Mention the word “nurse” and who comes to mind? Maybe she’s a nurse of antiquity, dressed in white, wearing a cap in the shape of a winged angel, holding someone’s hand. Maybe she’s wearing bright cheerful scrubs, running a hospital floor. She.

This lasting female stereotype, many would argue, has served nursing well over the past century. Nurses are associated with the “feminine” qualities desirable in caregivers; they are nurturing, patient, even maternal. Yet, from the Nightingale-esque pictures that pop up in a Google Image search to the crowds of female nurses in every hospital-themed television show, these images reinforce a societal belief that nursing is, and should remain, a female-dominated profession. Indeed, the number of male nurses, practically the world over, still hovers between 5% and 10% of the nursing workforce.

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