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According to a new study, male nurses earn on average $5,100 more per year than their female counterparts. The study included data on nearly 300,000 registered nurses and found that the pay gap between male and female nurses has been roughly equal since 1988.

The study was conducted by Ulrike Muench, assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, along with researchers from Yale and Vanderbilt. The study found that the greatest disparity in pay was among nurse anesthetists, of which around 40% are male. The results of the study are somewhat surprising considering that only between 7 and 10 percent of nurses are males.

Linda Aiken, Professor of Nursing and Sociology at Penn, said that the study may have exposed a gender difference in career choices and not a genuine disparity in pay. She explained that more male nurses might work full time or work extra hours in a given week. Aiken concluded that the study requires more analysis to conclude that a gender gap in pay actually exists.

Read more about the study at The New York Times and at Reuters.

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