Why aren't there more men in nursing?

  1. 0 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. Visit  joenp profile page

    About joenp

    From 'Wisconsin'; Joined Jul '02; Posts: 26; Likes: 1.

    17 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  mark_LD_RN profile page
    0
    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
  4. Visit  nursegoodguy profile page
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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!
  5. Visit  joenp profile page
    0
    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
  6. Visit  joenp profile page
    0
    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
  7. Visit  mark_LD_RN profile page
    0
    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.
  8. Visit  Furball profile page
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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.
  9. Visit  nursegoodguy profile page
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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
  10. Visit  OC_An Khe profile page
    0
    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.
  11. Visit  fergus51 profile page
    0
    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.
  12. Visit  joenp profile page
    0
    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
  13. Visit  sjoe profile page
    0
    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.
  14. Visit  vettech profile page
    0
    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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