wanted: male nurses

Wanted: Male Nurses

Despite efforts to promote greater gender equality among professions, there remains a significant need for more men in the nursing profession. The nursing field is only around 6% male, though this number is slowly rising. It doesn’t seem to be the education itself that serves as a deterrent; many men entering the nursing field have high rates of graduation and certification in nursing. Instead it seems that cultural stereotypes redirect those with an interest in healthcare careers to more “masculine” professions.

Overcoming Stereotypes

While a growing number of men are getting their healthcare degree to be a nurse, over 70% of male nurses feel gender stigma is the main challenge keeping men from becoming nurses. But male nurses have been around since the 3rd century in Rome, and in modern times over a third of all nurses in the U.S military are males. So while it may not be a popular occupation among civilian males today, that doesn’t mean men haven’t excelled at it in the past.

Increasing Workforce Demand For Nurses

Over the past 10 years, the number of new nursing jobs has gone up by over 700,000. And as the current population ages, more nurses will be needed than ever before. Women can’t fill all of these open positions—after all, growing equality in the workplace is helping their opportunities, too. As roughly 50% of the population, men are needed to help fill the impending shortage. This also gives men an advantage for scholarships and grants while attending nursing school.

Male Nurses Make More Money

Men have an average weekly salary of around $1,200 versus the female nurse’s median weekly salary of around $1,000 in the U.S. While gender does play a role in wage gap across every industry, in nursing this is more about supply and demand considering only about 6 out of 100 nurses are men. Where there’s less of something, it’s viewed as more desirable, and people will pay more for it as incentive to increase the supply. This principle applies to clothing, diamonds, and even male nurses.

Overcoming stereotypes is the primary challenge men face when entering the nursing field; however in 2017 masculinity is not defined by professional roles, as it has been in the past. The stigma around of nursing for men is decreasing and the job demand is increasing. As of today because of the shortage of men in nursing, the profession pays men a higher weekly wage than women on average. Men can be great nurses too, so don’t let cultural stereotypes stop you.

Shae Holland

View posts by Shae Holland
Shae Holland is a freelance writer based out of Bismarck, ND. She enjoys reading, gardening, and hunting with her two springer spaniels, Laurel and Hearty.

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