You may want to sit down for this one. Male nurses make an average of $5,100 more per year than female nurses in similar positions.
This news comes from an extensive new study that looked at 290,000 registered nurses from 1988 to 2013, according to the New York Times. The report finds that while the pay gap has narrowed in many occupations since the Equal Pay Act was enacted in 1963, inequalities still exist in nursing.
The inequalities varied by specialty: Male RNs working in chronic care earned about $3,800 more than their female counterparts, while male nurse anesthetists earned an average of $17,290 more per year than females in the same position.
About 40 percent of nurse anesthetists are men, while men only make up seven to 10 percent of the nurse workforce on average. Pete McMenamin, a spokesman for the American Nurses Association, commended the study, but warned that the number of men in the study should be taken into account when evaluating these numbers.
“The folks who did the study are well qualified and they have lots of data,” McMenamin told the New York Times. “But my main hesitance in terms of statistics is they have fewer men.”
He said the smaller sample of men may affect the reliability of answers, though it doesn’t change the overall findings of the study.
“You can’t say this is all a statistical fluke,” he added. “It’s not. But there are different things that could explain some of this challenge.”
Nurses, have you seen pay inequality during your career? Tell us your stories in the comments below.