Why aren't there more men in nursing? - page 2

by joenp

Why aren't there more men in nursing? I was one of four guys in my program when I did my undergraduate degree and one of two in my graduate program. There do not seem to be too many men entering nursing, based on what I am... Read More


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    thanks to all of you for your insightful comments. I am new to this and have found many of the topics very valuable to me and all the comments I have received as helpful. I do agree that nursing is put down, by many of us, because it is a female dominated profession. I also think that we do need to change our colleagues perceptions of nursing so that young people look at it in a more positive manner. When I speak to young people, they want to know how much a nurse earns, and immediately tell me that they want to be an MD because they make more money. They do not really know what goes into either profession, they just want to make alot of money. I guess we were all young once... Thanks, joenp
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    Things were a lot different 12 years ago when I got into nursing. They've gotten much worse. A much higher percentage (8% the last I read) of men are in nursing schools than working in nursing (4% the last I read), primarily because we tend to have limited patience with incompetent supervision and absence of leadership. When we recognize that this is the way it is going to be, we get out and do something with more respect, more money, and more room for advancement.
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    Originally posted by joenp
    I forgot about the stereotyping that goes with nursing, as with medicine. I will say that any patients that I have worked with, have enjoyed haveing a male nurse. I commend my female counterparts for having the corner on compassion and caring, which is really doing wonders for the field of medicine. Yet, there must be some use for the old "maleness" in nursing, or we would not be doing as well as we do when we join the profession. Yet, how do we change the perception of nursing, yet not change the profession, so that more men will enter. I know that there are some answers out there, that I hope to get from you my colleagues. I want to encourage more men to enter the nursing programs in which I teach, and am looking for some suggestions on how to do it. Unfortunately, some of the people, not just the men, coming into healthcare are doing so because it means job security. This precludes the reasons why many of us got into nursing, certainly not for the money! I hope these comments make some sense and I hope to hear from more of you soon. joenp
    Personally, I'm here because I enjoy the challenge of medicine. I used to work in computer maufacturing and hated it. It was mindless. Now, I'm happy every day I put on the scrubs. Granted, I'm only a student now and don't have to deal with the day to day of human nursing life just yet.

    My current industry (veterinary) is one that was dominated by men but is now transitioning to being female dominated. Most new grad vets are female and very few techs are male. My school graduates on avrage 25-30 students per year and it is rare to find 2 males in the class, 1 is the norm.

    I think y'all are right that the issue is mostly the perception that being an RN is a "female" occupation just as we still do a double-take when we see a woman working construction. Fergus51, I agree with your comments about the perceptions of females expressing "male" traits vs males showing "female" traits. The two things I am asked WEEKLY are a> Are you going to be a vet? (my female colleagues rarely get asked this - the idea that a male is happy being a nurse seems odd to people for some reason) and b> (maybe not weekly but it seems it) are you gay? I am a straight, compassionate male who has no qualms about expressing my compassion for my patients - pure and simple. If that means a little baby talk, so be it.

    And, yeah, I think the younger folk's perception of money is different. In today's world, most min wage folks feel they're being ripped off so don't care about doing the job. We live in a society that is very materialistic. I admit I am just like the rest in that aspect - I want vacations, a decent car, etc. I don't want to live like Bill Gates but I don't want to have to plan into the budget going to have a few beers with the guys either. It took me 5 years to get back to my computer industry salary after changing careers the last time. However, I made the change because I firmly believe you have to love what you do for a living or you won't be very good at it and the rest of your life will suffer. I like veterinary nursing but I've hit a glass ceiling in my career and my skills are at a plateau, its time to change.

    I think a sincere push needs to be made by the medical industry via PSNs to change the public's image of nursing and specifically gear them to attract males. I think nursing schools should also offer scholarships to encourage males to enter the profession as many industries have done to attract other specific groups they lack.
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    There is a great untapped resource out there for men to go into nursing. Military medics. I was never recruited after spending 7 1/2 years in the military, when I first got out I tried factory work (too monotonous), and since I had become an LPN in the military, I went to work in a hosp. Then I decided to go to RN school on the GI bill, best decision I ever made. Why the government doesn't spend a little money to try and attract military medics into nursing I'll never understand. Those that have advanced training in the military should be able to complete a 4 year program in less time. I think this would go a long way toward easing the nursing shortage.

    Thanks for reading and please express your opinions about this posting.

    Jon
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    Originally posted by JonRN
    There is a great untapped resource out there for men to go into nursing. Military medics. I was never recruited after spending 7 1/2 years in the military, when I first got out I tried factory work (too monotonous), and since I had become an LPN in the military, I went to work in a hosp. Then I decided to go to RN school on the GI bill, best decision I ever made. Why the government doesn't spend a little money to try and attract military medics into nursing I'll never understand. Those that have advanced training in the military should be able to complete a 4 year program in less time. I think this would go a long way toward easing the nursing shortage.

    Thanks for reading and please express your opinions about this posting.

    Jon
    I agree with you whole heartedly! I'd imagine a former military medic would be great to have around, esp in ER/Critical Care.

    What do you think of the military training their doctors and medics at civillian trauma centers? I love the idea. It seems a great way to get real world experience. We have a program here in Houston at Ben Taub hospital and I've heard really good things about it.
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    I think training military MDs and medics at civilian hospitals is a great idea. They see more trauma there in an 8-hr. shift than some people see in their whole career. Wonderul idea!!! Also, medics are good for lots of things other than critical care/ ER, it just so happens IMHO that those are the areas that seem to attract these guys, based on personal experience.
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    In my class it was just one other guy in the class, and from then until now I've been checking around and at my old school and others there is about 5-6 in every 50 females that go into the nursing profession, it needs to be better advertised on TV and around, it's a great profession to be in, because you touch so many lives each and every day.

    LPN & EMT-CT
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    I graduated from Vocational nursing school 22yrs ago this past May, and we had 6 males in our class. I don't remember how many students started out in the beginning...but we graduated about 18...so that was 6 males...and 12 women.
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Aug 26, '02


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