There are more than 2 million registered nurses in the U.S., only about 10% of whom are men. Since patients are best served by a workforce that is diverse, this is a concern that needs to be addressed by attracting more men to this field, which hasn’t always been so female dominated.
Male Nurses Throughout History
Men can be found throughout the history of nursing. In fact, two thousand years ago, nursing school was for men only. Nursing was dominated by men until one of the biggest shifts in the profession came in the early 1900s when the military nursing corps was reorganized so that all nurses were women.
Health care careers in general are on the rise, as the US News & World Report noted on their Best Jobs list. Not only does having a diverse nursing workforce benefit society as a whole, but it’s a promising career field for those individuals who choose it as well.
Nurses are hands-on health professionals who provide focused and highly personalized care. Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field has a wide range of career opportunities, ranging from entry-level practitioner to doctoral-level researcher.
For men specifically, the American Assembly for Men in Nursing has some great information about helping to increase the diversity in this important field — and finding a promising career along the way.