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Just how sizeable is the pay gap between male and female nurses?

While most of us would prefer to think otherwise, the unfortunate reality is that statistics routinely show that women earn less money than their male counterparts across multiple industries here in the U.S.

In fact, a recently published study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that this discrepancy in earnings even carries over to those industries where men are significantly outnumbered by women.

As part of their study, the researchers focused on the earnings discrepancy between men and women who make their living as nurses, a traditionally female-dominated field.

Indeed, 2013 data reveals that men comprised only about 10 percent of the over two million registered nurses across the nation.

After examining two separate data pools providing salary information on 600,000 registered nurses, the researchers made the following findings:

  • The average pay gap between female nurses and male nurses, after adjusting for various factors, was $5,000.
  • This wage gap in the nursing field has persisted for over 20 years.
  • The smallest wage gap, found to be roughly $4,000, existed among middle-management nurses, while the largest wage gap, found to be roughly $17,300, existed among nurse anesthetists.

While you may not think that $5,000 is that much of a pay gap, consider that this can mean as much as $150,000 over the course of an entire career.

The researchers stopped short of identifying the causes for this wage gap. However, they did theorize that some of it could be attributed to women leaving nursing for a period to raise children or gender discrimination.

These are indeed truly shocking numbers. However, it’s important for those who feel as if they have been victimized by gender discrimination in any capacity to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional, as they can examine their situation, answer their questions and pursue the necessary legal action.

Source: The Star Tribune, “Male nurses make more money yet are far outnumbered by women RNs; study finds persistent trend,” Lindsey Tanner, March 24, 2015