Nursing is about providing care, alleviating pain, and compassionately and professionally helping people navigate stressful health situations. There’s nothing gendered about this job description. Yet, historically, nursing has been a female dominated profession. Fortunately, things are changing.
For the last few decades, the ranks of male nurses have steadily grown to benefit the entire healthcare industry. More men than ever are recognizing and embracing the benefits of a nursing job and are met with the indescribable fulfillment this career brings.
This article will explore the ins and outs of a male nursing career. What makes nursing an excellent professional path for men? Why do we need more male nurses? What nursing specialties are available for men, and how well do they pay?
Read on to find out the answers to these questions and many more.
How Have Things Changed for Male Nurses?
In the 1970s, less than three percent of Registered Nurses were men. By 2011, the presence of male nurses in the healthcare industry was a little short of 10%. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one decade later, male nurses made up 13.3% of the entire nursing population. More specifically, in 2021, around 425,730 RNs out of the 3.2 million RNs currently employed in the US are men. While female nurses still account for the large majority of RNs, more and more men are shattering the stigma around male nursing and are pursuing jobs in the field.
What Are the Benefits of Being a Male Nurse?
Devoting your time and expertise towards improving people’s wellbeing and helping patients achieve their health goals is more of a beneficial vocation than a job. At the beginning of every shift, you can count on improving people’s in the most helpful ways based on your developed professional skills. The tremendous satisfaction derived from helping others is what gives meaning to nursing.
There are so many more pragmatic benefits also make nursing an excellent career track for men. In this section, we’ll explore the advantages of being a male nurse.
The career is in-demand
The demand for healthcare services is increasing steadfastly. The aging of Baby Boomers means that by 2034 older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in US history. Since older people experience more medical problems than younger people, nursing professionals are in more demand than ever before. The nationwide nursing shortage is another contributing factor to the increasing need for nurses. Over one million nurses are expected to retire by 2030, negatively affecting staffing and driving the growing demand for RNs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth for nurses is projected to grow by 9%. That makes nursing a very in-demand profession with great potential and job security for both male and female RNs.
Male nurses enjoy flexibility in their job
Nursing allows for a lot of flexibility, which is a great advantage for men who want a versatile job. As a male nurse, you can work based on a traditional nine-to-five schedule or opt for variable shifts, night shifts, or part-time work. You can apply for nursing jobs with varying degrees of autonomy based on your goals and interests. You can work at the bedside or find alternative nursing careers that don’t imply direct patient care.
You will be catering to a specific demographic
Representation in healthcare is vital, which is why male nurses are a crucial link in the health chain. While ideally, gender shouldn’t play any role in providing and receiving care, that is not always the case. Often, male patients may feel more comfortable, supported, or at ease in front of a male caregiver. They tend to overcome the insecurities or vulnerabilities they may feel in the presence of a female nurse more easily. Ultimately, this adds to better care and improved patient results.
There are numerous specialization opportunities
One of the most significant benefits of nursing is the various specializations RNs can choose from. You can find a nursing job that truly fits your personality, interests, and ambitions. Do you enjoy working in a dynamic environment where you never know what the next minute might bring? Working in the ER is bound to keep you on your toes. Do you prefer a more controlled and organized workplace? Try ICU nursing. If developing stronger interpersonal relationships with your patient appeals to you, home health nursing may be the answer. Suppose you want to combine your passion for nursing with your love for exploring new places. Travel nursing is the way to go. Or perhaps you are ready to embark on leadership roles. The nursing field also delivers on that account, providing you with opportunities such as Nurse Administrator, Director of Nursing, or Chief Nursing Officer. And the best part? This list doesn’t scratch the surface of all the nursing specialization opportunities available for male nurses. You need to reflect on what really draws you to nursing, what patient populations you’d like to care for, and what environment you thrive in. Once you figure that out, the best-matched specialization will follow.
You can be a role model
As much as it pains us to say, gender stereotypes still persist in today’s society. But every man who joins the nursing profession helps shatter the preconception that nursing is a career for women. When young people see a diverse healthcare workforce, they learn an important lesson: everyone, regardless of gender, age, nationality, or sexual orientation, can be a Registered Nurse. Seeing men passionate about nursing careers, excelling at their jobs, and providing top-tier nursing care helps eradicate bias from an early age.
The job promises competitive pay
One of the major benefits of a male nursing job is the paycheck that comes with it. Generally, nurses earn very competitive salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that in 2021 the average RN salary was $77,600 per year. Of course, wages can vary based on many factors. Location, employer, education, certification, and experience level are some elements that determine how much you earn.
Even gender seems to play a role in earning potential. According to the 2022 Nurse Salary Research Report from nurse.com, the median salary for a male RN is $14,000 higher than the median salary for a female RN. This gap was $7,297 in their 2020 survey.
There are many schooling and scholarship options
Becoming a Registered Nurse is increasingly accessible. Not only are there more nursing programs than ever before, but many are also offered either online or in a hybrid format making it more flexible and efficient to get a nursing degree. With so many options available for schooling and training, it’s essential to research and choose an accredited program that will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in this profession.
Nightingale College’s BSN program follows a blended-distance format that allows aspiring nurses to engage in online didactic instruction with on-ground experiential learning. Our RN-to-BSN program is fully online, so you can work and study simultaneously.
In addition to many schooling options, one more important benefit is worth mentioning. Several scholarships are available exclusively to male students. In that direction, the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN) is an important resource for male nursing students. This prominent organization aims to increase male enrollment in nursing programs. They offer male nursing resources, including mentor programs, scholarships, and more.
What Are the Most Popular Specialties for Male Nurses?
When it comes to nursing, men can do all the jobs that women can. However, some specialties are more popular among male nurses. Some of these include:
While men generally make up about 13% of the nursing workforce, in the military environment, around 35% of RNs are men. The workplace is fast-paced and high-stress. At times, you may have to work in life-threatening conditions, but in the end, helping others and serving your country is one of the noblest career paths you can embark on.
Nurse Anesthetists are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses responsible for administering anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery. It’s the highest-paid nursing specialty, with BLS reporting annual salaries of around $195,610 for Nurse Anesthetists. You need a minimum Master’s degree to be eligible for this position.
Family Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioners are Advanced Practice RNs who operate with great autonomy and independence. They provide primary health care services to people of all ages. FNPs often care for individuals and their families throughout their lifespans. It’s one of the highest-paid nursing positions. Aspiring male nurses who want to become Family Nurse Practitioners need to complete a Master’s Degree in Nursing.
Learn more about Nightingale College’s MSN FNP Program.
Working in the Emergency Room is perfect for men who thrive in a fast-paced atmosphere, can keep their cool under pressure, and think and act quickly and decisively. The main difference between ER Nurses and other nurses is the urgency of care required by patients and the unexpectedness of the job. One hour you treat someone suffering from abdominal or chest pain, and the next hour someone who’s been shot or stabbed comes through the ER doors.
Flight Nurses, sometimes called Transport Nurses or Helicopter Nurses, provide nursing care to critically ill or injured patients transported by helicopter to emergency medical facilities. In this role, male nurses ensure that patients reach their destination safely and stabilized while in transit. Every medical decision can make the difference between life and death, so the RNs on board the aircraft must be highly trained.
Are You Ready to Do What You Love and Love What You Do?
Male nurses are in high demand in the healthcare field. It’s a career that offers highly competitive wages and excellent job outlook and security. Above all, it’s an opportunity to follow your calling and shatter some stereotypes while you’re at it!
Start your nursing journey at Nightingale College. We are passionate about educating new generations of highly qualified and compassionate nurses. Enroll today in our BSN program or advance your education with our online RN-to-BSN and reap the benefits of quality nursing education that will unlock your potential and help you become the best nurse you can be.