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This is What Wage Discrimination Looks Like: Male Nurses Paid Average of $5,148 More Than Female Nurses

Lydia Monroe of Ringold, Louisiana, a student nurse at Provident Hospital in  Chicago, March 1942. (Public Domain photo provided by OnCall team)
Lydia Monroe of Ringold, Louisiana, a student nurse at Provident Hospital in
Chicago, March 1942. (Public Domain photo provided by OnCall team)
By Eryn Brown and Karen Kaplan
Then 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.

Approximately 2.5 million women — and the families they support — are being shortchanged by the gender-based pay difference, said the researchers who conducted the study.

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