Nursing Gender Pay Differentials in the New Millennium

Barbara L. Wilson, Matthew J. Butler, Richard J. Butler, William Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: The gender pay gap in the United States is an ongoing issue, affecting women in nearly all occupations. Jobs traditionally associated with men tend to pay better than traditionally female-dominated jobs, and there is evidence to suggest within-occupation gender pay differences as well. Purpose: We compared and contrasted gender wage disparities for registered nurses (RNs), relative to gender wage disparities for another female-dominated occupation, teachers, while controlling for sociodemographic factors. Methods: Using data in the American Community Survey, we analyzed the largest U.S. random representative sample of self-identified RNs and primary or secondary school teachers from 2000 to 2013 using fixed-effects regression analysis. Results: There is greater disparity between nurse pay by gender than in teacher pay by gender. In addition, the net return in wages for additional education is higher for school teachers (21.7%) than for RNs (4.7%). Conclusions: Findings support preferential wages for men in nursing, more so than for men in teaching. Clinical Relevance: The substantial gender disparities are an indirect measure of the misallocation of resources in effective patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • gender
  • nursing
  • pay differentials
  • pay inequities
  • wage gap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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