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Do Male Nurses Earn More? Survey Says Yes

By now, it’s no surprise that if you randomly picked an American industry, you’d find that male workers earn more than women. But nursing?

In a field where women still hold 91 percent of the jobs, survey findings that male nurse pay is still higher than that of female RNs should raise eyebrows.

According to the recently released Medscape RN/LPN Compensation Report 2017, male nurse salaries are larger when compared to female RNs.

The Male Nurse Salary Disparity

If you only look at the highlights of the Medscape RN/LPN Compensation Report 2017, the pay gap seems obvious. In interviews with just over 5,000 RNs, of which 9 percent were male, the following facts stood out:

  • Male RNs make an average of about $84,000 annually vs. $80,000 for women.
  • When paid by salary, men made $89,000 vs. $81,000 for their female counterparts.
  • Of those paid on an hourly rate, male RNs made $82,000 a year vs. $78,000 for women.

These male nurse salary advantages are in line with slightly older research conducted by the University of California San Francisco. In that report, the big reveal was that male nurse salaries were higher by about $5,000 per year.

However, the Medscape 2017 survey also found that RNs of both genders earned roughly the same hourly pay rate of about $37. 

So why is there such a significant pay difference between the genders if both earn about the same on an hourly basis? The Medscape survey had some interesting findings on that point.

Some Reasons Male Nurse Salaries Are Higher

There are several differences in work decisions between the genders that could account for at least some of the gap. Here are a few highlights, according to the aforementioned study.

  • Male RNs are likelier to work at inpatient facilities, where pay tends to be higher.
  • Males work at a higher rate than females at urban facilities, where the pay is higher than at rural facilities.
  • Male RNs work more overtime hours than females.
  • Males take more on-call and high-differential shifts for premium rates.

More to Be Done for Equal Pay

Overall, this latest survey indicates definite gender disparities in compensation for RNs -- and that more needs to be done to erase the gender pay gap. 

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