Men in Nursing: Why its’ one of the most in demand professions for men in 2017/2018

Nursing is one of the fastest growing and most in-demand professions in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Historically, the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale believed that females can be good caregivers due to their natural attributes, and encouraged females in nursing by providing them an education in nursing in the mid-nineteenth century. There were barriers that kept men out of the field of nursing. Ignorance of a large portion of the population brought scarcity of human resources in the field of nursing. Now the trend has changed and with targeted efforts and campaigns more and more men are entering this diverse and exciting field. Many nursing schools are pursuing men in their nursing programs for enrollment and hospitals are willing and trying to attract men through innovative marketing campaigns.

According to the American Community Survey in 2011, there were 3.5 million employed nurses in the U.S. out of which 78 % were registered nurses, 19 % were vocational and practical nurses, 3 % practitioner nurses and 1 % were anesthetics nurses. From the total number, there were 3.2 million female nurses, which is 91 % and 330,000 male nurses, which is 9 % of the total ratio. Due to the increased demand and predicted shortage of nurses, such efforts have increased recruitment of men in the field of nursing.

There is a common ideology that gender distribution should be equal in all occupations but in nursing, the statistics show a very different reality. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, the ratio is very much dissimilar in all states. There is one male for every five female nurses in Hawaii, while in Kentucky, there are twelve female nurses for one male nurse. The ratio of female nurses is very high in South Carolina, North Dakota and Iowa where there is one male nurse compared to 15 female nurses. Almost in all states, the ratio of female nurses is outnumbered and no any equal gender distribution is found.

Men compared to women are more likely to get paid a higher salary in this profession for the same exact job but their representation ratio is very low. The number of men in nurse anesthetists is 41 percent, which is highest among nurses and they earn twice of as much as the average of other nurse professions (ACS, 2011).

Many organizations through their campaigns are promoting male recruitment and employability in the field of nursing. The American Assembly for Men in Nursing is actively endorsing men for the enrollment in nursing programs. AAMN has targeted to increase the enrollment up to 20 percent by 2020. One of the major objectives of AAMN is “encourage men of all ages to become nurses and join together with all nurses in strengthening and humanizing health care”. Many recruitment agencies are promoting men in nursing on their websites, ads and through publications. In 2002, in the name of “Are You Man Enough to Be a Nurse” The Oregon Centre for Nursing to attract men in this vocation launched a campaign. Progressively, the concept of men in nursing has emerged.

Even though, the representation of men in nursing is increasing there are still numerous obstacles for men in this profession due to the existence of stereotypical thinking. The perception that nursing is solely a women’s profession is still prevalent in American society but now it is socially acceptable for a man to consider nursing as a career and get enrolled in nursing schools. Public patients are concerned with receiving quality care regardless of gender. Some patients do have a personal preference and feel more comfortable with male nurses rather than female nurses.

Recently, the percentage of the occupation comprised of men has augmented and continues to do so, albeit moderately slow. This growing number is due to the fact that more men perceive nursing as a doable professional career that proposes immense flexibility, the opportunity for learning and progression, and a plethora of choices in the way of its diversity of specialization and areas of clinical and non-clinical programs. And with the expansion of autonomy of nursing, opportunities for men also expand as well. Despite remaining stigmas around men in nursing, doors are opening more and more for men in this gratifying profession.

Additional Resources and Organizations:

Nursing School and Degree Finder – Search from over 2800 nursing schools and 4000 degree programs in the U.S. Compare programs and find a nursing program that fits your needs. Search both online and campus programs. Search by major, degree type and state. You can also search by 4-year colleges, community colleges, and professional and technical schools.

Professional and Diversity Nursing Organizations

AAMN (American Assembly for Men in Nursing) – Provides resources, mentorship, career advice and support and encouragement for men interested in becoming nurses.

Transcultural Nursing Society – The mission of TCNS is to enhance the quality of culturally congruent, competent, and equitable care that results in improved health and well being of people worldwide.

National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) – The National Black Nurses Association, Inc. (NBNA) is a professional nursing organization representing more than 150,000 African American nurses throughout the United States. NBNA’s mission is to provide a forum for collective action by nurses to investigate, define and advocate for the health care needs of African Americans and to implement strategies that ensure access to health care, equal to, or above health care standards of the larger society.

National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Inc. (NAHN) – is an organization committed to improving the quality of health and nursing care of Hispanic consumers and toward providing equal access to educational, professional, and economic opportunities for Hispanic nurses.

National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association, Inc. (NANAINA) – is an organization that unites American Indian/Alaska Native nurses and those who care for AN/AI people to improve the health and well being of American Indian/Alaska Native people.

Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association, Inc. (AAPINA) – is an organization that works to identify and support the health care needs of Asian Pacific Islanders (API) in the United States and globally, to implement strategies to act on issues, registration and public policies affecting the health of APIs, to collaborate with other interdisciplinary health and professional organizations, and to identify and support professional and nursing concerns of API nurses in the United States and globally through active networking and empowerment.

Scholarships for Men in Nursing

College Resource Network – Search from a free database worth over 2 billion in scholarships. There are over 15 million dollars in available nursing scholarships from over 180 funding sources. To see the nursing scholarships available, visit: Breaking Barriers: Scholarship for Men in Nursing – $500 scholarship open to males 18 years and older who are enrolled in an accredited nursing program and have a minimum 3.5 GPA. Deadline: August 1st

AAMN – The American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) is a professional organization for nurses. Its’ mission is to improve gender inclusion in the nursing profession. There are various scholarships available for AAMN members.

AAMN – Johnson & Johnson Pre-Licensure Nursing Student Scholarship: $5,000 June 1st

AAMN – Johnson & Johnson Graduate Student Men’s Health Scholarship: $5,000 June 1st

AAMN – Murse World Academic Progression in Nursing: RN to BSN Student Scholarship: $1,000 Deadline: June 1st

AAMN Caring Men Paying it Forward Scholarship: $1,000 Deadline: January 31st

AAMN Pre-licensure Men in Nursing Video Scholarship Contest: $1,000 Deadline: January 31st

Other Resources – Provides a list of state, national and international nursing organizations as well as job opportunities, hospital reviews, and career guides.