Trends in My Field: Nursing

A slow, but significant change in the world of nursing is that it is opening up and becoming more welcoming to men.  Traditionally, the role of nursing is viewed as womens’ work, and stereotypical ideas and treatment have been applied to men who enter the field.  These stereotypes include both overt and subconscious ideas about the motives of men entering nursing, such as unsavoury intent to molest women and children, but also preconceived notions of the sexuality of the man in question with homosexuality often being assumed.  Men also report feeling like a tool to be used in situations where greater upper body strength is needed to move a patient, or to restrain patients in violent situations.

Another trend is that across the country, nursing shortages have been increasing with litle helping to slow it.  This is something that could be greatly influenced if nursing was marketed in a way to make it more appealing to men as a viable career option.  For example, only 6% of my nursing class is male.  If nursing were seen as a more appropriate career-choice for men, it would make available a significantly higher number of workers.  There are many other factors which influence the nursing shortage, however this is one area which needs to be addressed not only in order to attract men to the profession, but also to ensure men are retained as employees in the field of nursing.

The enduring stereotype of the male nurse


Creative Commons Licence
Trends in My Field: Nursing by Rachael Hildebrand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at


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