Male vs. female nurses by the numbers 

Mackenzie Bean (Twitter) Becker’s Clinical Leadership

Men are increasingly entering the nursing profession and continue to outearn their female peers, federal data suggests.

The data comes from the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, an annual poll conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration and U.S. Census Bureau. The latest version of the survey, released in March, includes responses from 49,234 registered nurses polled in 2022 and early 2023. HRSA also operates an interactive data dashboard that compares 2018 and 2022 survey responses in key areas, such as nursing demographics, employment and job satisfaction. 

Here’s how male and female nurses stack up across three key domains. 

Workforce demographics 

Female nurses: 88%
Male nurses: 12%

Context: The percentage of male nurses in the workforce ticked up from 10% in 2018. 

Annual earnings

 Female Male 
Less than $40,00011%5%
$40,000 to $59,99913%6%
$60,000 to $79,99926%22%
80,000 to $99,99923%24%
$100,000 to $119,99912%19%
$120,000 or more15%23%

Context: The data shows the gender pay gap persists even in a female-dominated field such as nursing. Sixty-six percent of male nurses reported earning $80,000 or more, compared to 50% of female nurses.

Average workweek length

Female nurses: 38.5 hours
Male nurses: 41.4 hours

Context: This trend is largely unchanged from 2018, though workweek length increased slightly for both groups. Average workweek length in 2018 was 37.2 hours for female nurses and 40.3 hours for male nurses, on average.

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