DiversityNursing Blog

A Career In Nursing Is The Future For Many Men

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 10:27 AM

00up-nurses-sisante4-master1050-v2.jpgThe Washington Center for Equitable Growth reported the percent of males in Nursing has steadily grown since 1960 from 2% to 13% in the United States. We have seen women entering male-dominated fields for a long time, but it’s less common to see an increase in men joining a predominantly female occupation. The NY Times interviewed many male Nurses, here is what they had to say.

For some men, the idea that caregiving jobs are women’s work is old-fashioned. “This narrative that men can’t provide care in the way that women can is part of that broad cultural narrative that misunderstands what Nursing’s about,” said Adam White, the V.A. hospital student nurse, who is earning his Nursing degree at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. “We need to talk with young people about caring as a gender-neutral idea, but also as something that’s rooted in skills, in expertise.”

John-Flor Sisante, recent Nursing graduate, said “When my wife told her grandfather that I graduated from Nursing school, he just laughed. But I think there are more men who are less afraid to take on what have traditionally been considered feminine roles.” 

Economic factors play a role as well. There has been a decline in some jobs because of automation. “A lot of those manufacturing jobs and things of that nature just aren’t there anymore,” said David Baca, an emergency department Nurse in Oregon. “We get paid a really livable wage, and I think that is now starting to attract more male Nurses.” Even though men are a minority, they are paid more than women.

Many people change careers to Nursing later on in life. Male Nurses are more likely than females to have worked as emergency medical technicians, military Nurses or lab technicians. Nearly half of Nurse anesthetists, one of the highest-paying Nursing jobs, are men.

Jorge Gitler, Oncology Nurse manager says, “Forget about the stigma. The pay is great, the opportunities are endless and you end up going home every day knowing that you did something very positive for someone else.”

When Nurses closely reflect the patient population, hospitals and patients benefit. Some patients prefer a Nurse of the same sex, particularly for procedures like inserting a catheter, Nurses said, and some men feel more comfortable talking openly with another man.

“I work on this floor with people who just had urology surgery or amputations, and they have told me that when I come in the room and shut the door behind me, they feel more understood and can drop the tough guy attitude,” Mr. White said.

Nurses also focus on the rewarding part of the career. Jonathan Auld, Clinical Nurse leader and Nursing Ph.D. student, said “It’s not just a job. You have this sense of purpose, this sense of service, that you’re in this to really help improve people’s lives.” 

It is a welcome change to the field. Patients and hospitals will benefit from the changing Nurse population. If you have anything you would like to add please comment below!

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Topics: male nurse, male nurses

Men In Nursing

Posted by Pat Magrath

Tue, Jun 13, 2017 @ 09:57 AM

Male-Nurse.jpegEven though women comprise an estimated 90% of the Nursing industry, opportunities have been steadily increasing for men. Since 1970 the number of male Nurses has grown from 2.7 to 9.6% of the industry. Some of the reasons more men are attracted to Nursing is that jobs are secure and pay between $40,000 and $60,000. Here's a deeper look at opportunities for men in Nursing. 

Geography of Male Nurses

In some states the percentage of men in Nursing is much higher than the national picture. In Nebraska, for example, male Nurses outnumber female Nurses by a 3-1 margin. But in all other states women are the majority. In California, 20% of Nurses are male.

Excelsior College in Albany, New York has partnered with the American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) to encourage more male Nurses. The goal of the AAMN, a national organization with local chapters, is for male enrollment in Nursing programs to reach 20% by 2020

Changing Attitudes About Nursing

One of the reasons why women dominate the Nursing industry is due to  traditional perceptions in our society. One of the main stigmas men have faced in the past is the stereotype that Nursing is a woman's job. Another perception has been that men in Nursing are not able to be admitted to medical school.

Despite a long history of men in Nursing going back to ancient Rome, in the 19th century cultural gender roles began to favor women as medical assistants. Emphasis on Victorian values of that era in the United States escalated the stereotypes of gender roles. The low point for male Nurses was during the Great Depression, declining to 1%. 

These perceptions are changing, though, just as more women are becoming physicians. Already in the field of Nurse Anesthetists about 41% are male. The average annual salary for this occupation is $162,000. 

Reasons Men Should Consider Nursing

  • Nursing shortage
  • Nursing is an industry with growing opportunities 
  • Variety of high-paying specialties
  • Dispel outdated gender myths and provide industry diversity
  • Work in a variety of settings - hospital, office, school, homecare, teaching, etc.

If you're a male who wants to pursue Nursing as a career, you should focus on Nursing more than gender. It's a rewarding occupation on many levels for both men and women, especially for people who enjoy caring for others. While Registered Nurses in America earn an average salary of about $52,000, more specialized Nurses earn over $72, 000. The job will also expand your knowledge about health, which you can apply to your own life and circle of friends. 

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Topics: male nurse, diversity in nursing, men in nursing, male nurses

More Men Becoming Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Apr 07, 2017 @ 04:18 PM

TMN-DN_0.jpgTwo men discuss their career paths in a female dominated work environment, Nursing. Brian Medley and Zain Rehman talk Nursing shortages, specialty options, salary, and more. Read below to find out more about the interview. 

Brian Medley, a nurse at Lurie Children's Hospital, and Zain Rehman, a nurse at Advocate Christ Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, talked about their career path.

Nursing has historically been a female-dominated field, but men are increasingly pursuing the career. The percentage of men in nursing is still small, only about 9 percent to 10 percent.

A nursing career holds many advantages for men, such as highly diverse patient care environments, career stability, and a competitive salary.

Resurrection University will host a "Thinking Out Loud" speaker series for men, by men.

"Men in Nursing" is a free event that brings together a panel of male nursing professionals to talk about what it's like to be a nurse in today's healthcare environment

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Resurrection University, 1431 N. Claremont, Chicago

For more information, visit: www.resu.edu/meninnursing

Nurses are in high demand because of a current nursing shortage. Statistics from the World Health Organization show that the total number of nurses actively working in the U.S. health care field has decreased dramatically since 2000, therefore causing the demand for nurses to increase. Another reason for the shortage is that our country's aging population is generating a growing demand for services such as end-of-life and long-term care. The shortage of nurses crosses all specialties including faculty for nursing education program. That means graduating students can enter a job marketplace that is stacked in their favor. The job opportunities for nurses are expected to grow by 16 percent by 2025.

The nursing field offers many different patient care environments, some of which may be particularly appealing to men, such as anesthesia, flight, emergency, or trauma nursing. Other nursing specialties in the field that male nurses may want to explore include middle management, nursing education, nurse practitioner, oncology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and administration. Nursing is not a one-size-fits-all profession; for both male and female nurses, the wide array of specialties makes it possible to pursue one's specific areas of interest in the field.


Nurses earn a good living. Nurses in Illinois earn an average salary of $60,000. That goes up for nurse practitioners and those with specialties such as anesthesiology. It's a relatively quick transition to make a comfortable salary. Opportunities for advancement happen more quickly in nursing than in some other fields.
Even in the female-dominated field of nursing, male nurses typically out-earn female nurses, as is the case across almost all occupations. Also the retirement benefits are often very appealing. It is also not uncommon for new nurses to be offered signing bonuses.

Many hospitals desire a mix of genders and many men offer the physical strength needed for tasks such as moving patients and heavy equipment. Also, some male patients prefer male nurses when dealing with sensitive medical issues, such as prostate exams, catheters etc.

Nursing will never go out of style, and they can't be replaced by machines. People will always need medical care no matter what happens in the economy. Nursing requires empathy, resilience, and a capacity for caring... and there's no gender restriction on that.

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Topics: male nurse, male nurses

A Nurse And A Gentleman

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Dec 28, 2016 @ 12:54 PM

Male_Nurse1.jpgEducational systems should be increasing the diversity of its students to create a workforce that is prepared to meet the demands of diverse populations. Since the 70's there has been an increase of male Nurses by 200%. Stereotypes of professional gender rolls are being broken down.
The student-led group MEN, follows in the footsteps of AAMN the American Assembly for Men in Nursing. The group is open to all genders and their goals are to empower male Nursing students, promote awareness and cultural competence, and advocate growth and development. In doing so, MEN will help lead the change.
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“It does not make a thing good, that it is remarkable that a woman should do it. Neither does it make a thing bad, which would have been good had a man done it ...”


The preceding quote is the second-to-last sentence of Nightingale’s famous book. Her allusion to the equality between sexes looks as if it has been added as an afterthought. In the discussion about men in nursing, her ideas may seem portentous, but it is doubtful if she ever imagined that men would be infiltrating the field.

The number of male nurses and men enrolling in nursing programs are at all-time high. According to the US Census Bureau in 2013, the latest figures show that approximately 9.6% of nurses in 2011 are male compared with 2.7% in the 1970s—representing a more than 200% increase. At our College, about 10% of advanced practice students and 14% undergraduate students were male during the school years 2014 to 2016. Eight of the full-time faculty are male—or 11%. Nationwide, enrollment of men in entry-level nursing programs remains stable at about 15% since 2012. It is likely that these numbers will increase in the next decade as more media attention is given to the reality of nursing as a viable and rewarding profession for men and women alike.

Enter — MEN.

The student-led interest group MEN came about in 2009 when a group of male students sent out a call for anyone who identified as male to gather and brainstorm about establishing a student activity group.

In its by-laws, MEN adopted the objectives of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) as its core purpose. These goals include:

To empower male nursing students to be responsible for their holistic health and well-being in order to serve as role models in the community.

To promote awareness of health related issues affecting the male population by addressing their unique health challenges.

  • To promote cultural competence among all its members to recognize the male perspective of nursing.

  • To advocate for the growth and development of its members as leaders in nursing and in society through education, outreach, advocacy, and service.
Throughout each school year, MEN organizes and collaborates with other student groups to provide high quality extracurricular programming to not just meet its educational mission, but to promote comradery and mutual support among male students in the program. Some of the more recent events hosted by MEN include bike rides and indoor rock climbing, résumé writing and interviewing skills, men’s health awareness campaigns and fundraising, alumni networking, picnics, and presentations on various clinical topics of interest.

While the group’s purpose relates to men in the nursing profession, MEN is open to students of all genders, with some of its executive board members in the past being female. One significant outcome of the group is that several key MEN alumni established New York City Men in Nursing, an official chapter of AAMN.

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

While many health professions are becoming more gender-balanced, the nursing workforce has remained predominantly female. The impact of the increasing number of men entering nursing is still emerging and not yet fully understood. Other countries have long established policies to deal with instructional and practice variations based on religious restrictions. For example, in a nursing school in Oman, male students are not allowed in maternity wards. High-fidelity simulation offers male students the “hands-on” experience in labor and delivery.

One important consideration in the slowly increasing gender diversity in nursing education is for faculty to be aware of the well known gendered characteristics in learning, while keeping in mind that every individual is unique. Gendered differences is a potential topic for nursing education researchers.

Career Trajectories of Male Nursing Students

Hospitals remain the largest employer of all registered nurses, with 63.2% providing inpatient and outpatient care in a hospital setting. Staff nurse—or its equivalent—is the most common job title of RNs in the US. However, there is no comprehensive data on current career choices of male nurses. Older data indicated more men work at hospitals in proportion to the number of female RNs.

What is certain today is that the highest representation by men in all fields of nursing practice is in nurse anesthesia. The US Census Bureau reported that 41% of all Certified Registered Nurses Anesthetist (CRNAs) are males. An online survey by Hodes Research in 2005 reported that the top three specialties reported by men were critical (27%), emergency (23%), and medical/surgical (20%). Awareness of the trend of career trajectories and aspirations of male nurses has important implications for nursing education and clinical stakeholders.

A Nurse and a Gentleman

Males are collectively called gentlemen, yet the virtue of gentleness, as a social construct, is mostly associated with women. Perhaps, it is one of the many reasons why it is especially pleasing to see men exemplify gentleness in a nursing role. What male nurses can offer to nursing is to breakdown the stereotypes of professional gender roles. Compassion, courage, good faith, and other virtues are all universal, and can be found among male and female nurses. At NYU Meyers, we believe in these values and are glad to see a growing number of men living them personally and professionally. 

by Fidelindo Lim, DNP, CCRN, and Larry Slater, PhD, RN, CNE Clinical Assistant Professors

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Topics: male nurse, men in healthcare, men in nursing, male nurses

Men in Nursing: 5 Facts about Male Nurses – Infographic

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Nov 21, 2014 @ 12:33 PM

That’s right—there are men in nursing, too! It’s time to rid ourselves of outdated stereotypes. We don’t live in a society where boys only like blue and girls only like pink. Where boys can only play with legos and girls can only play with dolls. There’s too much variety in this world to limit ourselves to what we think is expected of us. There are women in engineering and mathematics, and there are men in nursing and healthcare.

Population Growing for Men in Nursing

Nursing is a fantastic career. In fact, the number of men in nursing is growing, with the percentage of male nurses increasing almost every year. In addition, there are more men in nursing schools, making up 13% of nursing school students. Find out more facts about male nurses by reading the men in nursing infographic below.

Nurse GraphicsDarkColorCA 1

Source: www.collegeamerica.edu

Topics: jobs, male nurse, nursing, healthcare, medical, hospitals, care, infographic

Men proud to take place in nursing field

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 02:08 PM

joelong resized 600

Written by Sarah Okeson

Joe Long first thought of becoming a nurse when his wife was hospitalized for a week during her pregnancy with their second child. He now works at Mercy Hospital Springfield, taking care of patients in the intensive care unit.

“Nursing is manly,” Long said. “It’s not just for women.”

About 6.6 percent of nurses nationwide are male, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. In Springfield, about 7.3 percent of nurses at CoxHealth are male. At Mercy, about 11.4 percent of the nurses are male.

The American Assembly of Men in Nursing was formed in 1971 in Michigan to provide support for male nurses. An Ozarks chapter is being started. There are also chapters in St. Louis and Kansas City. The organization also is open to women.

“It’s a very female-oriented world and we’re OK with that, but men still need to socialize,” said Paul Pope, the chapter president and a nursing instructor at Southwest Baptist University.

The executive director of nursing at Mercy Hospital Springfield is a male nurse, Kurtis Abbey.

Nurses like him have faced some of the obstacles that women entering predominantly male fields have faced. There have been lawsuits and complaints about isolation.

Rick Leroux, a nursing instructor at Southwest Baptist, got into nursing with the encouragement of his aunt. He learned how to make chitchat with children and to be absolutely honest about whether a medical procedure would hurt.

He treasures moments such as an encounter with the adult daughter of a man he had cared for who had a heart attack. She hugged Leroux and thanked him.

“Those are the moments we live for,” Leroux said.

Female employees at Mercy said they appreciate male nurses when it comes to lifting patients. They also value other qualities such as help in dealing with sometimes-disruptive families.

“We have a lot of difficult patients,” said Becky Pierce, who has worked at Mercy for about 40 years. “For each difficult patient, you have family members who sometimes need the physical presence of a man.”

Dr. Tobey Cronnell said male nurses tend to be more supportive of female doctors.

“I particularly enjoy working with male nurses as a female physician,” Cronnell said.

Long recently tended to John Goar, 73, who was admitted to Mercy Hospital Springfield after having trouble breathing.

Long gave him insulin and some other medication and then told Goar that his relatives were on their way to visit.

“He’s as good as a woman,” Goar said.

Long left Goar’s room. He was about halfway through his 12-hour shift. He doesn’t miss his previous career as a loan officer for a mortgage company.

“It’s the first time I have a job where I actually look forward to going to work,” he said.

Source: News-Leader.com

Topics: increase, male nurse, men, AAMN

A nurse who is healing patients and himself

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Nov 01, 2013 @ 11:31 AM

He was riding in his aunt's sedan, a kid in elementary school, watching senior citizens walk in and out of the Lynwood retirement home where his mother worked. Then she emerged in scrubs.

That's it.

David Fuentes holds on tightly to that simple memory: his mother at work. It's easier than recalling many other parts of his childhood — "a blur," as he calls it.

Like the time when he was little and his father, drunk, socked his mother. She remembers the blood gushing from her face and her child standing in the bathroom saying, "Mom, Mom."

Or the times when he was older and his mother had fallen into addiction. He would stay awake fearful of what might come when she went out looking for a fix.

Or the times he took care of his siblings when no one else would.

"Just like the basic things. That's all I really remember," Fuentes says, "kind of helping to make sure they got fed, and just keeping them company, making sure they were OK."

His face tightens slightly with some questions about the past. But he knows he doesn't need to remember everything.

He has his one simple memory. His mother, a nurse.

She always dreamed of becoming a registered nurse, but life got in the way.

"There's a huge family dynamic," says Fuentes, 26. "I wanted to fulfill for my mom what she envisioned for herself, but could never do."

This summer, he graduated from nursing school at UCLA and landed a job in the intensive-care unit at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.

Beyond being a trailblazer in his family, Fuentes is among a group of men redefining the nursing industry. Although the profession is still dominated by women, the number of men is on the rise.

describe the image

David Fuentes attends the morning huddle before the shift change in the intensive care unit at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica on April 11.

The percentage of male registered nurses more than tripled from 2.7% in 1970 to 9.6% in 2011, and the proportion of licensed male practical and vocational nurses increased from 3.9% to 8.1% over the same period, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Researchers cite various reasons for the shift, including diminished legal barriers, increasing demand for nurses as the U.S. population ages, and middle-class pay.

But for Fuentes, a main motivation is the solace he finds in being a caretaker.

"Everything is left behind," he says. "That's why I love it so much."

"It's like therapy ... kind of our way of dealing with our issues."

The sturdy curve of his biceps, the gauge in his left ear, the lip ring and tongue ring might seem intimidating if it weren't for the delicate way Fuentes presses on the legs of a 99-year-old patient to check her blood flow, or how he cups his hands and drums on her back to help her breathe more easily.

It is 45 minutes into his first shift as a registered nurse, and Fuentes and another RN are caring for the elderly woman, who had been in septic shock.

She is blind and mostly unresponsive, but Fuentes asks politely, his voice soft but direct: "I'm going to take your temperature ... OK?"

Another nurse says the woman's family stayed for 15 minutes earlier in the day. But Fuentes will be there the whole night standing guard — giving her medicine and monitoring her pain and breathing on his 12-hour overnight shift.

His black curly hair is pulled back into a ponytail and he's wearing navy blue scrubs, the color of the uniform defining his new rank.

"This is the first day of the rest of my life," Fuentes said before his shift started.

Fuentes thinks it's only natural that some patients feel more comfortable with nurses of the same gender, but mostly, he says, it doesn't come up.

describe the image

David Fuentes examines Russell Sherman, 87, a patient being treated for a pulmonary embolism. Sherman says he remembers when all nurses were women in white uniforms.

A couple of months earlier, during his training, he was checking the oxygen flow into patient Russell Sherman's nostrils when the 87-year-old looked him over admiringly and said he remembered when the only nurses at hospitals were women in white.

"They were always girls," Sherman said. "It doesn't faze me at all. I think it's a good thing for men to be able to do a job without shame."

One of Fuentes' heroes is UCLA School of Nursing Dean Courtney Lyder, the nation's first male minority dean of such an institution.

Lyder, 47, said his own dean at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Luther Christman, was the first male dean of a school of nursing in the country. Tall and muscular, he "debunked a lot of preconceived myths about nursing."

Decades later, Lyder said, stereotypes about men in nursing are fading and the experience he had in nursing school — one of five men in a class of 200 — is becoming more uncommon. Although he says "we still have a long way to go" as an industry, 11% of students at UCLA's nursing school during the 2012 - 13 academic year were men.

"Men are seeing that this is a viable option that pays well, you have a good lifestyle, you give back to society," Lyder said, adding that nursing groups such as the American Assembly for Men in Nursing have also surged on college campuses.

"Nursing doesn't have a gender. Society and media have portrayed nursing as feminine," Lyder said. "It's not."

But there are nuances, some more subtle than others.

Huddled around sack lunches at a table outside the hospital, a group of undergraduate students — about eight women and one man squeezed in at the far end — took turns saying that they wanted to become nurses because they want more meaningful relationships with patients, not just because it's a good career.

describe the image

David Fuentes makes the rounds with registered nurses Pamela Helms, center, and Heather Alfano in the intensive care unit at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.

But they struggled to respond when the conversation shifted to pay grades, and the fact that even though men are far less represented in the field, census data show that women earn less on average, 91 cents for every $1 earned by a man.

"I think men obviously are more stronger than women, so maybe," one of the female students said, grasping for a reason. "I don't know, I'm trying to justify it."

The group packed up a few minutes later and went back to work.

Fuentes says that he decided to go into nursing in his freshman or sophomore year of high school, but his mother says his instinct for caretaking goes back much further than that.

"Sometimes I feel that maybe he grew up a little bit too fast because he wanted to make things easier for me," said Guadalupe Perez, 44. "Always got the impression that he kind of knew what was going on, like he just understood.... You could see the sadness in his eyes."

She's proud of her son, even when he chose to live with his aunt and only saw her on weekends.

"He has a good heart, he was always there for his little brother," she says. "Maybe it's just something that ... got into him, always being there to help someone."

But Fuentes is already thinking much bigger than his first love and about the role that nurses can play in the national debate over healthcare and the changes to the healthcare system.

Even though his past is painful, he doesn't want to put it behind him. "It's made me who I am," he says.

Late one night before graduation, Fuentes scribbled his thoughts about the nursing industry and then read them aloud as if his fellow graduates were listening.

"I am sure every single one of you in those seats, pre-license and licensure students alike, can attest to the roller-coaster ride that your respective nursing journey has taken you on," he wrote.

"There have been lots of ups and downs, unexpected turns this way, that way, every which way you could and never would have fathomed, but look at us now, we made it!"

Source: LA Times

Topics: male nurse, UCLA, Santa Monica, David Fuentes, nursing

TV may reinforce stereotypes about men in nursing

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Sep 25, 2013 @ 10:49 AM

By Rob Goodier

(Reuters Health) - Fictional male nurses on television are sidelined in supporting roles, portrayed as the butt of jokes and cast as commentary providers or minority representatives, all of which makes it harder in reality to recruit men to nursing and retain them, according to a new study.

"People don't make decisions about which profession to choose just based on television, but students have told us that popular TV shows can help them choose a career, or that TV perpetuates negative stereotypes about nursing that they then have to address in practice," said Dr. Roslyn Weaver, an adjunct fellow at the University of Western Sydney School of Nursing and Midwifery, who led the research.

"So when men in nursing are almost invisible in popular culture or are stereotyped as incompetent or somehow ‘unmasculine', then men who choose to enter nursing can find it difficult to combat this," Weaver told Reuters Health by email. "Perhaps reflecting this, there are often higher attrition rates for male students than female students in nursing."

In the United States men account for roughly 9 percent of nurses, according to the census bureau. And that figure is similar in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Past research has documented "stereotypical images around nursing, such as the battle-axe, naughty nurse and handmaiden," Weaver and her colleagues write in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

With a growing number of men entering the profession, the authors point out, it's just asdescribe the image important to examine how male nurses are portrayed in popular culture.

For their study, the researchers viewed one season of each of five American medical television dramas, including Grey's Anatomy, Hawthorne, Mercy, Nurse Jackie and Private Practice. They evaluated aspects of the episodes such as dialogue, costumes, casting, cinematography and editing to compile a perspective on the ways that male nurses are characterized.

To their credit, the shows tended to expose and reject stereotypes. But, in a contradictory
trend, they also reinforced the clichés by characterizing male nurses as men who are not traditionally masculine, the researchers found.

Common stereotypes that the shows reinforced include the nurse who is mistaken for a doctor and the gay or emasculated male nurse. Male nurses and midwives in the shows tend to suffer condescension from their colleagues and patients and are the object of comedy.

The male nurse characters also tend to hit multiple diversity targets in casting. The researchers coined the term "minority loading" to denote characters who represent more than one minority group, such as Angel Garcia on Mercy, a gay Hispanic male nurse, and Mo-Mo on Nurse Jackie, a gay Muslim male nurse.

The results were "pretty consistent" with a prior study of male nurses in film that Dr. David Stanley, an associate professor of nursing at the University of Western Australia, published in 2012.

"Apart from 'Nurse Jackie' the medical programs used in the analysis reflected programs aimed at a medically focused perspective of health where nursing is seen lower in relative status and where male nurses are seen as lower still," said Stanley, who was not involved in the current study.

Some of the stereotypes may persist off screen. Male nurses can be regarded as lazy or more readily promoted, Stanley told Reuters Health, though generally they are accepted by patients and female nurses alike.

Being in the minority may put male nurses at a disadvantage, Weaver said. "This not only means men might be stereotyped but they can also be excluded from particular clinical specialties, face difficulties dealing with older female patients and be expected to do more ‘masculine' work such as heavier manual work."

Improving recruitment efforts could help, and fewer negative stereotypes in television programs might make a difference, the researchers say.

SOURCE: bit.ly/18axZ9m Journal of Advanced Nursing, online September 4, 2003.

Topics: male nurse, minority, TV, stereotype

Men in Nursing: It’s Not Just a Woman’s World

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 @ 01:50 PM

describe the imageBy Christina Orlovsky

Ask a young girl what she wants to be when she grows up, and top answers are often a teacher or a nurse, which are professions that have been associated with women throughout history. Ask a young boy the same question and neither answer is likely to be given.

Ask Christopher Lance Coleman, PhD, MS, MPH, FAAN, and he’ll tell you that inequity has to change.

Coleman, an associate professor of nursing and multicultural diversity at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia and the author of Man Up! A Practical Guide for Men in Nursing, is a strong advocate for recruiting males into the nursing workforce and empowering them to pursue leadership roles. His new book serves as a roadmap for men seeking to break into the predominantly female nursing profession.

“I believe men need a guide, a blueprint to use to navigate through the complexity of specialty choice and a culture where, frankly, a gender disparity still exists,” Coleman explains. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime for men not only to change the face of nursing in the 21st century, but also to reshape the public image that nursing is a women’s profession.”

In fact, while the most recent numbers show that men are still a clear minority in the nursing field, an uptick is occurring. According to a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau study, “Men in Nursing Occupations,” which presents data from the 2011 American Community Survey, the percentage of male nurses has more than tripled since 1970, from 2.7 percent to 9.6 percent. Of the 3.5 million employed nurses in 2011, 3.2 million were female and 330,000 were male. It’s a change, but, if you ask Coleman, it’s not enough.

“The startling thing is how underrepresented men still are in areas of leadership,” he says. “While the numbers of RNs has increased, when you look at the profession as a whole--heads of nursing, academia--we are still so far underrepresented. This is significant for males going through school looking for role models and seeing predominantly female leaders. I want men to know this is a viable profession and there are tremendous opportunities out there.”

Coleman believes the greatest opportunities for change are in younger men, who even at the high school level should do their research and start the conversation with their parents about the opportunities that exist for them in nursing. Ethnic minority groups, he adds, are particularly critical.

“Many ethnic minority groups, even today in 2013, still think of nursing as only a woman’s profession,” he says. “That racial disparity needs to be taken away.”

Coleman hopes that his book also opens up a dialogue among current male registered nurses. Empowering male RNs to continue to climb the ladder to leadership roles where they can influence change and serve as a new face of the nursing profession, he says, can encourage them to become the mentors male RNs need to help them succeed.

Another conversation that needs to occur in order to influence a culture shift is one between female nurses who may stereotype their male counterparts as only necessary for heavy lifting or things they “can’t” do.

“That’s a stereotype that hurts women and hurts the profession,” Coleman explains. “We don’t want nursing to be seen as a profession of the weak, we want it to be seen as a profession of the strong, because nurses are strong. We all need to do a better job of marketing ourselves--stop stereotyping and typecasting males and do more education in the hospital setting about gender diversity.”

Many men, after all, possess all the qualities required to be good nurses.

“Passion; someone with a tremendous amount of integrity; leadership skills; with a natural curiosity about the world; someone who is unafraid to take on issues that perhaps have challenged them in the past; someone who could treat someone at the end of the day how they want to be treated; and someone who cares to change the world we live in--those characteristics are essential and they transcend gender,” Coleman concludes. “Those are things I’d like to see in anyone who is interested in entering our noble profession.” 

© 2013. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 


Topics: male nurse, men, equality, diversity, nursing

Santa Fe man changes careers, pursues ‘new life’ as nurse

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 @ 03:47 PM

By: Deborah Busemeyer

FreSanta Fe man finds ‘new life’ as a nurse  d Koch paused in front of hospital room 3209 when he noticed a patient he had discharged moments earlier passing by on his way home. Koch, holding an IV bag in one hand, reached out with his other to shake the patient’s hand.

“You take care, sir,” Koch said.

Koch continued into the room with Shauna Star, who is in charge of Koch’s four-month initiation training before Koch can care for patients by himself at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. The registered nurses worked together to increase the patient’s dose of pain medication through the IV.

They were on the third floor of the hospital in unit 3200, which is considered a “step-down” unit, meaning patients are usually stabilized and on their way home. The unit is where patients are prepped for surgery, while others there are recovering. Some won’t recover, and the nurses make sure they are comfortable in their final stages of life.

“Everyone in here is someone’s brother, sister, mother, father,” Koch, 51, said between checking on patients. “You’re taking care of someone’s family, so that’s a big responsibility and an honor to do that.”

Koch doesn’t shy away from big responsibility. At 48, the high school graduate who worked as an artist returned to school to pursue nursing while working full time as a medical technician and caring for his two sons, then 4 and 7. He quit his 20-year job as a goldsmith because he said the travel required to promote his high-end jewelry took him away from his children too much when his 12-year marriage ended.

His decision to switch careers was also about securing a future during uncertain economic times for himself and his two sons — Charle, now 10 and in fifth grade at El Dorado Community School, and 12-year-old William, a seventh-grader at the Academy for Technology and the Classics.

However, investing in school might not have been possible for Koch without the financial support he received from his employer, Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.

“St. Vincent gave me a new life,” he said. “I worked for it. They give you an opportunity if you’re willing to work for it. It’s quite a huge thing for a big corporation to do that.”

Koch is one of 500 part-time and full-time nurses Christus St. Vincent employs. In March, the hospital held a ceremony honoring Koch and 11 other employees who received scholarships to support their nursing education. The medical center and St. Vincent Hospital Foundation reimburses hospital employees for tuition and living expenses, as well as awards scholarships specifically for nursing students.

The hospital spent $120,000 on scholarships this year, according to hospital spokeswoman Mandi Kane. Scholarships provide each recipient with $13,500 a year, for up to two years, to cover tuition and a $1,000 monthly stipend for up to 10 months per year for two years. In addition, employees pursuing higher education are eligible for reimbursement of up to $1,500.

Generally, employees who receive scholarships are those who work in entry-level positions and are from Northern New Mexico, said Julia Vasquez, manager of organizational development at the medical center. She said the hospital usually awards 10 scholarships a year.

“We would like to have more of our community being taken care of by our community,” Vasquez said. “They represent the people we are caring for. If we can give scholarships to people working entry-level jobs, it’s an advantage to us to have those folks vested in our hospital. We are looking for that community connection.”

It’s hard to find scholarships that support nursing students in Santa Fe, according to Jenny Landen, director of nursing education at Santa Fe Community College.

She said about half of her students have financial aid or loans, but the ones with scholarships typically are Christus employees. She encourages nursing students not to work because the full-time program is rigorous and demanding.

“The reality is most of my students have to work,” she said. “A lot of them are supporting spouses and have children. Some are single parents. In this day and age, it’s rare to have a young, single student who doesn’t have financial obligations. What I see happening a lot is they end up having to work more than they should, and it’s a stress on their personal life, and I see it in how they perform academically.

They get sick, fall asleep in class and struggle to keep up with their studies. “It causes aSanta Fe man finds ‘new life’ as a nurse great strain on their education while they are here,” she said.

Landen is working on how to increase nursing enrollment through part-time options with evening and weekend classes.

“I lose a few very solid nursing candidates every semester because they need a part-time program so they can work,” Landen said. “We are looking at trying to create another option for students that would address their financial issues.”

Offering part-time options could also help grow the number of nurses in the state. Increasing the number of nurses has become a critical issue as New Mexico, along with the rest of the country, grapples with nursing shortages. National health and nursing organizations forecast rising shortages due to population growth and retiring nurses. At the same time, nursing is the top occupation in terms of job growth through 2020, according to employment projections released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in February 2012.

Hospitals are trying to address nursing shortages with educational strategies such as offering scholarships to workers, according to a 2006 article, “Hospitals’ Responses to Nurse Staffing Shortages,” in Health Affairs. Authors reported that 97 percent of surveyed hospitals were using such strategies. The article called for more public financing to expand nursing schools.

National efforts to address nursing shortages focus on educating more nurses, but many educational institutions can’t keep up with the demand. Santa Fe Community College receives twice as many applicants as it has spots, Landen said. When the college receives legislative money for the nursing program, Landen said she needs to spend it on her small faculty.

While Landen is trying to expand educational options, she is also considering how to better support students. She said she may apply for a grant from the New Mexico Board of Nursing’s Nursing Excellence Fund to offer scholarships to students.

Koch talked about his time as a student a week after he received his RN license. He sat at his long dining room table, where he did homework with his sons, in the home he bought two years ago. He lives in one of the new, south-side neighborhoods that border Dinosaur Trail. His humble demeanor turns prideful when he talks about his sons and how they have separate bedrooms for the first time since his divorce.

“I’m in a much better place now for me and my children,” he said. “The hospital and through their scholarship enabled me to move on with my life.”

Even with the scholarship money, Koch said he might not have attempted the nursing program if he knew how hard it would be to juggle children, work and school. As a native of Ontario, Canada, his credits didn’t transfer, so he had to complete two years of prerequisites before starting his nursing education at Santa Fe Community College. He took classes year-round, worked weekends for four years and managed three 12-hour shifts a week.

“What’s the alternative to all this? Failure? If you have kids, failure is just not an option,” Koch said. “You have to get yourself through life. You have to get your kids through life and give them the tools they need.”

He remembers late study sessions and bleary-eyed mornings when he would wrap his sons in blankets and drive the sleeping boys in the dark to a friend’s house. They would sleep on the friend’s couch while Koch started clinical rounds at the hospital, seven hours after he had finished his last shift.

“Getting the scholarship was one thing, but it was actually more than that,” Koch said. “I had the support of management to let my schedule be flexible enough that I could still work, make an income and go to school.”

Koch is among the first new nurses to start work in the hospital’s float pool, which involves getting assigned to any unit that needs help that day. He finds out where to go 15 minutes before his 7 a.m. shift starts. For a former volunteer firefighter and a man who thrives on challenges, Koch appreciates learning everything he can to be an effective nurse.

“Working at St. Vincent solidified what an honorable thing it is to care for another human being,” he said. “It doesn’t just touch that person but it touches that person’s family and other generations if you can help someone stay well. It’s important work.”

The first in his family to have a college degree, Koch expects that nurses will be required to have bachelor’s degrees at some point. He is planning to start classes this fall to achieve his bachelor’s degree in science.

“No matter where you are in life, you can succeed,” he said.

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

Topics: male nurse, switch, compassionate, financial support, career

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