Why such a push to get more men into nursing?

  1. I'm a man and I may not get it. AllNurses just posted an article about getting more men into nursing, there is an association for men in nursing that is trying to get more men into nursing... and I want to hear from experienced nurses about why there should be more men in nursing (if nurses really do think that there should be more men in nursing).

    The only good reason(s) for pushing to get more men into nursing would point to what men can do better than women, generally, in the field of nursing. If men have no advantage over women, then there is no good reason to push for more of them to go into nursing. I've never been a fan of any push to get any people of any gender, ethnicity, or race into any specific field; rather, I've always said that each person's merits and desires as they relate to the field should be the only things considered.

    I only see one concrete way and one possible way that men could have an advantage over women in nursing, and that is not to say that women don't have certain advantages over men in nursing - I can think of a couple of possibilities anyway. So what do I think are the advantages held by men?

    1) Physical strength. This would seem to be a certainty as an advantage, given all I have read about how nurses are often tasked with moving and lifting patients. Since men are usually stronger than women, it would seem that they would be better able to do this and suffer less lasting damage as a result.

    2) This one is the "maybe" - and it would be contingent upon certain patients having a preference for a male nurse over a female nurse. I doubt that happens often, but I'd also doubt that it happens never. In this case, the mere condition of being male would be the advantage.

    Is there more? (And/or are the two reasons I just listed not relevant?) I would claim that it has something to do with alleviating the nursing shortage, but one of the main reasons for that shortage is a lack of available spots in nursing school, which affects all genders equally... so I reject that claim for now at least.
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    About RomaniGypsy

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 34; Likes: 19
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    12 Comments

  3. by   offlabel
    One advantage for employers is that, by and large, men don't take the primary responsibility of taking care of kids as much as women do. Rightly or not, when a kid has to stay home or get picked up or whatever it's mom taking off to put out the fires, not dad.
  4. by   RomaniGypsy
    Quote from offlabel
    One advantage for employers is that, by and large, men don't take the primary responsibility of taking care of kids as much as women do. Rightly or not, when a kid has to stay home or get picked up or whatever it's mom taking off to put out the fires, not dad.
    Okay, I can rock with that. I guess it would depend upon the family, but in mine, it is true that my son prefers Mommy. Apparently that's common, and from my perspective it's perfectly fine because Mommy did 98% of the work bringing him into the world. (My 2% was handling nearly all of the house work and some of our performances by myself during that time because she was either sick, restricted to "light duty" lifting, or tired.)

    So there's another advantage of men in nursing - their scheduling might be more reliable because they aren't as likely to call off, leave early, or need to be rescheduled on account of their kids.
  5. by   NICU Guy
    I don't think that the point of the article was to "push" men into nursing. I don't understand why you are trying to think of advantages of men in nursing vs women. Nursing is still primarily thought of as a female profession. By having campaigns such as the one in Oregon (that was mentioned in the article) is a way showing that nursing can be a possible career choice for men.
  6. by   RomaniGypsy
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    I don't think that the point of the article was to "push" men into nursing. I don't understand why you are trying to think of advantages of men in nursing vs women. Nursing is still primarily thought of as a female profession. By having campaigns such as the one in Oregon (that was mentioned in the article) is a way showing that nursing can be a possible career choice for men.
    Maybe there isn't as much of a "push" as I am thinking, but I have two cousins (one male, one female) who are nurses and they say, "We need more men in nursing!". My mom... "They need more male nurses!". Where there's that much smoke, there's bound to be at least some fire.

    Interestingly enough, my wife told me that there was a time when she, as a patient, suffered a bit due to the lack of an available male nurse. Three years ago she had a hiatal hernia repaired and she had to transfer herself from the gurney to the hospital bed because, as she said, "I overheard someone say that they couldn't move me because they didn't have a male nurse around". She's a BIG woman (hey, we all have our tastes)... that could have something to do with it. Anyway, I guess it really is a "thing". If I wind up working as a floor nurse at some point, all those years of weight lifting will finally prove to have been useful. (Maybe I'll have to get back into it... ugh...)
  7. by   Possum_RN
    I think the point is that there is still a stigma attached to nursing as a" female profession", like teaching, secretarial work, cooks, etc. You mention that you've "never been a fan of any push to get any people of any gender, ethnicity, or race into any specific field", but the fact is that there are stigmas that prevent certain demographics from being encouraged to join certain fields. These campaigns are an effort to remove such stigmas and encourage people to join fields based on "each person's merits and desires as they relate to the field"...not on demographics.
  8. by   Seeing Myself Out
    If a nurse gets the job done well, I don't care what gender the nurse is. Worked with many male or female nurses, seen good ones and bad ones from both.
  9. by   KatiejonD
    Just my humble opinion here, but as a woman in Nursing.... most (although not all) male Nurses help to bring down the drama and 'secure the hen house'. Now there are male Nurses who do the exact opposite, but not in general. I've really appreciated having a male Nurses to work beside for the above reason. I hope you are one of those men.
  10. by   MountainMedicRn
    Quote from KatiejonD
    Just my humble opinion here, but as a woman in Nursing.... most (although not all) male Nurses help to bring down the drama and 'secure the hen house'. Now there are male Nurses who do the exact opposite, but not in general. I've really appreciated having a male Nurses to work beside for the above reason. I hope you are one of those men.
    Agreed. Balances everything out and we work together well...just like in other jobs in all sort of industries...just like its nice to have a woman's touch and/or perspective, it goes both ways.
  11. by   llg
    Hmmm... For any given job/task ... men are usually paid more for doing it than women are. That's not fair, but historically, it has generallybeen true. Some people believe that recruiting more men into nursing will help raise nursing compensation.
  12. by   Jedrnurse
    I don't understand why there's a "push". It seems that it's happening already...
  13. by   gcupid
    More men=better working conditions. more money, more respect from administration, patients, doctors, and family members. More power, less abuse and bullying.
  14. by   Matthew RN
    The push is really a matter of representation, "X group is a minority in Y profession".

    Not based on "X group" is better or isn't better at any aspect of the job.

    In many areas and professions many groups are underrepresented based on local demographics. Thus you will see a push for more members of that group to join that area or profession. You won't see a push for more male CRNAs or male managers or other areas where the male representation is closer to the female.

    At one point in my career I was the only male nurse in a department that covered five specialty areas.

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