Nursing’s unique position as a
profession dominated historically
by women means that while gender
balance has been sought in professions
once closed to women, nursing has
made little effort to do the same.
Men have equality of access, so
it would be wrong to paint this as
discrimination. But is that enough when
there has been a failure to challenge
the view of nursing as a woman’s job?
Allied health professions have made
strides towards equality, yet nursing still
uses the titles ‘matron’ and ‘sister’.
Even in ...view middle of the document...
It is essential that male recruits
are encouraged from an early age,
and the outdated attitudes that stop
men pursuing a career in nursing
Other professions have changed
while nursing has rested on its laurels.
Physiotherapy has gone from 5% men
to 20%, and while in primary schools
only 12% of teachers are men, one
in fi ve teaching graduates is male.
Meanwhile, medicine is predicted to be
a majority female profession by 2017.
Change is happening all around, but
nursing has been left behind.
The profession can be reshaped
by highlighting and celebrating the
countless men in nursing, and ditching
gendered uniforms and dressing-up
costumes for children.
By providing male mentors at school
talks and involving male nurses in open
days and recruitment, it can be made
cleat that there are more male nurses
than just Charlie from Casualty.
It is important to demonstrate to
the public and potential recruits that
nursing, while proud of its female
heritage, is a job for men and women.