If you are a man seeking to go into the nursing profession, you might be interested in learning more about the demand for male nurses. It can be especially helpful to learn about men currently work in the profession, and to reflect on the importance of recruiting and training more men to work in this exciting and worthwhile field.
The Current Statistics
For many years, it was almost a given that if you were a nurse, you were female. While there are still more women than men in the profession, the good news is that the number of male nurses is on the increase. In fact, since 1970, the number of male nurses in the U.S. has tripled, according to a study from the U.S. Census Bureau. That means that men now comprise 9.6 percent of all registered nurses. When you look at LPNs and vocational nurses, the numbers are lower, but the number of men in those jobs has still doubled in the same time period, to 8.1 percent. All in all, of the 3.5 million nurses holding jobs in 2011, about 330,000 of them were men.
One interesting fact to come out of the recent study was that male nurses earn more than female nurses. The income gap is not as large as it is within some other occupations, but female nurses earn 91 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.
The Demand for More Nurses, Male and Female
The demand for male nurses is on the rise, partly because there is a growing demand for more nurses in general. That may be part of what has fueled the increase in male nurses so far. The nursing shortage is driven by various factors including an increasingly older population and better access to healthcare for more citizens.
The need for more nurses is vital, especially to help the nursing workforce assure competent, quality care. Many healthcare groups have discussed the importance of increasing ethnic minorities in nursing because a more diverse workforce would better represent a culturally diverse population. The same thing can be said for the importance of male nurses. Having male nurses ensures that male patients are well represented, and that male healthcare needs are fully understood. It is also becoming increasingly recognized that men, like women, have care-giving strengths and skills that can make nursing an excellent choice for them.
Recruitment Efforts Increasing
Recognizing the need for more male nurses, the American Assembly for Men in Nursing is currently running a campaign to see a 20 percent increase in male nurses in the U.S. by the year 2020. It’s called the 20 X 20 Choose Nursing Program, and involves strategies to recruit more men into the field. They are utilizing posters marketed especially to men, social media campaigns and increased scholarships for men in undergraduate and graduate nursing schools.
There can be no doubt that there is a growing demand for and acceptance of male nurses in the nursing profession. Part of this is fueled by the overall need for more nurses in general, but there is also a growing understanding that men have an important role to play in the field. As that understanding continues to grow, so will the demand for male nurses.