The researchers found a $7,678 gap among male and female nurses in ambulatory care, while the gap was $3,873 in hospitals. The gaps among specialties included $3,792 for chronic care and $6,034 for cardiology. They found a $17,290 difference in pay among male and female nurse anesthetists, but none in orthopedic care. (Salary amounts reflect 2013 dollar values.)
The researchers were led by Ulrike Muench, a nurse with the University of California San Francisco's department of social and behavioral sciences. Others on the team were based at the Yale School of Public Health and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's department of health policy.
They used two databases: the quadrennial National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses from 1988 to 2008, and the American Community Survey from 2001 to 2013. The first included information on 87,903 registered nurses, of which the average age was 42, 10% had graduate degrees and 7% (6,093 were men). The second had information on 205,825 RNs, of which the average age was 45, 14% had graduate degrees and 10% (20,616) were men.
“Male RNs outearned female RNs across settings, specialties, and positions with no narrowing of the pay gap over time,” the researchers wrote.
The study was funded in part by the Yale School of Nursing chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, a 135,000-member nursing honor society. It had no role in the study.