Men in #nursing. Let’s talk about disparities | The Change of Shift Podcast Recap Ep 21

Do disparities exist with men in Nursing? Are there differences or inconsistencies in the  career path and experience of a man working as a Nurse versus what his female colleague experiences?

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I have talked at great length about the false stereotypes out there concerning men in nursing, but recently a conversation on Twitter sparked some interest:

Keith is a fellow Nurse blogger and podcaster who interviewed me for an upcoming article about men in nursing. He discusses various topics, with reference to this article posted by Medscape:

If you click on the time/date stamp on that Tweet update you’ll see the lengthy dialogue between a handful of fellow Nurses. It became so passionate of a discussion that I thought a video chat round table discussion would be a great way to continue the conversation (because we all know how segmented communication can lose the overall intent of the message sometimes).

Keith along with Craig and Rob were generous enough to volunteer there time to participate. My guests:

Craig  has been a Critical Care nurse for almost 30 years and has dabbled in travel nursing early in his career. He runs the website/blog
Keith has been a nurse for almost 20 years working in ambulatory care, hospice, home health nursing and public health. He’s also a career coach , Nurse blogger and podcaster. He runs the website/blog
Robert has been a nurse for almost 4 years, working as a cardiac progressive  care nurse. He found nursing after serving his county in the Navy.
We all agreed that our input was anecdotal, and based mostly on personal experience. And that the survey (study) that was conducted was not strong empirical evidence.
Some facts about the study:
  • almost 9K participants
  • data taken from a month long survey
  • all guests agree there were limitations to this study
  • All of our comments are based on personal experience which cannot  be generalized to the population as a whole.
Here were the topics we discussed during our round table discussion:
  1. Men in Nursing. Do women earn less than men?
  • when working for a union, all employee salaries are public knowledge
    • and is shared with your co-workers
  • If earning less, co-workers would know
    • can be based on level of experience & level of education
    • level of position (supervisor)
  • roughly women make .78 / every $1 of men as a whole (not just nursing)
    • but since the nursing workforce consists of 90% women – it’s interesting to hear women could be earning less?
  • if majority rules? the majority is women. It would be safe to connect the dots about the  current majority of supervisors would be women
    • are women suppressing other women?
    • internalized oppression? Conscious? or Un-conscious?
  • So if women are limiting the promotion of other women are we revisiting the ever-poplar and polarizing topic of lateral violence?
  • Is there a true disparity in pay difference? Or are we missing the details?



  1. Men in Nursing. Men work more FT? 
  • FT vs PT: majority men or women?
  • Is there a great difference in who volunteers for extra shifts or working overtime? Men vs Women?
    • does the chosen specialty area of nursing affect this answer?
  • let’s make sure we are considering variables equally
  1. Men in Nursing. Male Nurse? Murse?
  • Do we need to call ourselves ‘male’ nurses? Aren’t we all Nurses?
  • Female doctors… are just doctors??
  • The term “Murse” is just a punchline used solely for online social media
  • The male nurse descriptor is rearing its ugly head less and less these days.
A couple questions that were raised during this round table discussion:
  • Will there be a paradigm shift in the relationship between physician and nurse because of the gender shift? We have more male nurses and more female physicians.
  • Work dynamic differences between men and women. Referring to task oriented versus process oriented. Working in a  “grudge-free” environment. Eliminating the “cliques”.

I cannot thank my guests enough. This conversation was intellectually engaging, meaningful and absolutely entertaining. I’ve invited them all back for a future discussion. Who knows what we’ll discuss next time?

Any topic suggestions?
As always thanks for tuning in. Don’t forget to download the Podcast:

Article References (partial list)

  1. Muench U, Sindelar J, Busch SH, Buerhaus PI. Salary differences between male and female registered nurses in the United States. JAMA. 2015;313:1265-1267. Accessed October 7, 2015.
  2. Brown T. Pay gap between male and female RNs continues. Medscape Medical News. March 24, 2015. Accessed October 7, 2015.
  3. US Census Bureau. Men in nursing occupations. American Community Survey highlight report. February 2013. Accessed October 19, 2015.

3 thoughts on “Men in #nursing. Let’s talk about disparities | The Change of Shift Podcast Recap Ep 21

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