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Posted 11 months ago
Salary, earnings, wages, compensation — however you put it, the money we’re paid in return for our work is important to us. We expect two people working in the same place — having the same amount of experience and the same educational background, and doing the same work — would be paid the same salary. After all, it’s only fair, right? Well, it may be fair, but it’s not always a given.
Unfortunately, even in the United States, women are still fighting for equal pay for equal work in many workplaces. Employment statistics show there’s still a discrepancy between male and female salaries, particularly in the upper echelons of the business world. But is it true for nursing? Are salaries higher for male nurses than for female nurses? Let’s see.
Median weekly earnings
BLS numbers show that female RNs earned a median weekly salary of $1,011, while the median weekly earning for male nurses was $1,168 — meaning that women made only 86.6 percent of what men made. This isn’t much higher than the 81 percent noted in 2005. But — and this is important — is this because of actual wage differences, with Nurse Mary earning $24.50 per hour and Nurse John earning $26 per hour, or is there more to it?
Men seem to go for higher education in nursing than women do, increasing their take-home earnings. There are more men in RN programs than in LPN programs, and more men in BSN programs than in RN diploma or ADN programs.
Military nursing is also a popular option for men. More than 30 percent of nurses in the Army, Air Force and Navy are men. Military nurses not only earn competitive salaries, but also benefit from financial incentives, such as help repaying student loans, special payments, housing allowances and affordable insurance options.
And finally, there is another societal difference between men and women that may play a role in salary differences. Although women are becoming more assertive in the workplace, recruiters and people responsible for hiring staff report that men are more likely to try to negotiate better salaries or benefits. While this may not result in higher pay in unionized environments, it could make a difference in non-unionized positions, resulting in higher take-home pay.
So, are salaries higher for male nurses than for female nurses? It turns out that it all depends on how you look at it.