Do Male Nurses Get More Respect?


  • Career Columnist / Author
    Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development. Has 30 years experience.

In your experience, do male nurses get more respect from providers than females? I have seen examples of this, not always, but enough to make me wonder if it's widespread. How about you, what's your experience?

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.


Specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

Yes, I have seen this. Not everywhere, not everyone, but I have seen it.


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

Hmm....if you mean that he is assumed to be the doctor, even though *I* am his preceptor? Then, LOL, I suppose yes...but once they KNOW he's an RN, not an MD? No.


2,453 Posts

Confident, competent nurses get more respect.

ktwlpn, LPN

3,844 Posts

Specializes in LTC,Hospice/palliative care,acute care. Has 35 years experience.

I have seen a few older physicians give newer male nurses immediate trust and espect,the same docs who give all new female nurses a raft of crap until they prove themselves.I have also suspected a few started out at a slightly higher rate ......

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

No. Don't even plan to expect that.

I don't know if they get more respect from doctors, specifically, but they definitely get more respect from the people who determine their pay and whether or not they'll have opportunities for career advancement. I would love to know why male nurses make up a disproportionate amount of charge nurse and house supervisor positions at my hospital. Male Nurses Make More Money - Real Time Economics - WSJ

NicuGal, MSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

Not where I work. And they don't make more money since we are all on the same pay scale.

Only to people that believe that nursing is still heavily dominated by women. Which don't get me wrong, the majority is still women, but its not nearly as uncommon as it once was. Guess it's a population/age demographic.

I get hit on both ends of the stick. From "why aren't you going to med school" to "oh my goodness this profession needs more men like you!"

I actually heard the latter today from the sweetest old woman who I helped toilet several times today without a bit of grief. I guess she expected me to be frustrated the way her cna was, and was a bit self-conscious about how frequent she needed to go. But she was so pleased that I was there to help with no complaints every time


210 Posts

The bottom line is that wayyyy back in the human brain exists the axiom that violence is the ultimate law. This is why women like guys who are loud, obnoxious, "douche bags" (seriously, find a guy like that, and I bet he has a list of hot X's and a great looking girl with him at the time...). Those loud obnoxious people can typically "back it up", or they wouldn't be alive today. It appeals to the aspect of a woman's mind that is rooted in the faded annals of human history where a man's role was as a protector and provider first and foremost.

Also, other men recognize this. One man sees another, sizes him up, and that lizard in the back of the brain says "treat softly or this guy could break your face". The modern man may or may not give conscious voice to this evolution of thought, but it's there.

I think it only part of the human condition that the bluster of academic success will give way to the ancient but still pertinent evolutionary development of violence as the golden standard.

To that point, in 5 years of nursing, I have never once had a physician act rudely toward me in person, and only once or twice on the phone---which they apologized for right afterwards.

So, yes, I feel that being a strong alpha male does get me more respect as a nurse, after observing how the same physicians treat female nurses in my environment.

Does it mean male nurses deserve more respect? No. But just like the douche bag in the bar may not "deserve" the girl he's with...he's still with 'er!


3,726 Posts

"To that point, in 5 years of nursing, I have never once had a physician act rudely toward me in person, and only once or twice on the phone---which they apologized for right afterwards."

Change the 5 years to 19 and that's been my experience.

I can't remember the last time I was disrespected, just doesn't seem to happen these days.