Men, at 10 percent of the field's workforce, are changing the face of nursing
Men make up about 10 percent of the nursing field nationwide, and those numbers are expected to grow, says Jim Mendez, Phd., an assistant professor at Villanova University’s M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing and a nurse practitioner with many years of experience in the field of lung transplantation.
"Patients always benefit when they are cared for by groups that look like them,” Mendez says. “Having men or any kind of diversity -- be it economic diversity, gender diversity, ethnic diversity -- always helps the people we care for get better care because we understand them better by our diversity.” He adds, “Men are also realizing that nursing requires so many different skills that it keeps the job interesting, and that nursing is always needed. It is more recession proof than many careers.”
The practice of nursing requires proficiencies such as scientific knowledge, technical expertise, management ability, and interpersonal skills. Many people, including men, are attracted to the opportunity to develop and utilize these abilities. Men in nursing often concentrate in highly technical areas such as the intensive care unit, the emergency department, and anesthesiology (approximately 40 percent of certified registered nurse anesthetists are men).
There are many factors that influence men to enter nursing: the increasing visibility of men in nursing attracts more men to nursing; nursing’s varied skill set provides an opportunity to utilize their talents, shifting societal norms regarding gender roles; and the fact that careers in nursing are lucrative, plentiful and personally satisfying.
“We can attract more men to nursing by recruiting men into faculty roles, having available male role models and support systems for male nursing students, and ensuring that guidance counselors are presenting nursing accurately as an opportunity for men,” says Mendez.
To speak with Dr. Mendez, click on his headshot above, email email@example.com or call 610-519-5152