Increasing the Number of Male Nurses

  1. I am a 35 y.o. male nursing student. After having read several posts across various threads that discussed the need for more male nurses, I thought it would be interesting to start a thread with reasonable suggestions for attracting more males to the nursing profession. Here are my suggestions:

    Nursing School
    1. Drop the girly white uniforms. History is great and all, but every profession needs to keep up with the times. Like it or not, most people's image of medical professionals is molded by TV. As such, I believe more guys would be interested in nursing if we moved to a more up-to-date look that is more gender neutral - as generally portrayed on medical shows. Maybe we could utilize our school colors or something to identify us a students rather than looking like 1960's nurses.
    2. Drop the feminine graduation requirements. Again, history is great and all, but a lot of guys just don't want to walk down an aisle carrying a candle. If you act like nursing is a female-dominated profession, then that is the way it will stay.
    General
    1. Add more men's scrubs/nursing shoes/accessories. Most uniform shops and online stores only cater to women. While I don't expect them to be 50/50, it would be nice to see at least a reasonable area to devoted to men other than paramedics. I would like to have a "nursing" watch that isn't white and doesn't have hearts and other feminine things on it. Create a line of items that are for male nurses, and you'll see more men become interested in the field.
    Kevin
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Alois Wolf
    Even though you make some valid points, (though I believe the candle represents "The Light of Knowledge", but I may be wrong) I think there is more to do with it than just the clothes.
    I think it's just ingrained in the worlds mind that nursing is a "woman's job". It's a stereotypical paradigm that has been with us for a really long time. I believe that male nurses are on the rise and within our lifetime it will even out. I read somewhere on here that Nursing was actually origionaly dominated by male monks... but who knows.
  4. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from NurseCouple
    I would like to have a "nursing" watch that isn't white and doesn't have hearts and other feminine things on it. Create a line of items that are for male nurses, and you'll see more men become interested in the field.
    Kevin

    Lol. I can just picture that watch now.


    Kevin, it looks to me like you have yourself a business idea on your hands...
  5. by   Alois Wolf
    Make me some with Corona bottles on it... or wait... football scrubs? Now there is an idea.
  6. by   cardiacRN2006
    Football scrubs would be cool!
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    They have football scrubs.

    http://www.scrubshopper.com/product....FQROagodYymfcw

    I don't wear a "nurse" watch . . . I just wear a watch. Any watch with a second hand will do.

    I don't buy any of the "kitschy" nurse stuff found in catalogs. Blech.

    Some programs don't do the pinning ceremonies anymore - my school tried very hard to get us not to do it because they said it was "unprofessional". We voted and did it anyway. One guy didn't show for the graduation or the pinning - he just wanted to get to work.

    I think the stereotype of nursing being a woman's job will slowly be worn down. Maybe not in my lifetime. But stereotypes are hard to change.

    steph
  8. by   Tweety
    There's a need for more nurses, not male nurses. I'll take anyone I can get. But points well taken.

    Anyone who would choose not to become a nurse because of the "girly white uniforms" and the optional pinning ceremony, probably isn't very motivated in the first place.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 30, '07
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Tweety
    There's a need for more nurses, not male nurses. I'll take anyone I can get. But points well taken.

    Anyone who would choose not to become a nurse because of the "girly white uniforms" and the optional pinning ceremony, probably isn't very motivated in the first place.
    And don't men in the Navy look good in dress whites? (Remember jnette's son?????)

    http://www.warhorsetradingpost.com/cat13.htm


    steph
  10. by   David's Harp
    Kevin,

    Some good ideas, though I don't necessarily see the things you object to being enforced much these days:

    1. The girly-white uniforms: thank God we don't have to wear white at our hospital, or other nurses would be doing vascular checks on me, looking for diaphoresis, and running for a thermometer... yeah, white's no friend of mine in the fashion department! Our hospital has a ciel-blue policy for RNs, to which most of us adhere, and which happily (for some) equalizes us and allows the patient to be able to discern between RN, housekeeper, tech, MD, etc. I still get called "doctor", though, but that's another thread...

    2. Our graduation just had us standing at our seats, holding a candle and reciting an oath, none of which seemed feminizing to me at all. All schools do things differently, though, so I can't comment on yours.

    3. The clothes: yeah, not much to choose from. Pretty much unisex, as far as I've seen. Not really a good fit on any of us, but fergoshsakes it's just a uniform. I've never seen a "nursing watch", though. Just get a watch w/ a second-hand! That's pretty much what everyone uses.

    It doesn't hurt to remember that there are plenty of professions where women are entering the field in recent decades and where they still aren't made to feel like they fit well. As a side note, my other career is as a musician (guitarist), and I still hear phrases like "the guys in the band", "the fellas on the bandstand", etc., even if there's a female instrumentalist there. The unspoken assumption in many people's minds is that if women are involved in music, they're "singers", and if they are vocalists they're expected to be more or less hood-ornaments for their bands (the classic picture of the chanteuse on top of the piano, etc.), which is completely screwed up, but it's a reality nonetheless. Meanwhile, there are plenty of female instrumentalists who'll blow you away with what they do! I can't even imagine what it's like having to go against that tide, professionally, and this doesn't even touch on the pushback that female police officers must face every day when there's so much more on the line. Just food for thought!

    -Kevin
  11. by   piper_for_hire
    I'm right there with you on the candle thing. Completely silly. And don't even get me started on the "pinning ceremony". How ridiculous was that? Why not just have a tea party instead?

    -S
  12. by   Alois Wolf
    Quote from piper_for_hire
    I'm right there with you on the candle thing. Completely silly. And don't even get me started on the "pinning ceremony". How ridiculous was that? Why not just have a tea party instead?

    -S
    *ahem* Some guys like tea... especially if there are scones and biscuits. :smilecoffeecup:
  13. by   piper_for_hire
    .... and what does liking tea have to do with it? For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a tea party:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_party

    -S
  14. by   Alois Wolf
    Quote from piper_for_hire
    .... and what does liking tea have to do with it? For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a tea party:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_party

    -S
    Well I know in Germany a lot of people take a Coffee break at the same time. People actualy leave their work to go home (if they can) just to have coffee with the wifey/hubby (Frauy/Herry). But yeah... my supervisor and I have tea almost every night when we get our first break. I even brought in a kettle from home.

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