In the United States, only 13 percent of nurses are male, which is not a high number.
However, even this number can be considered as a steady growth compared to the 1960s, when only 2 percent of nurses were comprised of men, as per a paper published by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth in October.
Although it is not a flood of change, nonetheless it is a change, as per the author of the paper, Abigail Wozniak, who is a University of Notre Dame economist. The researcher found that expanding gender roles and the changing economy were the two main factors that drove the growth.
The Winds Of Change
It is common to find women employed in jobs that are mostly perceived as male-dominated ones, however, there are lower chances of finding men doing jobs that are mostly associated with women. Apparently, it is the jobs, which have been traditionally seen as women-oriented ones, that are on the rise nowadays.
Male nurses reportedly feel proud of their job, because apart from being in a well-paying and reliable job, employment, in general, is something that is tough to come by. The experiences of men in nursing jobs offer lessons on how to prepare men for jobs that are fast growing when more than a quarter of males are not employed in the labor force. It could help in addressing this big problem at present.
There is, however, still a stigma against male nurses particularly among the older patients and also in parts of the United States where the gender roles are still very traditional. For some males, however, the concept that caregiving jobs are work meant for women is outdated.
The General Social Survey has, in fact, measured progressive attitudes about gender roles, which were related to males choosing to nurse as a career.
“This narrative that men can’t provide care in the way that women can is part of that broad cultural narrative that misunderstands what nursing is about,” said Adam White, a student-nurse at the VA Hospital. “We need to talk with young people about caring as a gender-neutral idea and also as something that’s rooted in skills, in expertise.”
The Growth Of Nursing As A Viable Career For Men
Researchers have observed that economic factors like job and wage growth in the healthcare industry and decline of jobs in housing, trade, and automation have had a part to play in more men opting for nursing jobs. It is now growing faster as an employment avenue as compared to the average career, and the pay has also steadily increased since the 1980s.
However, what can work as a retarder in men successfully crossing over to nursing is that it is generally perceived as a career where both women and men can start at a later point in life. It is possible to become a nurse without a bachelor’s degree because a nurse can get certified mid-career. The reason can go on to become a hindrance because hospitals now increasingly want nurses to have a four-year degree.