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The nursing profession has witnessed a growing number of men entering
the profession in recent years as well as new and exciting opportunities for
men already working in this growing field.
Contrary to the long-held public perception, the idea that only females
choose the nursing profession is simply
an outdated myth. According to a
2013 U.S. Census Bureau
report, "Men in
Nursing Occupations," the percentage of men in the profession has more
than tripled since 1970. In 2011, males made up 9.6% of all registered nurses,
compared to only 2.7% in 1970, and that number continues to rise
slightly each year.
With nursing opportunities expected to rise, now could be a great time for men to pursue a
nursing career. In fact, there may be higher demand for certain nursing
specialties. Although some may suspect that men can be well-matched to the
often physical demands of the profession, the truth is, nursing requires a
specific skill set, intellectual dexterity, and a strong knowledge base of its
Nursing offers a wide range
of areas in which to specialize. According to a study by the American Academy of Men in Nursing (AAMN), the top nursing specialties for
men include critical care, emergency, and surgical. Other popular areas of
expertise include home health, long-term care, and nursing informatics. Additionally,
some specialties have higher concentrations of men. For example, 41% of nurse
anesthetists are men, according to the U.S. Census Bureau survey.
In addition to the demand for specific specialties, a
widely publicized global nursing shortage means that men who are
considering pursuing or working toward a nursing degree could see a greater need
for qualified nurses upon graduation. The U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics forecasts employment of registered nurses to
increase 19% by 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
With so many benefits to a nursing career, one may wonder how to become
a nurse. Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of men take a nontraditional route
toward becoming a nurse. According to the AAMN survey, just 20% of men enrolled
in a college or university nursing program directly after high school, while 44%
entered the nursing profession after pursuing a different career path, and 17% of
men entered the profession after serving in the military.
As more men continue to pursue
a nursing career, many institutions proactively recruit qualified male
students, and several scholarships exist to draw more men into the profession.
associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing can be the first point of
entry to the nursing profession. After
earning the RN licensure, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science
in Nursing, or even a doctorate degree, such as the increasingly popular Doctor
of Nursing Practice (DNP), could help provide a nurse with the requirements,
knowledge, and understanding to move up in the profession. In addition to earning more responsibility, a
nurse might even choose to move laterally to take advantage of a flexible
schedule or a less stressful work environment, or even to start their own
business within the nursing profession.
There are many flexible
educational opportunities in the nursing field. Many nursing programs offer
full- and part-time options, as well as online learning. Students can even
complete or advance their degree while continuing to work, since so many men
choose a nursing path following another career or military service. For men
considering their future career options, the advantages of nursing could make
it a great choice.*
Did you find this article interesting? If so, share it!
And if you are considering pursuing a nursing degree, we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University's School of Nursing and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.
Opportunities for Nurses Expand in New Era of Health Care
Why a Nursing Shortage Presents Great Opportunity
* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. National long-term BLS projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
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