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Gendered ideas of nursing undermine efforts to improve the profession’s standing, says RCN

New RCN-commissioned report recommends a review of Agenda for Change to address gender, pay and status issues

New RCN-commissioned report recommends a review of Agenda for Change to address gender, pay and status issues in the nursing profession

The perception of nursing as womens work means it continues to receive less pay, status and autonomy than it deserves, according to a RCN-commissioned report, RCN-commissioned report, Gender and Nursing as a Profession: Valuing Nurses and Paying Them Their Worth .

The report states that women occupy 90% of nursing roles in the UK while nurses pay is 80% of the average in the healthcare

New RCN-commissioned report recommends a review of Agenda for Change to address gender, pay and status issues in the nursing profession

Gender issues affect pay and status in nursing
Picture: iStock

The perception of nursing as ‘women’s work’ means it continues to receive less pay, status and autonomy than it deserves, according to a RCN-commissioned report, RCN-commissioned report, Gender and Nursing as a Profession: Valuing Nurses and Paying Them Their Worth.

The report states that women occupy 90% of nursing roles in the UK while nurses’ pay is 80% of the average in the healthcare sector.

The long-standing concept of caring as an essentially feminine attribute continues to hold back the profession, the report argues.

‘Our findings show an enduring tension in the profession between the need to emphasise and value the vital role of care in nursing and attempts to professionalise the practice through the development of education and expertise,’ it says.

‘This image, which is underpinned by gendered notions of nursing and nurses, will always stand in the way of any efforts to improve the standing and attractiveness of nursing as a career.’

The report recommends that the RCN leads a review of Agenda for Change and the job evaluation procedures for banding, and that the college acts as a platform to articulate the range of posts and skills of modern nurses.

Find out more

RCN (2020) Gender and Nursing as a Profession: Valuing Nurses and Paying Them Their Worth


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