With a mere 5% of the nursing workforce being male nurses, one can only wonder why. Nursing has so many aspects to it that there are many places that a man is just as capable and sometimes for acceptable to practice. Nursing schools have seen a slight increase in admissions, but not a significant change.
There are some well know instances when men were primary nurses back as far as the middle ages. The Knights of Malts began as a group of nurses. Walt Whitman was nurse in the military during the civil war. There is nothing that is un-masculine about nursing. The fact is that the profession is attracting more men than in the past.
Men have come to realize that it is an occupation that has many rewards. There are always job openings and the pay is good. The ability to specialize is becoming more and more popular. The profession has evolved to the point that there are now associations, magazines and other venues that are designated for male nurses. Male nurses are far from misfits.
There are areas of the hospital that are possibly better served by men nurses:
-The emergency department may be the first one that comes to mind. You never know what may come through that door. Men do well in this department.
-Mental health is another area that can easily adjust to male nurses. It is a field that is not gender specific when it comes to patient care. With the assistance of nursing assistants and other LPN’s the need for bed baths is generally non-existent. Therefore there is no need to assign only male patients to the male RN.
The profession has undergone a metamorphosis over the years. Florence Nightingale may have gotten more publicity with her nursing than Walt Whitman did, but neither held a lesser position. Women may just talk more:)