Nursing: Men Entering the Field in Increasing Numbers


Nursing has traditionally been considered a female-dominated career path. However, the number of male Nurses has steadily been on the rise since the 1970s. According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of male Nurses has more than tripled since the 1970s when only 2.7% of Registered Nurses were men. As of 2011, there were 330,000 men employed as Nurses in the United States, which makes up for about 9.6% of all Registered Nurses.

While Nursing has customarily been thought of as a woman’s profession, men were significantly represented in Nursing until the 1800s due to the early association between Nursing, the military, and religious orders. During the Civil War, there was a shortage of men to provide Nursing care, and women were allowed to fill that gap. For much of the early 1900s, the majority of Nursing schools admitted only women and the newly formed Army and Navy Nurse Corps were limited to women. Men were not able to serve as Nurses until after the Korean War, causing a significant decline in the representation of men in the Nursing field. However, since the 1970s, the number of male Nurses has steadily grown.

While not often thought of as a “manly” job, Nurses face many things in the field that aren’t easy – and that many people wouldn’t be able to stomach. From moving patients to handling bandages, bedpans, and more, Nursing requires a great deal of resilience. A major factor that is likely attracting more men to the field is the economic benefits. While the nation lost hundreds of jobs during the recession, healthcare continued to grow.

Along with the economic benefits, more men are choosing Nursing for many of the same reasons women do. As a Nurse, they have a great deal of direct involvement with patients, communities, and families. Nurses also place a great deal of emphasis on teaching and prevention.

To learn how to begin your education and start on the path toward becoming a Registered Nurse, visit today.

Information in this blog post is accurate as of October 27, 2013.