 million since the recession began, while employment in the construction and manufacturing sectors is down by nearly 3.6 million. Education and health workers have an unemployment rate of 5.4%, versus 7.9% for factory workers and 16.1% for construction workers.
Women still dominate nursing in terms of employment — but not in terms of earnings. The average female nurse earned $51,100 in 2011, 16% less than the $60,700 earned by the average man in the same job.
The difference in earnings is partly due to the fact that men were more likely than women to work full-time. When looking only at full-time, year-round workers, the gap narrows, but it doesn’t disappear; female nurses working full-time, year-round earned 9% less than their male counterparts.
Part of the reason, the Census study suggests, is a previously documented phenomenon known as the “glass escalator” in which men earn higher wages and faster promotions in female-dominated professions. In nursing, men are more concentrated in the highest-earning segments of the field. They make up 41% of nurse anesthetists, who earn nearly $148,000 on average, but only 8% of licensed practical nurses, who make just $35,000.
Even within a given field, however, men tend to earn more; among full-time, year-round registered nurses, women earned 7% less than men in 2011. The study’s authors note, however, that the wage gap is smaller in nursing than in the economy as a whole, where women earn on average 77 cents to the dollar, according to the Census report.
Men also appear to have an easier time getting hired, although the high demand for nurses means unemployment rates are low across categories — less than 2% for registered nurses, and even lower for more advanced professionals. Among licensed practical nurses, the only category with meaningful levels of unemployment, men had an unemployment rate of 4%, versus 5.1% for women.
Male nurses are more likely than female nurses to have a doctoral degree, more likely to work evening or night shifts, and more likely to be immigrants. Female nurses are more likely to work in doctor’s offices or schools, and are far more likely to be over age 65 — a reflection of nursing’s status as a female-dominated profession until recently.
But overall, male and female nurses are demographically similar. The typical nurse of either sex is between age 35 and 54, has some college or a bachelor’s degree and works for a private-sector hospital.