Surveys come out every year and statistics are collected showing the number of male nurses in the nursing profession. Norsweek collects such statistics. They revealed that nearly 6 percent of nurses in the United States are male. This low percentage just shows what they are in the minority in the profession. However, even with the small numbers and a profession that tends to treat all of its employees like women, male nurses are finding benefits to working in a female-dominated environment.
There was a time when family and friends deemed male nurses “not good enough to be doctors”. After all, they thought, why would a man go to such a female profession as nursing? The nurses also seemed suspicious of the men and wondered if they were just looking to pick up a wife. However, times have changed male nurses are viewed with a different level of respect. Women are also more empowered and less threatened by the men in their environment.
Communication is key
Women are usually more communicators than men, and they desire more consistent and affirming communication. Male nurses often report that they learn much more from female teachers than male teachers because they are willing to talk and teach more openly. Communication also helps men feel at home in a workplace environment.
Childcare and stress
Another positive of a female-dominated environment were the things the hospitals provided in order to keep the main group happy. Men who are parents can enjoy the fact that many hospitals offer good child care and child benefit packages. They can also feel good about themselves because women create a positive work environment and tend to be more outgoing. Men report finding it easier to see where they are on their floors because they feel like women are more open and assured of what’s going on.
Of course, the main reason men want to be nurses is the same reason anyone wants the job—the satisfaction of helping people in the healing process. Nursing is a tiring but fulfilling profession that many men feel gives them a sense of identity and a reward for doing something they need to do. With the nursing shortage at its peak, male nurses enjoy the same financial rewards, institutional perks, and educational opportunities as female nurses. Male nurses also get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing a patient’s mind change. Some patients may claim that they don’t want a male nurse, but after getting one, they will really open up to the idea that nursing is a job, not a gender.
In general, male nurses have a lot of benefits coming their way, and as society continues to change its perception of them, we will see more male nurses in the years to come.