When Linda Hippolyte first got into nursing, she thought everyone at her hospital was paid based on their experience and education.

But when she got a peek at other nurses’ salaries at Parkview Community Hospital in Riverside, she was in for a surprise.

“You could really see the difference,” she said, noting that male nurses seemed to be making more. “Why was this person who happens to be male making more than this person who is female, with the same experience?”

For nurses, as for nearly everyone else in the U.S. workforce today, it pays to be a man.

Registered nurses who are male earn nearly $11,000 more per year than RNs who are female, new research shows — and only about half of that difference can be explained by factors such as education, work experience and clinical specialty.

That leaves a $5,148 salary gap that essentially discriminates against women, who make up the vast majority of the nursing workforce, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

“Nursing is traditionally female-dominated, and it’s a large profession,” said study leader Ulrike Muench, a nurse practitioner with a doctorate from Yale University who studies nursing, health policy and healthcare economics at UC San Francisco. “A difference would affect a sizable portion of the labor force.”

Read the full article here.


Adjunct faculty member Ulrike Muench, PhD, NP, of UC San Francisco is lead author and Center Director Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN is also a co-author.