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DiversityNursing Blog

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  • Dispel outdated gender myths and provide industry diversity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

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

More men turn to nursing but stereotypes remain

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 @ 04:58 PM


Male nurse Todd Ingram couldn't bring himself to finish the movie "Meet the Parents."

Ingram said he made it to the point in the movie when a group of men erupted into laughter upon learning Ben Stiller's character's profession: a male nurse. They assumed he was joking.

"The stereotypes are still out there, unfortunately, that nursing is women's work," Ingram, an associate professor of nursing at the University of Iowa, told the Iowa City Press-Citizen(

Despite the lingering stigma in popular culture, a recent U.S. Census Bureau report says the proportion of males working as nurses is slowly climbing. In fact, the percentage of registered nurses in the U.S. who are male has more than tripled since 1970, from 2.7 to 9.6 percent in 2011.

The proportion of male registered nurses at UI Hospitals and Clinics is slightly lower than the national average: 8 percent. Historical data on the proportion of male-to-female nurses could not be provided for this article. Local experts say they're surprised by the increase the Census Bureau numbers identified, as other research and anecdotal observation revealed a much more gradual uptick.

Some say the stereotypes that once prevented young men from viewing nursing as a viable profession are slowly losing their hold over the country. But while traditional gender roles have undergone dramatic shifts in some areas, the idea that such a nurturing line of work is only for women seems to be taking longer to dispel, said John Wagner, director of Clinical Services for Behavioral Health in UIHC's nursing department.

"There's just as great a distribution in men in terms of men that want to help people," he said. "I think that is very strong within the male population, but I think it's only recently that that's been viewed as favorable by society."

Given how male nurses are portrayed in movies and TV, it's still likely that young men considering nursing could be concerned about being viewed as "less of a man" by the public, Ingram said.

Of the 3.5 million employed nurses in 2011, about 3.2 million were women and 330,000 were male, according to the Census data. Most of the nurses working in 2011 — 78 percent — were registered nurses. Another 19 percent were licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses — positions that Wagner said don't exist at UIHC — and 1 percent were nurse anesthetists.

Males weren't always a minority in nursing. In fact, until the 1800s, they represented a significant proportion of the industry because of its military and religious connections, according to Census data. The decline of males in nursing began in the 1900s when legal barriers were created that prevented them from entering the profession.

The Census report found that women working as full-time nurses earned 91 cents for every dollar that male nurses earned in 2011, or an average of $51,000 per year for women compared with $60,700 for men.

UIHC employees' pay is determined using a set formula based on education, level of experience and seniority, so one's gender has no impact on the amount of money they make, Wagner said.

"I think that most hospitals in particular have gone to great lengths to try to eliminate (wage disparities,)" he said. "I know we have."

Aside from the social changes, the nursing industry's low unemployment rate also could be contributing to the increase in males joining the ranks. Wagner said that's the message he hears from many adults who enter the profession later in life.

Some enter nursing as a safe escape from the trauma that comes with being laid off in a tough economy, Wagner said.

"If you lost a job and couldn't find another job, not ending up in that situation again is a big factor," he said.

But Ingram, who interacts with more students, said he doesn't see practicality being the reason that young people choose nursing. He said most of his male students were introduced to the profession by a parent or close family member who's a nurse. None of them, to Ingram's frustration, tell him they were introduced to nursing by a guidance counselor in middle or high school.

That was the case with Iowa City Veteran's Affairs Medical Center nurse Dan Lose, who graduated from UI's College of Nursing in May 2012. He learned about the profession growing up through his grandmother, who is a nurse. His father is a dentist.

"I was always around health care," he said.

Lose, 24, said he's noticed the shift toward more males entering nursing, which he attributes to more people being introduced at an early age. In the past, he said, it was probably more common for males interested in health care to think that becoming a doctor was their only option.

Lose said he personally has never experienced the negative end of male nurse stereotypes.

Back when Wagner was growing up, things were different.

"I remember in high school standing in this long line of women to talk to the nurse recruiter and literally getting kind of hazed by guys that were like, 'Wagner, what are you doing in that line?' It was kind of an uncomfortable experience," he said. "I just don't think young men today have that."

Source: KFOX14

Topics: male nurse, men, men in nursing, stereotypes

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