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West J Nurs Res. 2008 Jun;30(4):501-14. Epub 2007 Oct 26.

Gender differences in discipline of nurses in Missouri.

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  • 1Missouri State University, Missouri, USA.


Analysis of discipline of nurses by the Missouri Board of Nursing, 2000-2003, demonstrated differing rates by gender. Males received disproportionately high rates at 18.9%, although they represented 7.5% of Missouri nurses. Males received more severe discipline than females, with higher rates of license suspension and revocation, regardless of infractions or license level. Males surrendered licenses at higher rates. For 3 of the 28 infractions, males exceeded the number of females by a ratio of 2:1. Males committed one infraction that females did not. For three infractions, females outnumbered males by a ratio of 2:1. Females committed eight infractions not committed by males, including four murders. Consistent with previous studies, substance abuse was the behavior disciplined in the majority of cases (41.3%). Disparity in nurse discipline suggests the need for further study to analyze contributing factors, roles that nursing culture and gendered behaviors may play in the disciplinary process.

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