Hospital nursing directors earn about 40 per cent less than their chief executive and 46 per cent less than their medical director colleagues, a Nursing Times straw poll of 15 foundation trusts suggests.
The figures raise questions about nurses’ influence at board level and whether the trend is related to gender pay inequality.
A “ceiling” on nursing careers, unless individuals want to become chief executives, could discourage strong leaders.
Even the chief nursing officer for England, on £155,000, earns less than the average foundation trust chief executive. The chief medical officer earns £205,000 and the NHS chief executive £215,000.
However, nurse directors told Nursing Times there was more concern about pay for sisters and matrons than themselves.