Male Nurses: Wanted and Why They Should Accept
Nursing is a field that has always been identified with the female gender so much so that when you ask little boys what they want to be when they grow up becoming a nurse never comes up. Most likely you will hear that they want to become a doctor, policeman, soldier, fireman, or lawyer but never a lawyer. Maybe it is because the most popular person associated with the profession is Florence Nightingale or because nurses are most often seen as the woman in nurses uniforms with white cap, or worse because they are seen as just the assistants or aides of the mighty doctors. Whatever the reasons may be, boys don’t ever dream of becoming a nurse. FYI: years ago, nursing schools were only for men.
With the economic problem and the uncertainty of their situation, with some men losing their jobs when the manufacturing companies they worked with are closing, more and more are trading their overalls with nurses scrubs.
There has certainly been a great increase in the number of male nurses over the years but there is still a long way to go for them. Data shows that in 1972 the male nurses comprised only 1.4 percent of the overall registered nurses population. According to 2008 Department of Health and Human Services survey, the number of male nurses doubled over the years that in 2008 they comprised 6.6 percent of the total RN population. With the current nursing shortage, as well as the impending shortage in the nursing workforce because of the aging trend, there is a good reason for boys to start thinking of becoming a nurse.
Gender Distribution of RNs in the US
Population of Licensed Registered Nurses (1992 - 2008)
Total Estimated Licensed
The facts show that nursing is one of the best jobs that one could have. In fact, according to US News, nursing ranked 1st for the best 25 jobs for 2012 stating that “The nursing profession will almost always have great hiring opportunity because of its expanse (from pediatric care to geriatric care, and everything in between). And as a substantial chunk of our population ages, the necessity for qualified RNs intensifies.”
And what the male gender may not know is that nursing offers flexible schedules, rewarding experiences, more career options, good pay and a really good chance to be of help and service to others. Job security is guaranteed especially as the baby boomers are set to retire and are, truth be told, aging. Particular with career options, just like in other careers, men actually earn more than the women, even in nursing.
Take for example the nursing specialty nurse anesthetists. Male nurses may only comprise 7.1 percent of the total number of employed RNs in 2008 but they comprised 41.1% of nurse anesthetists, which is the third largest Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and the highest paid group of APRNs and the highest paid of all nurses. So if we simply talk about financial benefits then men can foresee good days ahead. According to the data from the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, a bigger percentage at 75.6 percent of male nurses work in the hospital setting compared to only 61.2 percent of women. Female nurses are inclined to work in ambulatory setting, home health, nursing homes, and in academic education, which has actually the lowest number of male RNs.
The lower number of male nurses also gives them more opportunities since hospitals would really hire them outright. To quote one article I read about male nurses: Once he finished, the Sheffield Manor administrator, LaKeshia Bell, pretty much hired him on the spot. “They are like a hot commodity,” she said. “A male presence actually helps us in the facility.” At 5 feet 9 inches tall and 220 pounds, Mr. Edwards lifts patients as easily as he stacked boxes.
So in this trying times, a career in nursing should not scoffed at nor stereo-typed as just for females or that those men who decide to become nurses are gay or effeminate. Yes at this moment there are more women nurses but certainly they have never tried to close it off for men. The male gender is wanted in this career and now we know how easy and important it is that they accept the challenge. The women in nursing would certainly love to have more men with them, that is if you are man enough to accept the challenge.
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