Kathryn Norcutt had a rewarding career in nursing and now is spending her time writing and passing along knowledge gained from years of experience and research. If you are interested in becoming a travel nurse, take advantage of her wise insights regarding the nursing profession.
What Can Nursing Schools Do To Attract More Men?
In today’s society, there are still job-related stereotypes that remain from decades past. For example, only men were mechanics in the past. However, many women are entering the field today. The opposite applies for nursing. While this job was viewed as a woman’s work in decades past, more and more men are joining the ranks today. Nursing is a field that is constantly growing in complexity and tasks. As today’s society continues to equalize in jobs and in other ways, expect to see more male nurses. There are plenty of benefits to having men in the nursing profession. Some of these include the following:
- Men generally have good physical strength, which enables them to do heavy lifting.
- It is common for many difficult female patients to cooperate better with male nurses.
- Male patients who do not want female nurses helping them with private care will appreciate male nurses.
- Since female nurses do not want men to outshine them, having male nurses on staff can provide healthy and friendly competition for everyone to perform at their best.
- It is a common occurrence that having one or more men on staff cuts down on gossip and cattiness in the workplace.
- Male nurses tend to be passionate about what they do, so they often encourage patients, visitors and coworkers without even trying.
Attracting Men to the Nursing Profession
With all of the great benefits associated with having male nurses on staff, it is important for both schools and employers to encourage men to enter the field. Male nurses only make up approximately five percent of the workforce in the nursing profession. To appeal to men, it is important to find the aspects of nursing that would make them want to consider joining. The following are some good ways educational institutions can attract more male nursing students:
- Dispel the stereotype that nursing is a profession for women.
- Stress the complex technological aspects of various specialties.
- List the wide range of specialty areas that might appeal more to men. For example, cardiology would likely be more attractive to them than labor and delivery.
- Stress that nursing is much more than bedside care and bathing.
- List some examples of how men can advance and promote in nursing careers.
- Suggest some adventurous and exciting opportunities such as travel nursing.
- Men are practical creatures, so emphasize the long-term stability of nursing careers, good pay and attractive benefits.
- If program guides include stock photos of nursing professionals, be sure to include pictures with male nurses.
- Whenever possible, have male recruiters meet with prospective male students.
- Make sure men who are enrolled know they have a solid support system to avoid having them drop out or change majors.
In addition to emphasizing these important points, nursing schools and program directors should consider raising the bar on their entrance requirements. Men naturally enjoy competition and challenges, so they are not as likely to be attracted to a program that is extremely easy to enter. If the requirements are stricter, they may find the challenge more attractive. Some schools saw not only the number of applicants rise after doing this but also the number of applications from men.
Fortunately, more men have been entering the field since the recession in the late 2000s. Many schools will still need to put forth some extra effort to see the number of their male nursing students rise. Reaching out to hospitals and nursing homes by encouraging them to add tuition reimbursement or other benefits is a good way for schools to attract more male students. Program directors should encourage administrators in these facilities to reach out to current male employees in other departments that pay less. If they are presented with an attractive opportunity to learn for an affordable cost but also receive better pay and benefits in the future, many are likely to be enticed enough to jump on the offer. Social media, newsletters and other correspondence that is available to the public can also be helpful. If every school puts forth the effort, more men will likely enter the field and add their valuable contributions to the many positive contributions women are currently providing.