The face of nursing is changing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 12% of nurses today are male, a number that has more than tripled since 1970. Unless they were doctors, men were once scarce on the hospital floor, but now they are on their way to becoming a norm. Why?
Industry Slow Downs
One of the reasons more men are entering the field of nursing is that several of the jobs considered to be male-dominated, such as manufacturing and construction, are going away due to automation or outsourcing. Nursing, however, is regarded as a secure profession. According to the BLS, the job outlook for registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
Among the reasons nurses continue to be in demand are on-going advances in medicine. People are living longer, and as they age, more nurses are needed. For men who are looking to make a career change, nursing to be a rewarding and potentially stable field in which to transfer.
Changing beliefs about traditional gender roles are another significant development, which helps eliminate the stigma that men who went into nursing once faced. Millennials and Gen Zers, who have grown up with parents who shared home responsibilities more equitably than past generations, are particularly interested in the profession. While nursing is still perceived by some to be a woman’s profession, it is becoming more socially acceptable for men to pursue careers in the field.
Quest for Diversity
Healthcare providers are looking to diversify their facilities by employing people from a wide variety of backgrounds. In nursing, gender is part of the diversity equation, and some patients may prefer a nurse of a specific sex. In an article in the New York Times, male nurses said they felt they had an advantage in applying for nursing jobs because they are a minority in the field.
It is a Calling
Finally, many men are finding that nursing can be a rewarding career. It is a job where you get to make a difference in someone’s life every day. As more people look for meaning in their professions, nursing offers the chance to do something that can be personally fulfilling.
Men go into nursing for the same reason women do—they feel called to it. If you are interested in getting started on the path to this rewarding vocation, Fortis can help you get your start. Click here for more information or call us today at and speak to one of our career counselors.