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The Stigma of Men in Nursing

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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What is holding men from becoming nurses?

Barriers and stereotypes of male nurses are discussed. Males who choose nursing as a career face unique barriers. You are reading page 11 of The Stigma of Men in Nursing. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

labordude has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in L&D, OBED, NICU, Lactation.

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17 hours ago, Fly Guy JB said:

Few men teaching in nursing schools. Despite the experience of nurses above, there is a certain amount of discrimination in OB sections in school, interestingly, as someone pointed out the percentage of male physicians in OBGYN has no correlation with the amount of male nurses in the same specialty. 

The number of men as OB/GYNs is rapidly dropping. As of 2018, 82% of the residents in the specialty were female. It will probably settle out somewhere around 80/20 (F/M) once everything is said and done and men are considered diversity picks in some programs. There is no way to compare the two directly (number of male OBs vs number of male nurses in OB) simply because they are so different to begin with. A male going into OB/GYN as a physician doesn't face nearly the same uphill battle as a male who wants to do obstetric nursing. It's better than it was 10 years ago for nurses though.

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organichombre has 34 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN and specializes in critical care, med/surg.

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"What do we do to make the profession more attractive to men (and women) as we are short of nurses in many areas with the projection that the shortage will only get worse. Emphasize the valuable nature of the work, stop referring to it as a calling (we aren’t priests and nuns), emphasize the good schedules and pay, the transportability of the profession, and the ability to change specialties and advance into leadership, education, or advanced practice specialties if one desires. "

Absolutely Fly Guy!

I see a lot of people coming into nursing school (for profit) and I see a lot of people not making it. For some, nursing school isn't that hard if you've had a good science background or you just test well. Others, make great grades in college but nursing school blows their minds! Many kids are not prepared in high school for the demands of nursing school. While nursing is not necessarily a calling to most, there is that aspect of nursing that still perseveres. And how do you explain the answer: "I just like taking care of people"?

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On 12/7/2019 at 4:24 PM, ArmyRntoMD said:

They won’t hire men for L&D at the hospitals near where I live, because they say women request a female nurse and it’s a logistical headache. Interesting that they have male doctors though 🤷🏻‍♂️🤣

Some people are illogical. Shutting my brain down when I smell it.😉

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labordude has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in L&D, OBED, NICU, Lactation.

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On 12/9/2019 at 7:02 PM, labordude said:

And as it turns out, not only do I MORE than surpass their requirements for the position, since LA is a compact state I am already authorized to practice there.

But..it's Baton Rouge man... I'm still gonna apply though 😂

Submitted my app today (finally) I'll let you know what comes of it haha

1 hour ago, Megarline said:

Some people are illogical. Shutting my brain down when I smell it.😉

Oh hospitals definitely try to come up with excuses...they don't last long in my world

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On 12/24/2019 at 11:40 AM, ArmyRntoMD said:

*Thinks back to grabbing his ankles butt-*** naked along with 20 other guys while a doctor looked up his butthole* 

🤔

I hate me for having a vivid imagination. 😂🙈

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SafetyNurse1968 has 20 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, PhD and specializes in Oncology, Home Health, Patient Safety.

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On 12/13/2019 at 9:29 PM, labordude said:

That is 100% not how that should be going and not beneficial to your learning experience. We don't do that to our students, they are all treated the same. If I have student X, it's hey this is X, they're a student working with me today. IF patient objects, then we go from there. Typically doesn't happen. By asking in the way they are, they are creating the mindset that something must be different or weird about it because they asked about it in the first place.

The charge nurse or previous shift nurse doesn't ask every patient if it's okay if I take care of them, they assign me a patient and I go about my day. We have male students with me and other nurses all the time without issues. Your instructors are subpar, the nurses clearly aren't helping you out, and that makes me frustrated for you. The truth is that many guys have great OB rotations even if they have no interest in the area. I did and that's how I fell in love with the specialty.

If you are interested in learning more about gender bias in healthcare education, you might check out my article: 

 

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myoglobin has 12 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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To the extent there is a stigma in nursing against men it does convey at least "some" advantages.  Consider, that if even 50% of men who would otherwise consider nursing as a career "self eliminate" due to a perceived or real stigma. What would happen if this perception were reduced by say 50%?  One might expect an increase of 25% of men who might enter into nursing as a career.  This would further strain what many already perceive as a challenging job market (especially for newer grads) and allow employers to maintain lower wages than would otherwise be the case (as dictated by the law of supply and demand). So as a man in nursing I will live with some stigma if it means that I get to keep working with better pay (at least until I pay down my student loans).  

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It's ironic how we are all talking about the unique barriers men faces in Nursing compared to women. But yet forget about the uphill battle women faces everyday in the medical field as a physician. For instance, when a men nurse walk into a patient's room, the patient automatic think you're a physician whereas women doctors are more likely to be consider to be a nurse first  by their patients. At the end of the day, there might be some barriers to men getting certain job but that's life and women faces that everyday. And if you happen to get the impossible job, do it well so other men don't face the same uphill battle.  

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labordude has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in L&D, OBED, NICU, Lactation.

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27 minutes ago, MaleNP said:

It's ironic how we are all talking about the unique barriers men faces in Nursing

None of the rest of your post matters in this thread, we are not comparing one to the other. It's a very specific topic. Talking about issues men face in this profession doesn't diminish or impact anything anyone else may deal within another profession.

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labordude has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in L&D, OBED, NICU, Lactation.

472 Posts; 12,254 Profile Views

2 hours ago, MaleNP said:

@labordude  lol....you mad?

If online forum posts made me mad, I'd have vastly different issues. I'm making sure that we're still on topic here because it's very common during this type of discussion for people to say "X group has it worse" or "Y group deals with this every day." That doesn't really help move the conversation forward at all.

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On 12/6/2019 at 1:58 PM, Nurse Beth said:

Touch

Touching is an accepted form of caring, but men are stereotyped as sexual aggressors and fear being accused of sexual misconduct. Unlike female nurses, who are free to touch and show emotion, male nurses have to be careful with touch. Nursing school does not equip males to negotiate such gender conflict, and trains them from a completely female perspective

I totally agree with this! 

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