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Nursing as a profession has undergone significant changes over the centuries. While initially, the job was mostly employing the male population, currently the majority of nurses are female. However, in several areas the number of men has been increasing within the past years, indicating a specific trend. Due to the fact that the industry is experiencing a high demand for nursing professionals, understanding the factors that contribute to the decision-making process of male professionals is crucial. This paper aims to analyze the growth of men in nursing and reasons that facilitate the element.
Men in Nursing
The United States Census Bureau (2018) presents information regarding male citizens that work in nursing. The majority are engaged in the areas of emergency and critical care due to the specific nature of the work in these departments. Stanley et al. (2016) state that mental health nursing professionals are typically male. The authors state that the reason for choosing these areas is the need to apply specific technology, which serves as a career motivator. Additionally, the majority of healthcare professionals in the military are men. Overall, approximately 174,528 men were working in nursing and other health support occupations in 2016 (United States Census Bureau, 2018). It should be noted, however, that the majority of employees in this area are female.
The reasoning behind choosing nursing as a profession for men can have several implications. Firstly, similarly to female nurses, the choice of occupation may be facilitated by a desire to help people by providing them with care. For instance, Kluczyńska (2016) states that the majority of male nurses believe that it is their vocation. Due to the fact that society’s perception and opinion regarding the occupation have changed over the years, it can be hypothesized that male nurses experience less tension when choosing the profession. However, Stanley et al. (2016) state that men prefer less intimate areas of work due to female-related stereotypes connected to particular fields.
Therefore, they choose to work in the areas of emergency and critical care, which imply less contact with patients. This provides an understanding that further transformation of the nursing image will enable man to become registered nurses and work without having fears regarding social standards.
Secondly, personal reasons and motivation factors should be considered when evaluating the increase of male professionals in particular areas. According to Stanley et al. (2016), income security and other benefits are among the reasons why men choose nursing. However, the reason for selecting the areas identified above is a high technicality of processes. Stanley et al. (2016) state that “technology-rich areas have been found to be an ideal career motivator for men” (p. 1156). This factor motivates male nurses to work in mental health.
Finally, external factors, such as previous occupations and support from family members have a significant role in men’s choice to become a nurse. Stanley et al. (2016) state that encounters with nurses motivated men to begin studying to work in the field. For instance, many individuals that took part in the author’s research were affected by military healthcare professionals and chose a similar area of interest. The previous experiences together with family support can enhance men’s desire to help patients in particular fields of nursing.
Overall, areas of mental health, critical care, and emergency department have experienced an increase in the number of male nurses. The reasoning for choosing these areas consists of several factors including societal perception of the profession, benefits, components of personal motivation, technicality, and previous encounters with registered nurses that work in a similar field. This presents an understanding of the elements that affect men’s career choices within healthcare.
Kluczyńska, U. (2016). Motives for choosing and resigning from nursing by men and the definition of masculinity: A qualitative study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73(6), 1366-1376. Web.
Stanley, D., Beament, T., Falconer, D., Haigh, M., Saunders, R., Stanley, … Nielson, S. (2016). The male of the species: A profile of men in nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(5), 1155-1168. Web.
United States Census Bureau. (2018). Certified Nurses Day. Web.