By Josephine Reid
Men interested in nursing have already chosen to clear one hurdle: the gender stereotype. Once that is behind them, there are some compelling motivations to becoming a nurse. Many men value careers with relationship-oriented variables, something nursing offers in spades. There is also a highly technical side to nursing which is another element often appealing to men.
Men who had early exposure to male nurses may also find themselves more motivated to break into this female-dominated field. Yes, there are barriers, such as gender stereotypes and lack of male role models, but with many individuals, these barriers have become an important reason to tackle them.
The nursing field offers many different patient care environments, some of which may be particularly appealing to men, such as anesthesia, flight, emergency, or trauma nursing. Other nursing specialties in the field that male nurses may want to explore include middle management, nursing education, nurse practitioner, oncology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and administration. Nursing is not a one-size-fits-all profession; for both male and female nurses, the wide array of specialties makes it possible to pursue one’s specific areas of interest in the field.
Even in the female-dominated field of nursing, male nurses typically out-earn female nurses, as is the case across almost all occupations. Another financial incentive for male nurses is that this is a solid and stable career field that shows no signs of slowing down. As a career, nursing is consistent and reliable as a career choice, and the retirement benefits are often very appealing. It is also not uncommon for new nurses to be offered sign-on bonuses. Even in today’s shaky economy, nursing is a reliable and financially savvy career choice for many.
The need for well-trained, highly qualified nurses cannot be ignored. More and more hospitals and nursing schools are enthusiastically recruiting men to join the nursing profession. Men who are ready to shatter the gender biases and stereotypes will find a plethora of challenging, fulfilling, and financially stable jobs.