Oxford Brookes Business School

New study on gender and pay aims to support sustainability in the nursing profession

Monday, 10 December 2018

Gender and pay

What is the state of working conditions and pay in the nursing profession, and what role does gender play? These are questions raised by important new research conducted in collaboration with professional body and nursing union the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The project is being undertaken by the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice (CDPRP) within the Business School alongside colleagues from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. It will build on previous work carried out by RCN, which has highlighted ongoing stresses placed on nurses. This work found nurses’ well-being to be at worryingly low levels. Nurses must deal with heavy workloads and ever-increasing performance targets. At the same time, they have fewer resources with which to meet them. This is compounded by low levels of pay, with a real-term drop in median earnings of between 9% and 14% since 2011. Wider societal factors are also playing a role in shaping demands on the profession, including both challenges driven by an ageing population, and potential opportunities from advancing technology.

The study will seek to identify current pay issues and psycho-social risks from a gender perspective. It will also aim to understand the consequences for the nursing profession, such as development and retention. Finally, it will look at the roles of key actors and institutions in shaping the future of the profession. This work provides an exciting opportunity to create new knowledge on the sustainability of nursing as a profession and to better understand how to ensure that nurses are properly valued.

For further details, contact kclayton-hathway@brookes.ac.uk or a.humbert@brookes.ac.uk