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A Decline in Male Nurses

The guardian wrote an article the other day stating that only 11.6% of those practicing Nursing or Allied Health were male. This was compared with the 11.5% of nurses that were male almost a decade ago!

Now this is a UK statistic however it is not a foreign issue. In Australia, only 10% of nurses are male according to the most recent census poll. That's only 25,000 of the roughly 250,000 Nurses practicing today.

So why this disparate number between male and female nurses? Is there a social stigma still prevalent that is forcing the statistics to read that 90% of the workforce is female?

Well the UK article seeks to answer this by critiquing media depictions of nurses. The common idea of what a nurse is supposed to look like often conjures up images of world war nurses in their clean white dresses with small white hats. It also conjures up ideas of the nurse with a stethoscope around her neck in blue or coloured scrubs.

“It’s disappointing,” says Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, “because we’ve promoted nursing for men. I think it’s good to match the balance in the communities we’re working for. And also we don’t want to lose those people who would make fantastic nurses.”

“When people think of a nurse perhaps they do think of a woman. Some of the details don’t help – the term matron is weird – but it’s about the job, and in my experience men take it in their stride and work with it.” says Janet.

Dan Wicks (Pictured Above) tells of his experience as a Matron:

When I was a ward manager, or sister, I did get some people saying: “Shouldn’t you be a brother?” But, actually, no one has ever commented on the fact that I’m a matron and a man. I’ve worked on shifts where it’s been predominantly male nurses, and a lot of the wards I’ve worked on have had a good balance of men and women.

 

to read more, find the original article here:

https://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2017/mar/01/why-so-few-male-nurses

all quotes and images are the property of The Guardian and are shared for the express purpose of freedom of information and supporting nursing.