Do men make good nurses? Are there many men in nursing school programs? Some male viewers have asked me to address these questions.
More men are entering the nursing profession than ever before, and for good reason: nursing is in high demand and offers competitive pay and the potential for career growth and diversity.
Men in Nursing School
First, let’s address the issue of men in nursing school. Yes, of course there are men in nursing school. If not, there wouldn’t be any male nurses in the profession (and trust me, there are!).
The number of men entering nursing programs is increasing, though the exact male-to-female ratios can vary depending on the location, school, and so on. According to an article on Census.gov:
“There were 3.5 million employed nurses in 2011, about 3.2 million of whom were female and 330,000 male.”
The article goes on to state that “Men’s representation among registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses increased. About 2.7 percent of registered nurses were men in 1970 compared with 9.6 percent in 2011.”
My Experience with Men in Nursing School
When I graduated from nursing school in 2009, there were around 100-200 students in my graduating class. As I recall, about 6-10 of the students were male. In fact, our class voted to have one of the male students deliver a speech at our pinning ceremony.
If you attend nursing school, chances are good that you won’t be the only male. It can happen in smaller programs, but in larger programs, there will probably be at least a few other men there.
As far as struggles, men seemed to struggle with the same things that women struggle with in nursing school. After all, nursing school can be tough, and juggling clinicals, studying for exams, and balancing your personal life can be difficult for anyone–male or female.
However, I do recall that the men that I encountered in nursing school did struggle a little more with OB rotations and our OB class. Many of them talked about how they couldn’t wait for the class to be over, and that being around babies and births wasn’t exactly their cup of tea.
In addition, some men have run into the issue of a woman feeling uncomfortable with a man in the OB setting, and that does happen in the profession (though not all women feel that way).
Nevertheless, some men actually do enjoy OB. In fact, some of my male viewers plan to specialize in that area of nursing. Many of them express awe at the miracle of childbirth, and they feel a deep sense of gratitude for being able to partake in that event as a part of their profession.
Do Men Make Good Nurses?
Can men make good nurses? Absolutely–men can make fantastic nurses. I have worked with several male nurses over the years, and they have performed just as well as female nurses. In fact, when I gave birth to my son, a male CRNA administered my epidural, and he did a fantastic job. I don’t think I could have given birth without it!
There used to be a stereotype that nursing was only for females, but that’s changing. Nursing is incredibly diverse. Males have many different specialties from which to choose. Technical-minded guys might enjoy an area such as nursing informatics, whereas others might enjoy bedside nursing or OB.
There is also great room for advancement and growth. Male nurses may choose to advance in their careers to become managers, professors, shift leaders, CRNAs, nurse practitioners, and so on.
If you’re a man interested in becoming a nurse, I say go for it! It’s a great profession with high demand, a competitive salary, and lots of growth potential.