Nursing as a career option, is opted by very few men. For instance, in America, out of a total of 2.1 million registered nurses, only 5.4% are male. There are several reasons why there is a dearth of male nurses.
However, the low number of male nurses has little to do with the capability of men as nurses. In other words, the low percentage of male nurses does not signify that men are unfit for a nursing career. Due to various social and psychosocial reasons and constraints, men often opt out of the nursing career.
These reasons often have little or nothing to do with their capabilities of becoming a nurse. Hence, for various reasons which are external or unrelated to the fitness of men in a nursing career, men do not choose it as a career option. This article will talk about whether men are fit for a nursing career or not.
Reasons why men do not choose a nursing career
One of the most fundamental reasons why men do not choose a nursing career is the fact that it is generally believed that nursing is a woman’s career. Hence, it is widely held that nursing is a female occupation. This is a result of gender bias and traditional divisions between the domain of the male and the domain of the female.
Thus, careers such as nursing are looked upon as exclusively female domains. A nurse is always a female. This type of a view arises from social beliefs and traditions which hold that men are built for more dominant, competitive and public roles while women are suited for more homely services, such as teaching and the most ideal of these services is nursing.
Social norms can often be an important motivating factor in choosing one’s career. Becoming a nurse for a man is often something to be ridiculed by friends and family members. Hence, many men do not opt for nursing career. The fear of peer pressure can act as a significant deterrent in the selection of nursing as a career for men.
However, the justification of these social norms which look down upon men becoming nurses cannot be substantiated. These norms are not based on any sound criteria which make men unsuitable for becoming nurses. On the contrary, historical evidence supports the fact that males can be as supportive, empathetic and nurturing as females.
During the wars that tore across Europe, the majority of the nurses were male; in the US there are several schools which are solely for male nurses, among other examples. People like Walt White or James Derham who were famous for their literary and scientific works respectively, volunteered as nurses during the American Civil War and were dedicated nurses.
Also, with the advent of globalization and the increasing dilution between gender divisions, many men are opting for a nursing career. The divisions in the workplace between men and women are gradually closing in with the result that there are no longer strict distinctions between occupations that are for females and those that are for the males. We are past the age when divisions between the public and the private sphere characterized the work opportunities for men and women.
For men who are inclined towards a profession that is more welfare oriented, those who want job security with good wages, a nursing career can be just the thing. Indeed, several studies do indicate the fact that more men are choosing a nursing career as an option for their professions. Although certain nursing specialties are not within the ambit of male nurses like delivery and labour duties, as a professional field, nursing is quite rewarding.
The healthcare industry is increasingly becoming quite a preferable option for men in terms of one’s career mainly because of the stability and earning potential. However, an important thing to be noted about this surge in nursing career is the fact that opting to become a nurse for the financial benefits is not the right reason.
A nursing career needs a lot of dedication, commitment and sacrifice in one’s personal life. Hence, if a person joins this profession for financial reasons, then the work output is bound to be misplaced and the performance of the nurse will suffer. Poor performance in the health sector is absolutely unacceptable since the health and well being of numerous people are dependent on it.
Another reason why many men do not choose nursing career is that nurses are often seen as subordinate to the doctors. However, the truth is that the role of the doctor and the nurse is different. It is nothing more than that. Today, doctors and nurses are looked at on as equals. Hence this reason for men not joining a nursing career is also becoming outdated.
With the nursing and the healthcare industry poised for more success and prosperity, men have more reasons to opt for a nursing career. Also, there is a high demand for well trained nurses and hence many dedicated and serious men can make the most of this opportunity too.
Nursing is a lucrative career option
For men who are interested to work in the health sector, the nursing career can be an important option. The profession requires a lot of dedication and compromise but at the end of the day all that is very much worth it is, the job satisfaction that one gets by working as a nurse.
With the end of age old views about the professions that a man must choose if he is to prove himself as a man are long gone, and nursing career is no less than any other so called manly professions.
In conclusion, it can be said that men are in no way unsuitable for a nursing career. They are as appropriate for this profession as women. Hence, the stereotypical notions about nursing being a woman’s domain can be done away with. Male nurses have a lot to learn from this profession by way of human welfare and in turn nursing becomes a very rewarding and fulfilling profession.
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