Over the past half a century, the number of men in the nursing industry has increased exponentially. In the sixties, only 2% of men were nurses. Today, the percentage has climbed to 13%. That’s an 85% increase, which is huge!
However, if 13% of nurses are men, that means that 87% of nurses are not. There is an extremely disproportionate number of men in the nursing field, and there’s no real reason for it, other than stigma. But today you’re going to learn just how senseless this stigma is, and why it must be stopped.
Originally, men were nurses. In 250 B.C., the world’s first nursing school opened its doors, for men only. Yes, nurses were originally all male! But times have changed. Nowadays, women make up the bulk of this once male-dominated industry
Why? Because of the stigma. What’s the stigma, you ask? The stigma is that nursing is a caregiving position, and therefore, such a job should be reserved for women. Now, here’s the fallacy of such a statement. Today, women are doctors, accountants, and policewomen, jobs which were once considered to be for men, and no one thinks twice, because gender bias deserves no place in a country as morally advanced as the US. But for some incomprehensible reason, there is a significant amount of gender bias. Pay attention to the nursing industry, and you’ll notice it there.
But this has to stop. We need male nurses; they’re just as capable, strong, and intelligent as their female counterparts, and add a much-needed balance to the industry.
How Can We Stop the Stigma?
- Never belittle the concept of someone becoming a male nurse. Being a nurse is something to be proud of, regardless of gender! It shows you’re a caring, kind person who wants to help others and has the ability to accomplish goals.
- Respect men in the nursing industry. These men are people who don’t care what everyone else is doing. They do what should be done, regardless of what others will think. And that is something to look up to.
- Spread the word about the benefits of becoming a male nurse. The pay is fabulous, the line to the bathroom door is moot, and promotion is likely (since men are more likely for promotion overall, and there are so few men in the field to begin with). There are many more positives about this career; perhaps we’ll get into the details another time, but even just the aforementioned benefits can be enough to show guys you know that this is a field worthy of their consideration.
- Become a nurse! It’s a great career choice for men, and every additional male nurse makes a difference in the percentage.
Tips for Men in the Nursing Industry
Being a male nurse isn’t always easy, but it’s wonderfully rewarding, both financially and emotionally. Here are a few tips for you to get the most out of being a guy in scrubs.
- The same way men prefer male nurses, women often want to be cared for by a female nurse. This is nothing personal; don’t take it to heart. There will be many a man who will be really happy to find out you’re being his nurse.
- There are many organizations, such as AAMN and The Brotherhood of Nursing, which can help you connect with other male nurses.
- Does it bother you that most scrub stores are so feminine focused? Then you may prefer to shop at Murse World, which exclusively provides guys with a full selection of male scrubs from all the best nursing uniform brands.
- Stay confident and proud. You’re helping so many patients, and simultaneously breaking gender barriers in the nursing industry.
Whether you’re a nursing student, a nurse, a patient, or anyone else, you can have a part in stopping this unnecessary stigma