Outdated culture blamed for male nurse shortage - page 3

Outdated culture blamed for male nurse shortage Friday, July 16, 2004. 8:08am A nursing academic has blamed an outdated culture for the huge shortage of men in the nursing profession. Kim... Read More

  1. by   Kabin
    It wasn't too long ago that MDs were predominantly male, and now it's nearly 50/50 male to female. There's no reason the same thing couldn't happen to nursing.
  2. by   mobileLPN
    Ok, maybe it's because I work ER, where a lot of us guys seem to work. Maybe it's because like many of my colleagues, I worked in EMS before going to nursing school. Perhaps it's because I assert myself as a fellow professional with the medical staff. I'm not sure, but I do know I get complimented on my career choice far more often than belittled for it. There were a few times back in nursing school I used to joke with my friends that I went into nursing to meet women. Most people know I earn substantially more than others my age. I get to travel all over, visiting places some may never see. And I work three days a week! It's great.

    Changing the name of the profession? No way. I'm a Nurse!
  3. by   stsdoc
    Quote from Kabin
    It wasn't too long ago that MDs were predominantly male, and now it's nearly 50/50 male to female. There's no reason the same thing couldn't happen to nursing.
    Apples and oranges. Women will always want to go into territory that was once only availible to males, because these positions have historically been seen as more distinguished. Think about it: physicians, lawyers, politicians, CEO's, even the Augusta Golf club in Georgia.

    Men tend to not want to go into roles that were traditionlly held by women, because society has led them to believe that it would be "unmanly", or a step down. Do you see men knocking down the door to become secretaries, hair stylists, or suing to get into all-girl schools? No. Unfortunately, that is how a lot of PEOPLE (men and women) view nursing. Until that changes, the ratio will remain the same.
  4. by   Kabin
    Sounds like you may be one to perpetuate that sterotype. I disagree. Nursing isn't one cookie cutter job, rather it's a diverse field that can benefit from both male and female personel.
  5. by   lossforimagination
    I don't think it's so much a "sterotype" that keeps men out of nursing as it is that few men are as willing to put up with the stress, abuse, lousy pay and lousy work conditions that DEFILE the field of nursing. For women, unfortunately, the treatment is traditional to the point that too many women expect it and don't even realize they are being treated like s***.




    Quote from resqrider
    [font=Arial Black]First of all I am a male and a nurse.
    Why is the term "male nurse" so stereotyped.
    Why can't there just be a nursing shortage.It seems that when the term "male nurse" conjures up a man that has an alternative lifestyle or can and might be slightly perverted. The term also conjures up the ideology that "men don't understand the women's health issues and may not know how to treat them. I for one am sick and tired of the stereotyping of us men who have taken up this most honorable and noble profession. Remember the very first nurses were monks in a monastary.

    I really don't consider it an outdated culture, I consider it a stereotype gone to far. :angryfire
  6. by   lossforimagination
    Truthfully, I don't know any nurses who care about whether their career choice is "distinguished" or glamorous enough. (Obviously not!) I think anyone in nursing does it either because they are codependent martyr types; or they do it because it's in such demand that they consider nursing to be good financial security. The "I can make a difference helping people" type gets burned out just like the "I want a secure job" type. Eventually they both end up wishing they worked in a different field altogether, and in the end both do it just for the paycheck.



    Quote from stsdoc
    Apples and oranges. Women will always want to go into territory that was once only availible to males, because these positions have historically been seen as more distinguished. Think about it: physicians, lawyers, politicians, CEO's, even the Augusta Golf club in Georgia.

    Men tend to not want to go into roles that were traditionlly held by women, because society has led them to believe that it would be "unmanly", or a step down. Do you see men knocking down the door to become secretaries, hair stylists, or suing to get into all-girl schools? No. Unfortunately, that is how a lot of PEOPLE (men and women) view nursing. Until that changes, the ratio will remain the same.
  7. by   stsdoc
    Quote from Kabin
    Sounds like you may be one to perpetuate that sterotype. I disagree. Nursing isn't one cookie cutter job, rather it's a diverse field that can benefit from both male and female personel.
    What part of my post suggests that I will perpetuate the stereotype? I'm just giving you the mindset of the vast majority of people in the U.S.

    Most average people do not know about the training that goes into becoming a nurse, or the many nursing specialties. They base their opinions on historical stereotypes.
  8. by   stsdoc
    Here is a bit of evidence from one of your own (From the nursing sjortage thread) that corroborates my post:

    "Formerly prized as one of only a handful of professions open to women, nursing has fallen out of favor with a new generation. Thanks to a wider range of career opportunities, young girls today seldom dream of growing up to be Florence Nightingale. According to the BLS, the median age in nursing in 2001 was 43, compared with 39 in 1989, the earliest age data available for RNs. The share of working RNs under age 35 dropped to 24 percent in 2001, from 37 percent in 1989, reports the BLS. The share of young registered nurses under age 25 sank to 3 percent in 2001, from 5 percent in 1989. Says Angela McBride, dean of Indiana University's School of Nursing: "Women used to become a grammar school teacher, a nurse or a nun." The women's movement helped expand the range of career options open to women; at the same time, the jobs women historically gravitated to were spurned in favor of the more lucrative, formerly male-dominated professions."

    Women step up, men are not willing to "step down" to fill the void.
  9. by   Kabin
    If your view is true, how do you account for the current, increased male applications to nursing school?
  10. by   lossforimagination
    The poor economy easily explains the increased male applicants to nursing school. Nurses are in high demand, with many unfilled positions out there. People have to pay the bills.




    Quote from Kabin
    If your view is true, how do you account for the current, increased male applications to nursing school?
  11. by   Kabin
    I would think that is the primary reason as well, but I only asked the question because stsdoc has a theory that ... "Women step up, men are not willing to "step down" to fill the void."
  12. by   Altra
    Quote from lossforimagination
    I think anyone in nursing does it either because they are codependent martyr types; or they do it because it's in such demand that they consider nursing to be good financial security. The "I can make a difference helping people" type gets burned out just like the "I want a secure job" type. Eventually they both end up wishing they worked in a different field altogether, and in the end both do it just for the paycheck.

    HUH?? "anyone in nursing does it either because they are codependent martyr types; or they do it because it's in such demand that they consider nursing to be good financial security."

    So which category do you fall into: are you codependent or looking for job security?

    What a narrow, stereotypical point of view, apparently from someone unhappy with their career choice.

    The culture of the nursing profession is undoubtably still in a period of transition from being one of the few "acceptable" career choices available to women, and being a profession viewed as largely subordinate to the medical profession, to being a diverse, autonomous profession. I clicked on this thread thinking that there might be positive suggestions to enhance this transition. For example, as a student it has sometimes irritated me that the walls of some of the classrooms at my school are PINK, and the bulletin boards are often decorated with teddy bears. Granted, these are small annoyances in the big scheme of things, but I think they contribute to the overall feeling, the "outdated culture," of nursing being an all-female profession, and a subservient one at that.

    As far as pay, in my area of the country typical new RN grad salaries are $35-40K. This is not out of line with the pay for new college grads starting out in many other fields. I'm not claiming it's great money, because it's not, I'm just saying it's comparable to starting salaries in other fields.

    I'm just bothered by the tone this thread has taken with the above post.
  13. by   danu3
    About the codependent comment, guess it is getting to be a fad. Sometimes I feel that if you care, you are codependent, which is just plain dumb. For some, people seemed to have gone the other extreme and have codependent phobia where they are afraid to care.

    Look at
    Codependency, Boundaries, and Professional; Nurse Caring , By: Martsolf, Donna S., Orthopaedic Nursing, 07446020, Nov/Dec2002, Vol. 21, Issue 6

    Interesting article as it talks about the problem with the definition of codependency. It mentioned "The use of the concept is problematic because of lack of clarity of both its definition and its defining characteristics. " Also it talks about people confusing bondary setting with codependcy. The summary will give one a flaver of the article "

    "Codependency is an interesting concept that has been presented in a wide variety of articles in nursing literature. In some instances the concept has been applied with excessive generality. This article has been an attempt to clearly define the concept of codependency and limit its use to a narrow spectrum of human behaviors. It is clear that not all nurses can be labeled as codependent. Nursing behaviors related to boundary violations and professional nurse caring have often been confused with codependency. This confusion does not help codependent nurses get the assistance from which they may benefit.

    Furthermore, nurses who have difficulty establishing and maintaining professional boundaries need to deal with these boundary issues without labeling themselves as codependent. Finally, professional nurse caring needs to be fostered and encouraged by nurses in themselves and in their peers. To do so continues the legacy of nursing started by Nightingale to a new generation of nurses."



    Just from a personal observation, one really needs to look at the kind of nursing that one is involve with. For example, flight nursing, ER nursing, OR nursing, Hospoce nursing... etc does not really give a nurse who is codependent to really express his/her codependency due to the nature of the work. Furthermore, if you look at the nursing models that are taught, they are not codependent at all. A person who is codependent will have plenty of trouble implementing the nursing models.
    -Dan

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