Where are the men? - page 2

Why haven't more men entered the field of nursing over the years? Nursing remains at 94.6% female.... Read More

  1. by   ainz
    You will see minor variations in that stat but all around 94% +/-, look at the ANA website, read various articles on demographics of nursing. It was 97% female when I became an RN.

    I agree with you BluEyes, we need good people, gender doesn't matter. Just want to hear some of your opinions on why men aren't entering nursing in any significant numbers.
  2. by   roxannekkb
    I guess men don't put up the bs as well as women do, and I imagine that hospital administrators like them less because they don't tend to be doormats!

    I honestly think that men would give nursing more backbone and clout. While there are some great female nurses out there, standing up for nursing and fighting for better working conditions, the bulk still seems to be more interested in complaining amongst themselves, backstabbing, and getting into those catty "girl" situations.

    I tend to think guys take one look at what's really going on in most hospitals and run the other way. And it's a catch 22 kind of thing. I really think men will make a big difference, but on the other hand, men aren't going to pour into the nursing ranks until conditions change.
  3. by   nowplayingEDRN
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    Those who WANT to be in nursing are. If they dont' want to be in nursing, I don't want them in either. We have enough malcontents in nursing as it is, both in mgt and in the workforce in general. I don't think we should actively recruit men over women; just recruit qualified young people in general. Those who want to, I would welcome them, regardless of gender.
    You preach it Sistah and I will turn the pages for you! (((hugs)))

    Bangin, good luck and best wishes as you start your new venture. may you do well, show compassion and learn and develope the skills to make you an outstanding member of the nursing community. Welcome aboard.
  4. by   bedpan
    30 people started in our LPN class with 5 of us being men - 6 people have so far dropped out (1st semester will end next week) and one of those was male so out of 24 student we have 4 males.

    Given time I believe more men will join the ranks

    And believe it or not there are a lot of idiots out there who think that ifa male is a nurse they must be "gay" - I have no idea why, but they do and yes I have heard it already myself - I believe that a lot of guys are quite frankly so insecure that they are worried that someone might think that of them - Silly I know, but that's the way some people are - ~shrugs~
  5. by   DMR1
    I know exactly what you mean. I'm a male, about to enter into a nursing program (i will specialize and become a Perioperative RN) and being only 18, I think some people think I'm gay when I say im going into nursing. i'm not, I don't even act gay, which proves that some people are really shallow, only to base sexual orientation on a career.

    It's gotten to the point, that when someone asks me what I'm going to do next year, I just say "I'm going to be a Perioperative, which means I'll work in the OR." I get less flak that way, and most people raise their eye brows and say 'wow', compared to laughing and asking if im a ***.

    oh well, that's just how some people are. I'll have the last laugh, when I'm working in the OR making $27 an hour, while they're still stuck at a part time job making next to nothing.
  6. by   sjoe
    Here is an article I ran into that has been posted before on this topic:

    Study says male nurses leaving profession at almost twice the rate of
    The Associated Press
    9/6/02 3:25 AM
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Recent graduates of the nation's nursing schools are leaving the profession more quickly than their predecessors, with male nurses bolting at almost twice the rate of their female counterparts, according to a new study.
    About 7.5 percent of new male nurses left the profession within four years of graduating from nursing school, compared to 4.1 percent of new female nurses, according to the study by a University of Pennsylvania researcher. It was reported Thursday in the journal Health Affairs.
    "In general, nurses are looked down upon, especially by physicians," said Jerome Koss, a nurse since 1978 and an administrator for Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "It's changing but it's still an issue -- and I think men are much less tolerant than women of that kind of treatment."
    The research, which looked at data in a national survey of registered nurses conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1992, 1996 and 2000, is the latest to highlight the nationwide nursing shortage.
    Tom Foster, a nurse for eight years, said low pay is a big issue for men and women alike, and he questioned whether some men may discover after graduation that they have problems working in a female-dominated field.
    "Many men are interested in the technical aspect of nursing and they use nursing as a stepping stone" to more advanced and better-paying jobs in critical care or as nurse anesthetists, said Foster, who also works at Fox Chase.
    Though men only make up about 5 percent of the nursing work force nationwide, their departure rates are still a cause for concern, said Bill Cruice, director of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals.
    "For men or women, the problem will not be solved until you deal with staffing levels, mandatory overtime, lack of respect and recognition and lack of a decent pension," he said.
    Government and medical groups have said that if current trends continue, the nation will face a shortage of half a million nurses by 2020. The nation's nursing corps is aging, nursing school enrollments have been dropping and nearly 2.7 million nurses in the United States aren't actively practicing, according to a government report released earlier this year.
    "If new RNs are leaving the profession after only a few years, the shortage is likely to reach crisis proportions sooner rather than later," said Julie Sochalski, associate professor at Penn's School of Nursing and author of the study.
    The study also found that the dropout rate for new graduates of both genders is accelerating -- rising from 2 percent of men in 1992 to 7.5 percent in 2000; and 2.7 percent of women in 1992 to 4.1 percent in 2000.
    Job satisfaction also differed by gender, with 75 percent of new female nurses reporting they were satisfied with their jobs compared to 67 percent of male nurses. Among nurses established in their careers, 69 percent of women and 60 percent of men reported being satisfied with their jobs.
    "Men, I think, want more autonomy in their careers ... they want to be making decisions about their own practice," Koss said. "The profession is changing and there's more room for that than there used to be. Maybe the problem is that the word's not getting out."
    The report did not attempt to address why more new nurses, and specifically new male nurses, are leaving. But Sochalski said it shows the importance of looking for the reasons.
    On the Net:
    Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
  7. by   hbscott
    I left nursing for a job that paid more, had better hours, provided better working conditions, and offered me a brighter future.

    I left nursing because I grew weary of the passive aggressive behavior I witnessed daily in nursing practice as nurses turned on each other for one reason or another.

    I have been in health care for 23 years. I started out as a naval hospital corpsman and worked in the proverbial trenches as an EMT and Surgical Technician before I came into nursing.
    I have an Associate's of Science in Surgical Technology, a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing and a Master's of Science in Nursing Education. I am also certified as a Nurse Educator and Oncology Clinical Specialist. I am published in the American Journal of Nursing and various other periodicals but in spite of my achievement I got no respect.

    Until I left nursing.

    Where are the men? They are out there with other men and women working hard looking for those jobs that give them in some measure personal satisfaction and financial well being.

    I didn't find that in nursing.

    For those of you who stay in nursing I wish you well and the best of luck. No job is perfect but I can say that I found work outside of nursing that is fulfilling and certainly leaves me in a better mood when I come home to the wife and children.


  8. by   NRSKarenRN
    the registered nurse population: findings from the national sample survey of registered nurses

    "men still comprise a very small percentage of the total rn population although their numbers have continued to grow. of the estimated 2,694,540 rns in the us, 146,902 or 5.4 percent are men. this is a 226 percent increase in the number of male rns in two decades. in 1980, the number of men in the rn population was estimated at 45,060 or 2.7 percent of the rn population. each of the surveys indicates that the number of men has grown at a much faster rate than has the total rn population.

    from pg 17 of report (acrobat reader required to view):

    very interesting reading.

    full report can also be accessed:

    see one rn's experience in new article at nursing spectrum:

    a nurse by any other name...
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Aug 1, '03
  9. by   CougRN
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    Men...in general...are intimidated by women in positions of power. It is only human nature for the male species to have a drive within them that dominates and protects their territory around them. Having a woman dominate and control them is NOT the design of men. For those of you who believe in God, we know this to be true. For those of you who do not believe in God...you may or may not get the gest of what I'm saying.

    In fields that are predominantly "female controlled", can we blame men for running the other way....especially if being controlled by women means a man has to cowtow to stupid demands and abuse that nurses (mostly women) love to bestow on each other........goes with that saying "Nurses love eating each other".........the catfights, the clicques they form, the jealousy, and so forth. Women SEEK a position of power over each other. MEN were given that birthright to be strong powerful and protective by God.

    I'm abbreviating a lot of what I'm feeling, but I'll let this stand as is for now.
    Umm hardly. I'm not intimidated by women in the least bit especially those above me. Men leave the profession because they don't like being looked at like subserviant workers. Men leave because of the look people give them when they say they are a nurse. Only some of us are strong enough to get past that. Plus men want a career that they can support a family with, nursing isn't that career.

    But the whole "female controlled" aspect is a complete myth as to why men would leave the profession. A professional can work for anyone if they are a true professional. Men also leave the field of nursing because it is so unorganized and doesn't show any signs of becoming an organized profession with any power in the near future. Mostly because of the all the infighting between nurses and their reluctance to join their organizations and take an active part in the future of nursing.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Originally posted by bedpan
    30 people started in our LPN class with 5 of us being men - 6 people have so far dropped out (1st semester will end next week) and one of those was male so out of 24 student we have 4 males.

    Given time I believe more men will join the ranks

    And believe it or not there are a lot of idiots out there who think that ifa male is a nurse they must be "gay" - I have no idea why, but they do and yes I have heard it already myself - I believe that a lot of guys are quite frankly so insecure that they are worried that someone might think that of them - Silly I know, but that's the way some people are - ~shrugs~
    Kinda like men in the hair profession, meanwhile i worked with 3 men at the salon i worked at, all 3 were straight.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    An interesting article in the subject in Nursing 2003 magazing. A "few good men"give their opinions there.
  12. by   Tilleycs
    Another man here. I'm a contractor in the computer field (currently getting my nursing prerequisites out of the way), so I've worked at a lot of companies over the years. I've had managers who were men, women, straight, gay, married, single, parents, not parents, etc. You name it, I've probably worked with or for it. I personally could care less what their gender (or anything else) is, I just want them to be a GOOD manager. She could be a card-carrying member of local chapter of the DEALNBCC (Dyslexic Eskimo Amputee Lesbian Nazi Biker Chicks for Christ) for all I care - a good manager is a good manager.

    I do see cheerfuldoer's point about men having problems working under women, though, and I'm sure that's the case for some people (just like some people have a problem with working under someone who is younger, a different race, etc.).

    My girlfriend is a nurse, and I have to admit that it's discouraging to hear about all the cattiness, gossip, and backbiting that goes on among the women. I think it's a shame and a waste of the time and talent they probably have. It's not nearly as prevalent in the IT field, maybe because it's mostly men. We just have little interest in stuff like that.

    I don't worry about whether people will wonder if I'm gay or not (I seriously doubt I'll set off anyone's "gay-dar" ) or having to "spin" what I'm going into. Hey, at least people will KNOW what I'll do as a nurse! Now when I tell people that I'm a technical writer, I usually get a strange look before they ask, "What's a technical writer?" I just tell them that I write the manuals that no one reads but every complains about.

    I appreciate Deb's post, too - those who belong in nursing have found or will find their way there. If it's mostly female but that's the way it works best, so be it. I'd rather have it be that way than try to change it to meet some quota, and mess everything up.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    DEALNBCC . . . . :chuckle

    Tilleycs . . you are good.

    I asked all the men here in my house (excluding the toddler) about their image of nursing. They were all a little careful knowing I'm pretty opinionated about my career but unfortunately I still got things like "I wouldn't want to wipe people's butts" and "Male nurses are looked at as gay". sigh . .

    Ya know, the nursing image is a tough image to convey.

    Changing the name of what we do seems a little sneaky to me. If you are gonna be a nurse, be proud of being a nurse. Don't hide behind a little title change.

    I like Deb's post too . . . the people who want to be nurses will find their way there. Why mess things up with quotas?

    There IS an atmosphere of cattiness and gossip and backbiting among women . . which is another subject and one that I'm starting to do some research on since I have an almost 14 year old daughter who is in junior high and oh my gosh the cattiness and backstabbing and gossipy behavior starts early and with a vengence.