Should Men Join the Nursing Field? Annotated Bibliography

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The article discusses men who choose to work as professional nurses. It talks about the pros and cons of being a male nurse in the current health sector, the challenges and successes they face and also why more men should enroll for this profession. It also describes statistically the number of male nurses against female nurses in the same health care sector. It presents estimates of men in nursing occupations using data from the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS). Statistics show that the ratio of women to men in the nursing profession is 10 to 1 respectively (O’Connor, 2015). The profession is seen as more feminine than masculine.

Yeater, W.A. (2014). Perioperative mission nursing guide; personal and professional preparation to practice. Doctoral dissertation presented to the University of Victoria.

This story is featured in another Scrubs online article, about a young man named David who joined nursing due to his mother's influence. He describes how he wanted a more mentally challenging career and so as his mother suggested he considered pursuing nursing. He, however, had to be both personally and professionally prepared to undertake this venture he had to go to school and study like everyone else. Before he could get his mind around it, he thought of the myths surrounding men who pursued nursing and all the challenges he could encounter in the field (Yeater, 2014). The article also discusses the stereotypes men who join nursing field face in their quest to become professional nurse.

Aranda, M., Castillo-Mayén, M. D. R., & Montes-Berges, B. (2015). Has changed the traditional social perception on nurses? Attribution of stereotypes and gender roles. AcciónPsicológica, 12(1), 103-112.

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“The relationship between nursing and women is so strong that there are even professionals in this sector who identify medicine with male stereotypes and nursing with female ones” (Aranda, Castillo-Mayén, & Montes-Berges, 2015; 104)

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“However, the evolution of gender stereotypes in nursing reflects a specific tendency: female nurses are perceived as having both feminine and masculine traits (although the first type slightly outweighs the second), whereas male nurses are also described in ways that are traditionally related to communality.” (Aranda, Castillo-Mayén, & Montes-Berges, 2015; 110)

Despite many people regarding nursing as a female profession, the recent years has seen an influx in the number of men undertaking the course. Though there is a significant change concerning nursing, patriarchy still has a significant effect on the way patients, general population, and nursing students perceive the career.  Stereotyping has a significant impact on the nursing career. There is a strong relationship between women and nursing. This relationship makes many professionals in the health sector identify nursing with female stereotypes and medicine with males. Associating nursing to females show less positive consideration of the career in comparison to medicine which is regarded as a masculinized occupation (Aranda, Castillo-Mayén, & Montes-Berges, 2015).  

Arieli, D. (2013). Emotional work and diversity in clinical placements of nursing students. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(2), 192-201.

Another presumed notion was that men did not have a heart like that of a woman and so they could not feel any emotion such as sympathy for the patients they were attending. David’s self-discovery was that he did not want to pursue nursing because it paid well or because he had a more flexible working plan, he wanted to pursue nursing because he was a human being who wanted to help others. In his everyday day interactions with people in the hospital, he learned a lot by listening to their stories some of which were good some were sad and some were more than interesting (Arieli, 2013). All these interactions made him realize he wanted to help them the more.

Diggs, G. S. (2013). Coping and its relation to retention among male minority nursing students in an associate degree nursing program in a south Texas community college: An explanatory sequential mixed methods inquiry. Doctoral dissertation presented to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

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“Male minority nursing students are faced with many concerns as they strive to complete their education.” (Diggs, 2013; 18).

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“Minority students in many nursing programs are considered to be at-risk students and face recruitment and retention barriers. The barriers include academic deficiencies, especially in rigorous science curriculum; inadequate preparation for standardized admission tests; lack of role models for minority students; poor study skills; lack of a support system; lack of financial resources to include ignorance about financial aid programs; and cultural alienation reported as perceived lack of support from White faculty and classmates.” (Diggs, 2013; 18).

Though the number of men enrolled for nursing courses in Texas is on the rise, the enrollees face numerous barriers, such as lack of male mentors and role models, alienation resulting from lack of support from classmates and Caucasian faculty, gender stereotyping and perception of being uncaring. These barriers expose the male enrollees to stressful environments making it at the time impossible for them to continue with the course. The impact may also affect those willing to pursue the course because of the uncertainties, and they would not like to risk their future (Diggs, 2013). However, male enrollees must learn how to adapt, improve and overcome all challenges they face.

MacWilliams, B. R., Schmidt, B., & Bleich, M. R. (2013). Men in nursing. The American Journal of Nursing, 113(1), 38-44.

There are some pros and cons of being a male nurse, for example, tall male nurses can see over short female nurses. It is a case of males being prone to thinking more rationally that they are the best in making tough decisions which most female doctors would not make. Some of the disadvantages of a male nurse include being called upon to do all the heavy lifting in the hospital that includes patients and other heavy machinery. Men can perform very well in such tasks (MacWilliams, Schmidt & Bleich, 2013). Lastly, they have to always listen to female problems in the hospital from both patients and other fellow nurses.

Rajacich, D., Kane, D., Williston, C., & Cameron, S. (2013, January). If they do call you a nurse, it is always a “male nurse”: Experiences of men in the nursing profession. Nursing Forum, 48(1), 71-80.

From the recent studies, it is recommended that there be more male nurses enrolled in schools. Recruitment of the male nurses should be first supported by the expansion of knowledge about the impact and implications of stereotyping against male nurses who wished to join the field. Instead, people should be taught to view it as a normal profession that is open to every gender. Such a view will be beneficial for male nurses. This education should be specially taught to students in colleges and those who are about to join colleges and universities so that they can have a wide range to choose from (Rajacich et al., 2013).

Steinmetz, J., Bosak, J., Sczesny, S., & Eagly, A. H. (2014). Social role effects on gender stereotyping in Germany and Japan. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 17(1), 52-60.

This article described how people viewed male nurses as wannabe doctors. It was presumed that males who pursued nursing had failed to attain standard qualifications of being a doctor, and so they settled for nursing where they could always help out doctors and at the same time are able to carry out small procedures assigned by the doctors themselves. It was assumed they wanted to act as secret doctors. This notion was wrong but on the other hand, it got male nurses better treatment from doctors than it did female nurses. This meant that doctors were more friendly and respecting to male nurses as compared to how they treated female nurses. In summary, the article basically states that for males pursuing nursing it is both negative and at the same time positive (Steinmetz et al., 2014).

Gordon, V. N., & Steele, G. E. (2015). The undecided college student: An academic and career advising challenge. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.

A number of male college students are undecided on taking up nursing as a career because of factors that include and are not limited to lack of information and personal factors. With regard to personal factors, the students would be afraid of taking up nursing as a career basing on opinions held by other people such as friends and family. They could also be lacking information about the career thus not being able to decide on taking it up. Therefore for men to join nursing, Gordon’s curriculum would be used to influence their decision making. Male students should be helped in determining the reasons as to why they are not willing to take up nursing. This will clear out the myths that some of them believe in. The next step would then be an exploration stage where they get to gather information on nursing as a career. This includes basic requirements for the course, career progression, and employment opportunities. When all the information is integrated together, it will make it easier for them to decide on taking the course. The next step would then be to ask the students to take the next step and this would be applying and getting into the nursing class (Gordon & Steele, 2015).
The demand for nursing services is projected to increase as the population ages and the health care reform law takes effect, increasing access to care for tens of millions of people. So many more male nurses are encouraged to apply for these courses and get into this profession since it pays well and at the same time ensures a continuation of a safe and a healthy human life line.

Diggs, G. S. (2013). Coping and its relation to retention among male minority nursing students

in an associate degree nursing program in a south Texas community college: An explanatory sequential mixed methods inquiry. Doctoral dissertation presented to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

It is true that most female patients are not comfortable being attended to by male nurses but it’s not a bad thing that should be taken to heart. Male nurses should then instead be like marines in training. Who learn how to adapt, improve and overcome all challenges they face. All in all having males in this profession is a good thing since men always have a different perspective on things and thus it is important to balance the equation between emotional thinking and rational thinking during a situation (Diggs, 2014). Balancing the equation can get done through the inclusion of more males in the nursing profession.

Aranda, M., Castillo-Mayén, M. D. R., & Montes-Berges, B. (2015). Has changed the traditional social perception on nurses? Attribution of stereotypes and gender roles. Acción Psicológica, 12(1), 103-112.

One of the myths the author encountered was that nursing was for women alone and that most men preferred doing manly jobs such as firefighting and working in construction sites. David found this myth untrue since men who worked as firefighters or first aiders in construction sites, later on, started undertaking nursing courses after retirement. This was so as to continue helping people just like they did in their previous careers. Variables such as better pay, work flexibility and getting to help more people influenced their decisions to pursue this course as well as making their job more rewarding at the end of the day. The second myth was that men weren’t emotionally invested in nursing like women were (Aranda, Castillo-Mayén, & Montes-Berges, 2015).

Steinmetz, J., Bosak, J., Sczesny, S., & Eagly, A. H. (2014). Social role effects on gender stereotyping in Germany and Japan. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 17(1), 52-60.

Short direct quote

“Because gender stereotypes are formed through the observation of women and men in different social roles, the occupancy of the same social roles by women and men might be able to prevent gender stereotyping.” (Steinmetz et al., 2014; 1).

Long direct quote

“Men and women are differently distributed into social roles because humans evolved physical differences by which men are stronger, larger, and faster than women and women gestate and nurse children. Because of the physical differences, certain activities are more efficiently accomplished by one sex or the other, depending on each society’s circumstances and culture.” (Steinmetz et al., 2014; 1).

The social origins of stereotypes indicate that people usually observe the actions of girls and boys from childhood. Gender-based stereotypes are fueled by the daily observations because there is a strong belief among people that the behavior of an individual is characterized by the sex type. Sexes take part in various behaviors making them occupy different roles socially. For instance, the number of women in domestic roles as well as in occupations such as nurses and teachers is higher than that of men while the number of men in occupations such as leaders, soldier or firefighters is high (Steinmetz et al., 2014).

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