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Is There Really a Stigma About Male Nurses?

The nursing profession is a female-dominated field. While times are changing and society is becoming more open-minded to the idea of male nurses, some people still hold the false preconceptions that only women can make good nurses.

Stereotypes about men needing to be “tough” and unemotional remain a powerful barrier for some men who would otherwise be interested in pursuing a career in nursing.

Simultaneously, females are still largely regarded as the “softer” gender, thus more capable of being caring and compassionate toward their patients.

The truth is that nursing is a rewarding career option for anyone, regardless of their gender, who is passionate about helping and caring for people. Addressing and debunking male nursing myths is crucial to empowering men to pursue careers in nursing.

Most Common Male Nursing Myths

Myth #1: All Nurses Are Women

While women still comprise most of the nursing world, more than 12 percent of registered nurses in the U.S. are men. With a steady demand for new nurses, this percentage is expected to grow.

Male nurses are sought after for many innate attributes, including physical strength. For example, nurses frequently need to transfer, move or adjust a patient’s position. There are also scenarios where a nurse may need to deal with patients who pose a threat to themselves or others. Physical strength is one of the many assets male nurses can bring to their workplace.

From a personal comfort and modesty perspective, many male patients prefer to have a male nurse.

Myth #2: Male Nurses Lack Compassion

There is no evidence proving that men cannot be compassionate. Men are just as capable of showing care and empathy as their female counterparts.

While connecting emotionally with patients is important, an outstanding nurse must be capable of much more than that. Nursing requires critical thinking and excellent communication skills, both of which are not dictated by one’s gender.

Myth #3: Male Nurses Aren’t in Demand

This notion could not be further from the truth. The American healthcare system is overwhelmed with an aging population and a growing rate of retiring nurses. There are also growing concerns of nursing burnout in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Nurses Association predicts that by 2022 there will be a need for 1.1 million new registered nurses to keep up with the aging population and increased patient access to healthcare. The nursing profession is growing at a rapid pace and offers a lot of earning potential for both men and women.

Myth #4: Male Nurses Are Failed Doctors

Since just under two-thirds of doctors are male and most nurses are female, some people mistakenly assume a male nurse tried to be a doctor but failed to do so. These assumptions may assign a certain stigma that discourages men from pursuing nursing.

Many men go into nursing because it’s a challenging, stable and lucrative career that allows them to help people. Obtaining a medical degree or an education in more specialized aspects of healthcare requires many years of expensive coursework plus residencies, while practical nurses can begin their careers quickly after just four semesters of study and passage of the NCLEX.

Choose St. Louis College of Health Careers with Campuses in St. Louis and Fenton for Your Healthcare Education

If you’re living in St. Louis or the surrounding areas of Missouri and Southern Illinois and are thinking about a career in nursing, consider pursing a degree or diploma from the accredited St. Louis College of Health Careers.

Our academically rigorous Practical Nursing program prepares you for a wide variety of entry-level nursing positions and makes you eligible to apply for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a licensed practical nurse.

Are you an LPN looking for your next career challenge? You might be interested in our  LPN to RN bridge program that helps you prepare to become a registered nurse.

If you’re reluctant to study nursing, we have a catalog of other campus-based and online programs that can prepare you for a career in a healthcare field.

At St. Louis College of Health Careers, we actively create and nurture an inclusive environment. We offer financial aid resources, flexible scheduling and year-round program start dates to ensure students of all genders, ages and socio-economic backgrounds have access to our programs.

Call 866-529-2070 or fill out our form for more information.

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