The 2007 practice survey which over 17,000 CRNAs completed, found that 44% of CRNAs are male, so there are more female CRNAs than male but it is close. About 5% of RNs are male, but about 10% in schools
are male so men are increasing in nursing. The military played a big role in the entry of men into nurse anesthesia. Originally the professional organization didn't allow men to be members, but that was lifted quietly with the inception of the certification exam. Men were allowed to sit the exam when in began in the 1940's, and so were allowed professional membership. The military didn't allow females in combat areas, so men were trained in anesthesia in the Vietnam era, and then continued in civilian practice. So it became common to see male nurse anesthetists, making it more likely that a young man would consider the career. My opinion is that the significant number of men was a reason nurse anesthesia was able to obtain direct reimbursement, and the salary increases that followed. I think men are now attrached due to the independence, OR environment, income opportunities, and many male role models.