Why aren't there more men in nursing?

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    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 seeing in the program in which I am an instructor. I think that nursing needs more men, not only to help the ratio, but to provide a different perspective to nursing, just as women offer to medicine. I would like to hear some opinions from the men and women in nursing. How can we recruit more men into the field, and do we want to do this? I came to nursing as a second career choice. I liked working in hospitals and knew that that was where I wanted to be, and I found nursing to be the most flexible profession, at the time. I think that it remains the most flexible and most varied profession in healthcare today. Thank you in advance for your comments and insights. joenp
  2. 17 Comments so far...

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    i think a lot of it is the old stereo typing nursing is still considered by many to be a female vocation and that nurses must posses the "nuturing female trait" which i do not agree with . i think things are changing for the better
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    Agree... stereo typing... You have to have a certain amount of caring and compassion to be a nurse... for some men it just doesn't fit their macho image they developed in the seventies!
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    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
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    Originally posted 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 seeing in the program in which I am an instructor. I think that nursing needs more men, not only to help the ratio, but to provide a different perspective to nursing, just as women offer to medicine. I would like to hear some opinions from the men and women in nursing. How can we recruit more men into the field, and do we want to do this? I came to nursing as a second career choice. I liked working in hospitals and knew that that was where I wanted to be, and I found nursing to be the most flexible profession, at the time. I think that it remains the most flexible and most varied profession in healthcare today. Thank you in advance for your comments and insights. joenp
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    Well one misconception is that males can not be compassionate and caring. I am one of the most compassionate and caring nurses you will ever meet. I often kid teased because i will cry so easily with my patients. and i feel no shame in it at all.

    i think we need to somehow change the misconceptions of nursing being a female vocation. it needs to be precieved as a real profession. also it to be promoted more to people in high school. the main thing would be to educate and encourage nurses to work with males and treat them as equals.
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    From what I have witnessed, the RN's that I have worked with who happen to be male...are just as compassionate as the female variety.
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    Maybe it's not the misconceptions that need to be changed but mens concept of themselves... Yes you can still be a "man" and still be a caring compassionate person not ashamed to show your feelings. Sounds like something I'd have to say to someone from my dad's generation but sadly enough there are still a lot of men, (and women too) who think the old way.
    Last edit by nursegoodguy on Jul 29, '02
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    The reasons why there are to few men entering the Nursing profession is the same as why there are too few women entering the profession. Besides compassion it takes an above average intelligence and a lot of hard work. Young people evaluate this and say there are much easier ways to earn a better living then becoming a nurse.
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    I think it's just about the negative attitude surrounding "femaleness" in our society. We were talking about this at work because our nm thinks we should change the name "nurse" to something that sounds less feminine to attract more men, which completely offended me.

    One RN pointed out that it is acceptable and even desirable for women to aquire traditionally male traits (like assertiveness, ambition, etc.) in male professions, but that there is some negative shameful attitude to men who acquire feminine traits (like compassion and caring) in female professions because it is seen as an indirect statement about their sexuality and masculinity. Basically it boils down to the idea that what is feminine is somehow less valued.


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