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Learn About Men in the Nursing World

The nursing profession offers a number of benefits including job security, stable salaries and opportunities for career advancement. Though the majority of nurses are women, the benefits of nursing appeal to both genders, as evidenced by these statistics in a recent article: “The nursing industry is still dominated by women, about 90 percent depending on the type of nursing. However, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of men who work as nurses has tripled since 1970, rising from 2.7 to 9.6 percent.” The article adds, “Young men in school are catching on to what the women in the industry have discovered. Nursing is a consideration to help people, have secure employment, and possibly rise into management.”

A Nursing Specialty for Everyone

There is a specialty in nursing available for all interests. For example, emergency nursing can be rewarding for those who enjoy a side effect of critical-care nursing — the adrenaline rush. Being able to confidently triage and treat a critical situation in a timely manner can be extremely rewarding.

Male nurses work in every specialty, from obstetrics to geriatrics. Certain specialties attract a larger number of men. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that male nurses tend to gravitate toward higher-paying nursing jobs with a bit more edge, such as a nurse anesthetist, emergency room nurse and flight/transport nurse, according to the article Why Men Should Be Nurses.

Some of the stigmas attached to this “pink collar” job may include inaccurate ideas surrounding men lacking the ability to provide the same compassionate care that women can. Historically, nursing was considered a predominantly female profession. This was especially true during both world wars, as men were not allowed to serve in the Army Nurse Corps during that time. A shift in understanding gender roles, with more of a progressive attitude and open mind, can help to dispel these notions.

A recent New York Times article titled ‘Forget About the Stigma’: Male Nurses Explain Why Nursing is a Job of the Future for Men contains interviews with several men involved in the nursing profession. “For some men, the notion that caregiving jobs are women’s work is outdated … ‘This narrative that men can’t provide care in the way that women can is part of that broad cultural narrative that misunderstands what nursing’s about,’ said Mr. White, the V.A. hospital student nurse, who is earning his nursing degree at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. ‘We need to talk with young people about caring as a gender-neutral idea, but also as something that’s rooted in skills, in expertise.'”

Some Patients May Prefer a Male Nurse

Patients can benefit from having nurses who are both male and female. Having a variety of different staff available can bring several skillsets, mindsets and insights to the patient’s care coordination. Discussing this idea further, Mr. White says, “Sometimes patients prefer a nurse of a certain sex, particularly for procedures like inserting a catheter, nurses said, and some men feel more comfortable talking openly with another man.”

The nursing field has much to offer anyone looking to enter the healthcare profession, including job security and a stable income. This career does not disappoint those who want to provide patient care and make a difference in the lives of others. Many nurses gain life experience and job satisfaction from being able to help those in need. This extremely versatile profession continues to provide a multitude of benefits for all nurses regardless of gender.

Learn more about A-State’s online RN to BSN program.


The New York Times: ‘Forget the Stigma’: Male Nurses Explain Why Nursing Is a Job of the Future for Men Why Men Should Be Nurses

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