A recent blog entry at the Boston Globe asks: “Should you let a male nurse deliver your baby?” No wonder men still aren’t joining the profession in droves. According to ”Men, Medics, and Nursing,” the Viewpoint essay in the June issue of AJN,
The proportion of women in medicine has been profoundly altered in the past generation, but not so that of men in nursing. The 2004 federal survey of the RN population found that only 5.8% of RNs were men. This results from the profession’s use of caring philosophies that perpetuate the stereotype of women being more caring than men, as well as from the use of language that isn’t gender neutral and the failure to recruit men. As a member of an undergraduate admissions committee, I see an unconscious preference being given to younger women applicants to nursing programs, with recruiting efforts being directed primarily at undergraduate women.
The author, an associate professor of nursing at the University of North Carolina, makes a good case that the training for medics in the U.S. military is as good or better than that found in many associate’s degree nursing programs; veterans who have been trained as medics, he argues, could be used to alleviate the nursing shortage. Read the rest of this entry ?