Male Nurses in Israel: Barriers, Motivation, and How They Are Perceived by Nursing Students Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The current worldwide nursing shortage remains a challenge for the nursing profession. Encouraging men to become nurses and, thereby, increasing the number of practitioners are crucial factors in facing this challenge. The historiography of nursing presents nursing as “women’s work,” based on the assumption that it is inherently appropriate for women only. Although men were employed as nurses even before nursing was recognized as a profession, male nurses were always a minority in the field. Over the years, the proportion of male nurses has increased, but they still comprise only 5 to 10% of the nursing workforce in the western world. This study examined men's motives for a career choice of nursing, how male nurses are perceived, and the barriers that they face. The study was conducted among 336 nursing students studying in a co-educational program in various academic tracks at a public, nonsectarian university in the south of Israel. Participants completed the following questionnaires in one study session: sociodemographic questionnaire; Attitudes Towards Men in Nursing Scale; motives for career choice questionnaire; and the questionnaire of the perceptions of the professional status of nursing. Study findings revealed that men tended to choose nursing because of financial constraints significantly more frequently than women (P=.001). Among the participants, there was no significant between-sex difference in the perception nursing as women's work (P=.002) or in perception of male nurses as homosexuals. Results of the study showed that the status of the nursing profession is considered low, and the low status deters men from choosing nursing as a career. The motivation for men's career choice must be understood, and men must be empowered to improve their work conditions and financial remuneration in order to recruit men to the field and to improve the perception of the profession and its public status.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017