Nursing in the U.S. is historically a female-dominated field. While a growing number of men have been making the decision to become a nurse, a slight stigma about men in nursing still, unfortunately, persists.
At Joyce University, we believe that nursing is a field open to all and that more men should feel encouraged to join the profession. Here are five reasons why deciding to become a nurse is a great move for guys.
Nursing is a growing industry. According to the most recent forecasts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics nursing is set to grow by 9 percent between 2020 and 2030. Job prospects and outlook for pay are both promising.
According to the BLS, the national median wages for RNs is $77,600 annually, with many nurses making more than that. Men who become RNs can rest assured that they’re joining a dynamic profession on the upswing. Nursing isn’t settling; it’s thriving.
You might think that men in nursing is a new trend, but there’s a rich world history of men as nurses.
In ancient Rome, front-line caregivers known as “nosocomi” were often male. In more recent history, male battlefield nurses in the American Civil War outnumbered female ones. The founder of the International Red Cross and Nobel laureate, Jean Henry Dunant, worked as a nurse in his early life, though many online biographies of Dunant characterize his nursing as “aide work” or “medical assistance.” But, the fact remains that there’s a long history of men providing care that we now identify with nurses and call nursing.
That changed in the last century when men were discouraged and sometimes even banned from nursing. But, times are changing again. As a man in nursing, you’ll be carrying on a rich history that goes all the way back to the ancient world, and is all too often forgotten.
Often when patients are seeing a nurse they’re not at their best. Physical and emotional discomfort can be the order of the day, and some men might not want to appear vulnerable in front of a female caregiver. They might feel more comfortable and more at ease in the presence of another man.
Ideally, of course, every nurse could treat every patient regardless of gender, but dealing with human frailty and insecurities is simply a fact of life for healthcare workers. It’s likely that some men in nursing can make some patient experiences better just by being who they are.
Nursing is a vast field. By joining it, you have access to several different types of jobs and career paths, and there’s almost certainly one that will suit you. If you like kids, you can go into pediatric nursing. If you work well under pressure, consider working in an ER. Want to get really technical? Become a nurse anesthetist.
The world of nursing holds many possibilities. One thing all of those fields have in common, though, is their lack of nurses who are men.
Diversity is essential to a quality healthcare industry. As more men join the profession, they’ll help erode the stigma of men in nursing, and hopefully the bias will become a thing of the past. If you’re a man and you want to become a nurse, you can do it. Just by being who you are, you’ll send the message that anyone can become a healthcare worker, that everyone is capable of caring, and that service to others is an honorable pursuit regardless of gender.