Like teaching and other fields that are seen as “nurturing,” nursing is a female-dominated career, and is one area that lacks gender diversity in the US. While there are men entering the profession, they aren’t doing so at the rate that women are. And now with the nursing shortage being experienced around the world, we are seeing an even greater decline in male nurses.
However, there has never been a better time than now to get into nursing as a male. Your presence is needed in many different ways. Here are a few of the top reasons why you should consider becoming a male nurse.
There’s no denying that nursing, and healthcare in general, is a field that won’t stop growing. As long as there are people on the planet and we haven’t reached immortality yet, there will be a need for nurses. And with salaries rising more and more each year, it’s a great time to hop on the bandwagon. In fact, the median wage for RNs in the United States in 2015 was about $69,000 per year, which isn’t too shabby, especially depending on where you live in the country. And you can rest assured that salaries will only keep going up.
It’s a Man’s Job
Well, it’s anyone’s job, really, as long as you have the determination and drive to do it. But what we mean is that historically, nursing was a male-dominated industry. If you look as far back as ancient Rome, you’ll find that caregivers to soldiers and warriors were almost always men. Even in the Civil War, most battlefield nurses were men, since it was frowned upon for women to be in the line of fire on the battleground.
However, in more recent wars, women were encouraged to enter the nurse role due to a lack of men. Since then, women have dominated the field and men had even been banned from becoming nurses at one point. But it’s time to take back the profession! The world of nursing can benefit greatly from men’s presence.
Male Patients Need You
When patients are in hospital or a clinic, it usually isn’t because they had nothing better to do and wanted to just hang out there. They are most likely in pain or discomfort and experiencing worry or anxiety over a diagnosis or health insurance. Whatever it is, they are usually not their best selves. It can be easy to label them as disagreeable or argumentative. However, it is a nurse’s job to offer compassionate care and help a patient feel comfortable.
The thing is, though, that many male patients may feel more comfortable expressing their worries or discomfort to another male. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. And it should be noted that a good nurse will do their best for a patient regardless of gender, but it is important to create a relationship with the patient to encourage treatment and care, and sometimes this is just easier with a nurse of a specific gender.
In this day and age, the world is coming around to breaking nonsensical stereotypes, especially as they relate to gender. With the stigma still surrounding male nursing (notice how we have to specify “male” nursing, instead of just nursing?), there’s no better time than now to start breaking those ideas down. The only way to do that, however, is by taking the first step and making the decision to join the profession. If you feel called to be a nurse, or just think it would be a really fun and exciting job, don’t worry about misconceptions about your masculinity – you have a right to be a nurse, and in all honesty, we desperately need you!