A Changing Mentality
As male nurses, the men above are members of a significant minority that nevertheless has a growing presence in the profession. Around 12% of nurses in the U.S. today are men, a number that has grown steadily since 1960, when that number was 2%. And at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, 12% of our nursing students identify as male.
This number is only poised to grow at UMSON and nationally, as the door for men to enter the nursing profession has never been more wide open.
5 Reasons Why Men Choose Nursing:
1. A rewarding career.
The bottom line is that you’ll help people. As a nurse, you can make a difference — that’s an incredibly rewarding feeling that isn’t found in every career. As a nurse, you'll apply your best skills, abilities, and interests in one of the most ethical, valued, and trusted professions. (For more than 20 years, nursing has been ranked the most trusted profession, according to the annual Gallup poll on honesty and ethics).
2. Less stigma.
Things change: Shifts in cultural expectations and perceptions of gender roles are taking place. Today, the overwhelming majority of patients do not care about their nurse's gender, and providers are becoming more aware of the benefits of employing male nurses, such as making male-identifying patients feel represented. Some patients may even prefer male nurses!
3. Lots of flexibility and career advancement options.
Data shows that a large factor in the increase in male nurses is men transferring into nursing from other professions while in their 20s and early 30s. A big part of the draw to the profession for any nurse is flexibility: In addition to flexible work hours that allow for better work-life balance, there are varied options for practice setting and area of specialty, as well as countless opportunities for career advancement and additional education.
4. An attractive salary.
Unemployed men who move into female-dominated careers — including nursing — tend to see around a 4% rise in their pay, according to Minority Nurse. And overall, the 2019 median pay for registered nurses was $73,300 per year, much higher than the median annual wage for all workers, which was $39,810, according to the BLS.
5. Solid job growth.
Traditionally male-dominated fields, such as those in manufacturing, are shrinking while the nursing shortage has created demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects to see a 12% job growth for registered nurses between 2018 and 2028. Hiring men is a crucial way to find qualified nurses and meet this demand.