Pay Inequity in Nursing is Nothing New: A Special Commentary

Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing for Men, Class of 1924. Image Source: Pennsylvania Archives

“Male nurses are found to earn about $5,000 more than female colleagues.” (Not quite) shocking news! A recently released JAMA study, hitting numerous airwaves and media outlets found significant pay discrepancies between nurses who are female and nurses who are male. How could this happen in the most female (women make up about 93% of all nurses) profession? The study did not address reasons why pay inequity exists in nursing, yet, reports on the results offered some hypotheses. One of the study’s investigators suggested that men may negotiate better (Ouch, that rationale literally hurts!) or that women experience a tougher time getting promoted. Investigators plan to carry out additional research focusing on explanations for pay gaps in nursing.

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Links to the History of Nursing and Medicine in Philadelphia

Ingram c. 1903

Anna Ingram, PGH ’02 and Five Physicians, c.1903. Alumni Association of the Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing Image Collection, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania

Interested in the history of nursing and medicine in Philadelphia? Check out these links to local institutions with archives, collections and events related to our city’s rich history.

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New Colloquium Series On Nursing, Medical and Health Care History

Professionalizing Nursing and Medicine


We are pleased to announce a colloquium series entitled Enduring Issues in American Health Care: New Dialogues for the Present Using the Past. This series will explore, contextualize, and illuminate the histories of medicine and nursing and the ways in which both professions evolved within a framework of interaction, separation and collaboration between the years 1800 to 2000.

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