To Be Or Not To Be- A Murse, That Is!

A male nurse

There are statistics, and then there are STATISTICS. And in honor of Father’s Day; a day on which we celebrate the males in our lives, I’d like to bring ‘a STATISTIC’ to the forefront. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 91% percent of registered nurses are female, while a mere 9% are male. Why, though? Why, why, WHY?!? Stereotype; plain and simple. Despite the fact that gender equality is making headlines in today’s society, there still exists a very strong, traditional perception that the female is the primary caretaker. Which is interesting to note, considering that until the early 1900s, men dominated the nursing field. In fact, women were not even allowed to be nurses until the mid-1800s. And even then, they were not allowed on the front lines and were instead confined to the halls of the hospitals. After 1901 though, the military nurse corp underwent some major changes, and it was the men who were no longer permitted to serve as nurses. This was the main contributing factor to the feminization of the nursing profession, as it wasn’t until 1955 that males were allowed to once again join. Good news, though, men of the world… Nursing, today, in 2018, is a great career! Yes, even for you! And here’s why.

There is a Nursing Shortage

It’s a simple case of supply and demand. The nurses who are a part of the baby boomer generation (aged 52-70) are in the midst of retiring, and our general population is aging at a steady rate and at the same time living longer than ever. Now do the math. There is clearly a very great need for new nurses. AKA job stability for those who choose this path. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth for registered nurses is projected at 19%, which is significantly higher than the growth of other professions, and it translates into approximately 500,000 new nursing jobs by 2022. Say what?!

Male Patients Want Male Nurses

Patients are vulnerable. There’s physical discomfort as well as emotional discomfort. And there’s a very good chance that a male patient would feel a whole lot more comfortable being seen by a male nurse as opposed to a female. No one wants to feel inadequate in front of the opposite gender, and this is a simple way to put patients more at ease, and to provide them with the best possible healthcare experience.

There is Diversity within Nursing

The nursing field is so vast, and there are so many ways in which you can specialize. Pediatric nursing, oncology, administration, middle management, psychiatry, anesthesia, flight, trauma nursing etc. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you just do YOU, and what suits your personality and skills best, there is no reason in the world why you can’t be a highly successful male nurse. And do note that should you go down this route there is an abundance of support out there. The American Assembly of Men in Nursing, in particular, offers scholarships, arranges conferences, and covers nursing topics of particular interest to men.

Help Shatter a Decades Old Stereotype

People see a male in medical scrubs and are quick to assume that he’s the doctor. The fact that men have to fight the stereotypical image of the ‘woman’ providing care for an ill patient is simply unfair. A well trained and compassionate male nurse can provide the same quality and level of care as an equally trained and equally compassionate female nurse. If nursing is something that you have your heart set on, (and trust me, your heart has got to truly be set on it!) then go ahead! Anyone can be a healthcare worker, and anyone is capable of being caring. And by choosing a career that defies current societal norms you’re helping to wear down a stereotype that never should have existed to begin with.

Happy Father’s Day to all you murses and future murses!!

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