An Increase of Male Nurses in the Workplace

The nursing profession and the health care industry are both areas of the economy and work force that are on the rise. And with more and more males entering the nursing profession, it has people asking why and why now.

While male nurses might not be too common today, at one time in history, they were the norm. During the Middle Ages, women were not allowed to hold positions of power or to be educated unless they were incredibly wealthy and from upper class families. As a result, the majority of nurses, or medical care givers, were male. Also contributing to this trend was the fact that most nurses during that time belonged to religious orders, which also did not allow women. The popularity of male nurses continued until just after the turn of the 20th century. By 1900, half of all paid nursing positions were held by men. But during the First and Second World Wars, men were required to register for the draft and a majority of American males left the United States for battle. Because of this, women began taking the jobs left behind by their men. By the 1930s, less than 1% of all civilian nurses were men. By this time, men were looking to hold positions that offered them greater notoriety and larger salaries.

Today, the number of males in the nursing profession has increased. Of the 2.1 million registered nurses in the United States, 5.4% of them are men. One industry that has seen a large influx of male nurses is the military. In all three branches of the armed services – the Army, Air Force and Navy – male nurses account for an average of 33% of all nursing staff.

But why are male nurses becoming so popular today? With the United States facing a nationwide nursing shortage, many health care professionals reaching the retirement age and the demand for more healthcare services on the rise, it’s no wonder more men are being drawn to the profession. Men are beginning to see nursing as a valid, interesting and challenging career path for them as well. It also offers them more job security and more diverse career options than other industries. If you are a male interested in a career in medicine, consider going into the nursing field. For more information, the American Assembly of Male Nurses offers interesting news and insight into the growing trend.

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