Article

What do men in nursing really think? Survey respondents speak out

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Abstract

What draws men to nursing—and what bugs them about being in the minority of a profession dominated by women? Consider these insights from an articulate group of men responding to a national survey.

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... [13] Studies exploring male nurses' experiences indicated that men in nursing experienced stereotyping, abuse, challenges, and isolation, but none of these studies identified these experiences as lateral violence. [14][15][16][17] The prevalence of lateral violence in nursing practice has been demonstrated by multiple studies. Griffin (2004) [13] conducted an exploratory descriptive study at a large tertiary hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. ...
... The majority of the participants felt the organization did not support them when they experienced bullying. Hart (2005) [15] conducted an online survey in the U.S. involving 498 male nurse participants to explore why more men were not nurses. The most frequent reason identified (38%) was that nursing is traditionally considered a female profession. ...
... The majority of the participants felt the organization did not support them when they experienced bullying. Hart (2005) [15] conducted an online survey in the U.S. involving 498 male nurse participants to explore why more men were not nurses. The most frequent reason identified (38%) was that nursing is traditionally considered a female profession. ...
Article
The current and impending nursing shortage is well documented in the literature. Nursing needs to look at alternative strategies to meet the demands faced by the nursing shortage in both practice and education. One strategy would be to increase the number of men in nursing. While the percentage of men in nursing has increased incrementally, male nurses are underrepresented in nursing constituting approximately 9.6% of the nursing workforce. Two independent studies resulted in strikingly similar findings suggesting that male nurses are experiencing discrimination, lack of support, and dissatisfaction in the educational and practice environments. To increase the recruitment and retention of men in nursing it is imperative that this critical problem be addressed by nurse educators, managers, and practitioners at every level.
... Much literature has explored the issue of men in nursing and challenges facing them when they enter the profession in femaledominated contexts. Many authors suggest that men entering nursing confront negative stereotypes of males (Hart, 2005;Meadus, 2000), including discrimination and homophobia (Nelson and Belcher, 2006), as well as being excluded from some speciality areas and procedures (Whittock and Leonard, 2003). In a study of non-nursing students in Canada, Bartfay et al. (2010) found that both males and females held negative attitudes and stereotypical perceptions of males in nursing, including that "they are gay, effeminate, less compassionate and caring than female nurses" (p.1). ...
... Men have been reported to describe feeling part of a minority group, being perceived as 'uncaring' or as 'muscle' for heavier tasks. Such stereotypical perspectives can lead to males experiencing feelings of awkwardness and defensiveness (Hart, 2005). In Canada, Meadus and Twomey (2007) conducted a survey with male nurses in Newfoundland and Labrador to explore why males chose to become nurses. ...
... Men are reported to enter the nursing profession for a range of reasons. These include having the desire to care for and help people (Hart, 2005). The stable nature of nursing is also considered attractive, offering security of employment and salary (Christiansen and Knight, 2014;Roth and Coleman, 2008), as well as diversity of career opportunities and pathways (Hart, 2005;Meadus and Twomey, 2007) and opportunities for travel (Christiansen and Knight, 2014;Meadus and Twomey, 2007). ...
Article
Males have traditionally constituted a very small proportion of the nursing workforce in many countries, including Australia. Together with a need to address the gender imbalance, nursing workforce shortages require strategies for recruiting new nurses, including males. This study examined characteristics of males entering one accelerated graduate entry masters pre-registration nursing program in Victoria, Australia. A quantitative survey gathered a variety of demographic data and factors relating to participants' decisions to undertake nursing. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics including frequencies and distributions. Forty-three male nursing students from four cohorts of the Master of Nursing Practice (MNP) course from 2009 to 2011 completed the survey. The proportion of males (30%) was considerably greater than traditional nursing courses and the profession generally. Participants demonstrated wide distributions in age ranges, professional backgrounds and previous years in the workforce. Graduate entry appears attractive to males of varying ages, personal and professional backgrounds. More research is needed to examine this phenomenon on a larger scale.
... Men in nursing may approach this physical role with a certain degree of ambivalence, because fulfilling these more traditional and physical roles helps to reaffirm their masculine self-concept, but this ultimately sends the message that men are only good for physical tasks. This undermines their role as caregiver by associating them with strength, power and violence (Evans, 1997aHart, 2005). By placing men in physically-oriented traditional roles, women colleagues and the men nurses that embrace this role are ultimately complicit in perpetuating traditional gender roles within nursing, while creating a climate that has the potential to further undermine society"s perception of men as acceptable caregivers (Evans, 1997a. ...
... The second identified sub-theme was caregiving as strength, and the emphasis placed on men nurses" generally greater size, strength, and capacity for physical labor has also been well documented in the literature (Anthony, 2004;Evans, 1997aEvans, , 2004aHart, 2005;Kelly, et al., 1996). ...
... It has been well established that essentialized ideas about gender have contributed to the affiliation of caring and nurturing with femininity; therefore, it was not an unexpected finding that the men study participants frequently felt that their credibility as a caregiver was in question . Hart (2005) reported that one of the top three hurdles that her men nurse survey respondents identified was being perceived as uncaring. A review of the men in nursing literature illustrated that this concern is certainly not without foundation (Ekstrom, 1999;. ...
Thesis
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The transcripts of 21 individual interviews and three focus groups of Canadian men in nursing generated by the SSHRC funded study “Contradictions and Tensions in the Lives of Men: Exploring Masculinities in the Numerically Female Dominated Professions of Nursing and Elementary School Teaching,” underwent secondary qualitative thematic analysis. Informed by the theoretical framework of masculinity theory, the study’s purpose was to describe how men nurses’ caring was conceptualized and expressed in their interviews. The contextual performance of masculinity and caring constituted the core theme, and a thematic map illustrated the relationships between eight performance sub-themes, two contextual sub-themes, and eight contextual elements accounted by this overarching theme. Consideration of the generated themes in the context of existing literature demonstrated considerable support for the study findings, and clearly identified the performance of masculinity as a significant influence on expression of caring by men nurses.
... I n a 2004 survey of 498 male nurses, 80% of participants stated that if given the choice they would choose nursing as their profession again and listed a desire to help people and the ability to make meaningful contributions to society as their top reasons for choosing the profession (Hart, 2005). Yet, prior to applying to nursing school, men may confront stereotypes about the nursing profession and the characteristics of men who enter it (Coleman, 2008;Hart, 2005;Meadus, 2000). ...
... I n a 2004 survey of 498 male nurses, 80% of participants stated that if given the choice they would choose nursing as their profession again and listed a desire to help people and the ability to make meaningful contributions to society as their top reasons for choosing the profession (Hart, 2005). Yet, prior to applying to nursing school, men may confront stereotypes about the nursing profession and the characteristics of men who enter it (Coleman, 2008;Hart, 2005;Meadus, 2000). Gender stereotypes about nursing are informed by images of nurses as feminine, White, and deferential (Kouta & Kaite, 2011;Mac-Williams, Schmidt, & Bleich, 2013;Meadus & Twomey, 2011;Roth & Coleman, 2008) and of men who choose nursing as a profession as emasculated, homosexual, or sexually deviant (Dyck, Oliffe, Phinney, & Garrett, 2009;O'Lynn, 2007a;Roth & Coleman, 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although the number of men entering the nursing profession over the past century has increased incrementally, the proportion of men remains low in contrast to the U.S. Population: On matriculation into nursing school, men face stereotypes about the nursing profession and the characteristics of the men who enter it. Men may also face a number of gender-based barriers, including lack of history about men in nursing, lack of role models, role strain, gender discrimination, and isolation. Method: This article describes each of these barriers and provides strategies to improve male students' learning experience. Results: The efforts of one nursing school to address many of these barriers are also described. Conclusion: Through acknowledging gender barriers and taking intentional steps to address them with prenursing and nursing students, schools of nursing may create a more inclusive environment and enhance the profession's diversity. [J Nurs Educ. 2017;56(5):295-299.].
... One of the barriers identified as discouraging men who have doubts about entering the nursing profession is the social stereotype of the gendered nature of nursing work that associates the characteristics of caring, compassion, nurturance, and empathy exclusively with women (Twomey & Meadus, 2008). One common stereotype of male nurses is that they are homosexuals (Hart, 2005;Jinks & Bradley, 2004;Meadus & Twomey, 2011). In addition, men are sometimes seen as having chosen nursing in default because they were not accepted to medical school (Hart, 2005;Zysberg & Berry, 2005). ...
... One common stereotype of male nurses is that they are homosexuals (Hart, 2005;Jinks & Bradley, 2004;Meadus & Twomey, 2011). In addition, men are sometimes seen as having chosen nursing in default because they were not accepted to medical school (Hart, 2005;Zysberg & Berry, 2005). Another problem is that unlike the feminine touch, which is considered natural, men's touch raises suspicions that their motives are sexual and not professional, causing stress for the patient (Evans, 2002). ...
Article
The current worldwide nursing shortage remains a challenge for the nursing profession. Encouraging men to become nurses and, thereby, increasing the number of practitioners are crucial factors in facing this challenge. The historiography of nursing presents nursing as "women's work," based on the assumption that it is inherently appropriate for women only. Although men were employed as nurses even before nursing was recognized as a profession, male nurses were always a minority in the field. Over the years, the proportion of male nurses has increased, but they still comprise only 5 to 10% of the nursing workforce in the western world. This study examined men's motives for a career choice of nursing, how male nurses are perceived, and the barriers that they face. The study was conducted among 336 nursing students studying in a co-educational program in various academic tracks at a public, nonsectarian university in the south of Israel. Participants completed the following questionnaires in one study session: sociodemographic questionnaire; Attitudes Towards Men in Nursing Scale; motives for career choice questionnaire; and the questionnaire of the perceptions of the professional status of nursing. Study findings revealed that men tended to choose nursing because of financial constraints significantly more frequently than women (P=.001). Among the participants, there was no significant between-sex difference in the perception nursing as women's work (P=.002) or in perception of male nurses as homosexuals. Results of the study showed that the status of the nursing profession is considered low, and the low status deters men from choosing nursing as a career. The motivation for men's career choice must be understood, and men must be empowered to improve their work conditions and financial remuneration in order to recruit men to the field and to improve the perception of the profession and its public status.
... Another factor that contributes to the challenges of men's participation in the nursing profession is considering male nurses as "Gay". According to Jinks & Bradley (2004) and Hart (2005) it is a common stereotype concerning men who choose nursing is that they are effeminate or gay. The authors argued that little has changed in societal attitudes towards nursing stereotypes over the years. ...
... These findings are consistent with previous studies conducted by Jinks & Bradley (2004) and Hart (2005) that argued that it is a common stereotype concerning men who choose nursing is that they are effeminate or gay. Moreover, the results disapproval or dislike by a female patient (76%) and difficulties in the relationship with the physician (78%) were seen as the prominent challenges that strongly agreed with the majority of the respondents to the men who want to pursue a nursing career. ...
... In fact, it is specialist clinics providing women's healthcare, such as obstetrics and pre-natal care, who have the lowest number of male nurses (Cude & Winfrey, 2007); and they are excluded through the informal hiring networks (social network, acquaintances, etc.) (Kmec, 2008). Male nurses are either questioned as to their masculinity, feeling themselves obliged to justify their professional choice (Hart, 2005); or on the contrary, are seen by their female colleagues as mere "muscle" only to be used for moving things or people (Brown, 2009;Girard, 2003). However, male nurses discover strategies for tackling these problems, such as using a female nurse or delegating intimate care to her (self-protection), or using humor or camaraderie for male patients, or choosing a specialty that keeps them away from the more "feminine" side of care (Evans, 2002;Fisher, 2009;Inoue, Chapman, & Wynaden, 2006). ...
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The goal of this work is to examine the differential impact that carrying out nursing tasks may have on the health of male nurses who perform their work in a female-dominated occupation, and the modulating effect of their conformity to male gender norms. Our study includes 98 male nurses and 98 female nurses, from the University Hospital of Getafe, (in Madrid). The participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, physical health and Self-perceived Job Satisfaction questionnaires, the GHQ-12, and the Conformity to Gender Norms Questionnaires (CMNI). In general, the male nurses enjoy better health than the female nurses in the variables analyzed. With regard to conformity to masculine gender norms, they show a lower conformity to the traditional masculine gender norms than men from the general population. However, the relation of the studied health variables with conformity to masculine gender norms shows a classic pattern of habitual health in the men.
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This article explores concepts of gender difference for nurses working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nursing. Inspired by the author's own experiences he emerged ethnographic research data to explore how male nurses replicate a problematic performance sited between representing 'similarity' and yet 'difference' to their female colleagues. In this article, the author discusses how typical dichotomies of sexuality, gender and transformation are troubling for child and adolescent nursing discourses because they privilege particular representations of maleness, narratives of sexual multiplicity and disguise how the equity gaze is a persistent reminder in the minds of many male nurses that theirs is sometimes a prescribed performance of metaphorical sexless, gender nakedness and quietened voice which is disrobed and left like their sex in the locker room.
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