Nursing is commonly associated with women, which is a shame because there is a lot a man can do in this field. According to recent statistics, only about 8% of nurses in the country are males. This number is about 12% south of the border. While there are more men considering the field today, there is still much more that needs to be done. One of the many reasons why men don’t go into the field is because of misconceptions about what it truly means to be a nurse. But, if more knew the benefits of the job, more would show interest in it. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why more men should be entering the nursing field.
Nursing is Not Inherently a Woman’s Job
The idea that nursing is for women is a relatively recent one. Back in ancient Rome, front-line caregivers were often men. This was also the case in the US Civil War when male nurses outnumbered female nurses. While there are no exact statistics from the Middle Ages, it’s estimated that about half the nurses back then were males too. The Red Cross was also founded by a male nurse by the name of Jean Henry Dunant. It’s still unclear where the idea of nurses having to be women came from, but it has to change.
Men are Highly Needed in Specialized Roles
While men were often discouraged from entering certain nursing fields, there are fields where men have always been in demand. One of them is mental health nursing. The job of a mental health nurse can be very difficult and dangerous in some cases, and men are often called to restrain violent patients. While the majority of mental health nurses are women, this is the field where there is the most gender parity, with about 38% of all nurses in the field being men.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should stick only to fields where men have traditionally worked. There are also plenty of other fields where men could make a contribution. One of these is family nursing.
The truth is that some patients might simply feel more comfortable speaking about certain issues with people of the same gender as them. Family nurses have a very close relationship with the people they work with, and some men might not be as open with a female nurse as they would with a male. Some may even hide some of the issues that they may be experiencing.
This is why we would suggest that you consider looking at the field right now. Male nurses who are already in the field should not scoff at a family nursing position either. This could give you the chance to get a much greater salary, a more accommodating working environment, and also the chance to start your clinic in many areas around the country.
If that’s something that would interest you, you could look at a post masters FNP if you have your master’s. There are online post masters FNP nursing programs that will allow you to juggle your studies with your work more easily.
It’s an Exciting Field
You should also know that nursing is a much more exciting field than many imagine. As a matter of fact, there aren’t many positions we can think of that are as exciting as nursing. If you deal well with pressure and are up for the challenge, you could always work in the ER. The wide variety of cases there means that your help could be needed in different situations.
There are plenty of other great positions in nursing that you could consider. Some decide to join the army, whereas others decide to work on rescue missions. If you want something cozier, you could work on a cruise ship and sail the seven seas while treating patients dealing with different issues. Or you could work in research and transform the field.
You’ll Shatter Stereotypes
More importantly, you’ll also be able to shatter some of the most persistent stereotypes and misconceptions about the field. The stigma that surrounds men in the profession is what is blocking so many people with potential from getting in, and one of the reasons why there are such shortages right now. It is the job of men to fill these positions and be visible to encourage others to do the same.
Great Career Stability
By becoming a nurse, you’ll also be able to kiss job insecurity goodbye forever. Nursing is one of the fields with the highest projected growth over the next decade and it’s estimated that over 175,000 RN jobs will need to be filled over the next ten years according to the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS).
This is also one of the most lucrative fields you can enter and the amount of money you make will be directly correlated with your credentials. Nurse anesthetists, for instance, can stand to make as much as $188,180 per year on average according to data from the Economic Research Institute. The average income for nurse practitioners is around $88,000. Even registered nurses can earn around $80,126 per year. So, if you wanted to find a career that pays well with great prospects for the future, nursing could be the perfect option.
Last but not least, you’ll know that you’ll be entering one of the most fulfilling careers there is, especially as a man. People will often be grateful to see you and you could play a very important role on your team. Male nurses are also more respected than ever thanks to changing attitudes about males in the profession and gender roles in general.
If you were thinking of becoming a male nurse, now could be the best time to do so. This is one of the most promising fields in the country and one where men need to be more represented. This is your chance to make a change by becoming an example.