The Male Of The Species: A Profile Of Men In Nursing
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Aim : To establish a profile of men in nursing in Western Australia and explore the perception of men in nursing from the perspective of male and female nurses. Background : A project team, including some of the current authors, produced a YouTube video and DVD about men in nursing which led to further enquiry on this topic. Design : The study employed a non-experimental, comparative, descriptive research design focused on a quantitative methodology, using an online survey in early 2014. Method : A convenience sample incorporated registered and enrolled nurses and midwives in Western Australia. Findings : The range of data included demographic information and the respondents' perceptions of men in nursing were collected. Findings indicated that the main reasons for choosing a career in nursing or midwifery were similar for both genders. Common mis-perceptions of men in nursing included: most male nurses are gay; men are not suited to nursing and men are less caring and compassionate than women. Suggestions to promote nursing to men included: nurses are highly skilled professionals; there is the potential to make a difference for patients; nursing offers stable employment, professional diversity and opportunities for team work. There is a diminished awareness of opportunities for men in nursing and negative stereotypes related to men in nursing persist. Conclusion : The study produced recommendations which included: using the right message to target the recruitment for men and promoting a more realistic understanding of the profile and perception of men in nursing.