The Rise of the Male Nurse

As June kicks off Men’s Health Month and with the celebration of Father’s Day on June 17, we are dedicating this month’s blog posts to MEN starting with a growing trend in both nursing and travel nursing…The Male Nurse!

Over the past 60 years, the population of male nurses has increased by a staggering 85%.  While currently only 13% of nurses in the United States are male, this has increased from just 2% in 1960 according to a working paper published in October 2017 by Washington Center for Equitable Growth.  This population growth can be explained by both a changing economy and expanding gender roles.

Several of the traditionally male-dominated, blue-collar machinery and factory jobs are disappearing in the age of technology, leaving 25% of adult men out of the labor force.  On the opposite side, traditionally female-dominated professions such as nursing are some of the fastest growing jobs in the United States.  Even though nursing jobs are on the rise, with more women entering historically white-collar, male-dominated professions, it has left a shortage in these fields which needs to be filled…enter the Male Nurse!

While the male nursing population continues to grow, these men still face stigmas and must overcome stereotypes within their profession which can be demonstrated with two questions:

  • Can I have a female nurse?  Even with the large increase of male nurses, some patients and/or their family members are still uncomfortable with a male nurse due to the stigma that women are better caregivers.
  • Are you a doctor?  Most male nurses admit that they have been mistaken for a doctor by a patient at least one time in their career, and, once corrected, the patient assumes he became a nurse because he couldn’t be a doctor instead of choosing to be a nurse.

Although there are some challenges, there are also a lot of advantages to being a male nurse.

  1. You can be famous in your facility. Since male nurses still only make up 13% of the nursing population, they stand out and are noticed in a facility.
  2. The dress code rocks. Nothing is more comfortable to wear to work than scrubs; there are no stuffy suits or tight ties for a male nurse.
  3. No wait for the bathroom. With fewer male nurses than female nurses, there are never any lines in the men’s room.
  4. You are a trendsetter. With each addition of a male nurse, gender stigmas, stereotypes, and biases are disappearing.
  5. Your job makes a difference. Male nurses help to save people’s lives; what can make more of a difference than that?

Nursing is a great job for both men and women that offers significant financial rewards, stability, and pride in your profession.  With the changing economy and expanding gender roles, more males are entering the nursing field.  As more males become nurses, the stigmas & stereotypes around the profession will fade, and the Male Nurse will be less of a trend and more of the norm.  Begin your career as a nurse today with MedPro Healthcare Staffing and call us at 1-800-866-8108, or apply here.

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