There has been a growing demand for more male nurses, as both providers and patients have become more and more aware of the benefits male nurses can provide in the healthcare field. All the benefits result in more male candidates receiving bursaries and acceptance in nursing school. There are several reasons to support this statement.
It’s no secret that the nurses are the heart and soul of every hospital, from dealing with small children to adults and having to care for the elderly. Nursing has always been a female-dominated field, yet the shrinking jobs tend to be male, and those growing are mostly female ones.
When realizing that you, as a patient and job giver, can benefit from having male nurses at your institute, it makes you wonder about certain things. Do male nurses get into nursing school easier?
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Men in a Woman-Dominated Field
Since the beginning of time, nursing was always seen as a woman’s job because women were seen as natural caregivers.
These beliefs started to change in the second half of the 19th century when medical institutes assigned nursing jobs requiring lots of physical strength and bravery to men. This means that male nurses had the job of caring for patients during a dangerous epidemic.
This began to change when Florence Nightingale brought a small group of female nurses to the Crimean War in 1854. Because of these female nurses, the whole nursing profession became a female-gendered profession, up until the point where men were banned from serving in the Army Nurse Corps during the two world wars.
It was not until the 1960s that the nursing field began to reflect better on its patients in terms of gender and race. Most recently, medical institutes have made efforts to recruit male nurses by focusing less on gender and more on the possible award of the career.
The Stigma About Male Nurses
Women have been entering fields dominated by men for several decades. Still, it is much less common for a dominated female occupation to have a substantial increase in its numbers of men.
Nursing is no example of gender equality. Even though far fewer men are in the field of nursing, they are paid more than women.
The U.S Bureau of Labor has determined that 2 986 500 Registered Nurses were employed in the United States as of May 2020. According to the BLS, the weekly earnings of these male nurses are approximately $1 256. The average weekly earnings of a woman nurse are less, being around $1 217.
This means that a male nurse will make $39 more per week, adding up to about $6000 more in a year. At first, the difference in earnings may not seem to be a big gap, but over the course of 20 or 30 years in the nursing career, this can add up to a huge amount of money.
Aside from men earning significantly more than female nurses, the stigma against male nurses still runs deep, especially amongst older patients and in parts of the country where more traditional gender roles are still being practiced.
This could impact the amount of work there is for male nurses. Many men find the notion that caregiving jobs are only a woman’s work completely outdated and stereotypical. This is why positive attitudes about gender roles should be encouraged, and people should be educated in the area.
The idea is that men will not be able to provide medical care in the same way that women will be able to be simply part of a culture that misinterprets what nursing’s all about. It is important to talk and educate young pupils about nursing school as a gender-neutral idea built from skill and expertise.
Why Men Are Preferred at Nursing Schools
Unlike women in male-dominated professions, the few men working in the nursing industry often result in them reaping certain advantages. These advantages translate into preference in hiring, as well as faster and more significant promotions.
Strategies that focus on increasing men’s awareness of these benefits may cause men to be employed in order to increase the number of men in nursing. Let’s take a look at why it can be easier for men to get into nursing schools.
- A survey of nurses showed that male nurses reported that they negotiate their salaries 10% more than female nurses.
- Male nurses are much more likely to work overtime hours. This is believable, as women may often have maternal responsibilities, which can compromise overtime earnings.
- Male nurses are much more likely to work at inpatient hospitals, which pay more significant amounts than outpatient settings.
- Male nurses are also more likely and willing to work in urban areas. Urban areas tend to have a higher earning rate due to the higher cost of living.
- Male nurses take more on-call, as well as high-differential shifts.
- Some patients tend to prefer male nurses instead of female nurses.
It goes without saying that different patients have different healthcare requires and desires. For example, some men tend to be uncomfortable showing weakness to a woman and, therefore, will feel much more comfortable in the presence of a male nurse.
This is also applicable to more invasive procedures, such as inserting catheters and using the bathroom or bedpan. Where patients may choose a male nurse to do the job instead of a female nurse.
The presence of a male nurse can help to ensure that male patients feel represented.
Some parents, especially single fathers, may feel more comfortable speaking to a male nurse instead of a female nurse. They may feel like they can relate more and are more easily understood.
Male nurses provide positive role models for young boys.
As gender role stereotypes still exist in our culture, it is important for young men and boys to experience the presence of male nurses who enjoy doing their job. Seeing males in non-traditional occupation fields will help to eliminate the biases from an early age.
Young boys will always benefit from having a role model or being inspired by somebody who understands what they are going through. Generally, speaking about more intimate aspects with unfamiliar women can challenge younger men, causing them to feel unrelatable.
The list stated above offers some clarity as to why it could be easier for male nurses to get into nursing school and excel in this field of expertise. Some differences may also lead to the pay gap between male and female nurses. At the end of the day, it seems like you are getting what you’re giving!
Female Nurses Welcome Male Nurses
Male nurses see the act of being nurses as equally suitable for males and females. They use their masculine properties to thrive in their education, development, and career.
Nurses say that they welcome the change with open arms and find male nurses helpful in several areas.
Being a nurse is like being a superhero- challenging, rewarding, and sometimes dangerous. When it comes to superheroes, their strength and powers do not rely on their gender, and the same can be said about male and female nurses.
Male nurses are much more common these days, and some hospitals will prefer an equal amount of male and female nurses. At the end of the day, everything is about working together to help patients, and if this can be achieved, gender will no longer have to play a role!
After earning his Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, Stuart gained experience working with families in community mental health settings and in the child protection sector. Since becoming a father himself, Stuart now works in private practice offering psychotherapy services. FatherResource is an opportunity for Stuart to share what he learns on his journey as a father with a larger audience.