untitledThe influx of patients spurred by healthcare reform as well as today’s shortage of primary care physicians is creating enormous demands on an unprepared healthcare system. In the wake of nurses redefining and expanding their roles, more men are entering the profession — and earning higher salaries than their female counterparts.

While nursing still remains predominately female, accounting for 91% of all nurses, the number of male registered nurses has more than tripled to 9.6% in 2011, up from 2.7% in 1970. And the proportion of male licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses has more than doubled, to 8.1%

But despite the majority, men outearned women, with an average of $60,700, compared with $51,100 for female nurses.

Although the Census Bureau notes that the gender pay gap is smaller in nursing than in other professions, medical professionals are still disturbed by the continued salary disparity between sexes.

Other highlights from the study include:

Of all employed nurses, 78% were registered nurses, 19% were licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, 3% were nurse practitioners, and 1% were nurse anesthetists.
While most registered nurses (72%) left home for work between 5am and 11:59am, a sizable minority (19%) worked the evening or night shifts.
The majority of registered nurses (64%) worked in hospitals.
Men’s representation was highest among nurse anesthetists at 41%.
Male nurse anesthetists earned more than twice as much as the male average for all nursing occupations: $162,900 vs $60,700.

Physician’s Weekly wants to know… While gender disparity in salary is not a new issue, do you think that its occurrence in a profession that has been predominantly women is adding salt to the wound?

Click here to view the full study (pdf).