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 increase 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 could 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. Some barriers 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 overall ratio. Due to the increased demand and predicted shortage of nurses, such efforts have increased the recruitment of men in the field of nursing.
There is a prevailing 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. In almost all states, the ratio of female nurses is much higher than that of male nurses and in no state is there equal gender distribution of male and female nurses.
Men compared to women are more likely to be paid a higher salary in this profession for the same job, but their representation ratio is scarce. The rate of men in nurse anesthetists is 41 percent, which is highest among nurses and they earn twice 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 enrollment in nursing programs. AAMN has targeted to increase male enrollment up to 20 percent by 2020. One of the primary 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 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. Although the perception that nursing is predominantly a women’s profession still exists in American society, 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 whether it is from a male or female nurse. Some patients do have a personal preference and feel more comfortable with male nurses rather than female nurses.
More men perceive nursing as a viable professional career that proposes tremendous flexibility, an 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. Moreover, 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.
To Learn More…
Nursing School and Degree Finder – Search from over 2800 nursing schools and 4000 different 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 for 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)
NAHN is 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)
NANAINA 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)
AAPINA works to identify and support the health care needs of Asian Pacific Islanders (API) in the United States and globally. The association seeks 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 8 billion in scholarship funding. There are over 15 million dollars in available nursing scholarships from over 180 funding sources.
Nursing.org 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 Related Resources
Nurse.org – Provides a list of state, national and international nursing organizations as well as job opportunities, hospital reviews, and career guides.