An exploration of the influences on under-representation of male pre-registration nursing students

Heather M. Whitford, Glenn R. Marland, Maggie n. Carson, Heather Bain, Jacqueline Eccles, John Lee, James Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background
Worldwide, men are under-represented in the nursing profession. In Scotland less than 10% of pre-registration nursing students are male. Reasons for this imbalance need to be understood.

Objectives
To explore the views of male pre-registration nursing students, nursing lecturers and school teachers about this imbalance.

Design
Mixed methods study using focus groups and online survey.

Settings
Focus groups in four locations across Scotland. Online survey sent to teachers across Scotland.

Participants and Methods
Eight focus groups with 33 male nursing students; four focus groups with 21 university and college nursing lecturers; 46 school teachers returned the online survey.

Results

Although nursing was considered a worthwhile career with job stability and many opportunities, it was also viewed as not being a career for men. Assumptions about the profession and femininity were challenging for men and use of the term ‘male nurse’ was felt to be anomalous. In some circumstances the provision of intimate care to particular patient groups caused difficulty. Positive encouragement from others, a positive role model or knowledge of nursing from significant others could be helpful. However concerns about low earning potential and negative media publicity about the NHS could be a disincentive. Being mature and having resilience were important to cope with being a male nursing student in a mainly female workplace. Some more ’technical’ specialties were felt to be more attractive to men.

Conclusions
Nursing is viewed as a worthwhile career choice for men, but the gendered assumptions about the feminine nature of nursing can be a deterrent.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104234
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume84
Early online date23 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2019

Fingerprint

Nursing Students
Nursing
nursing
Scotland
Focus Groups
student
Male Nurses
online survey
Femininity
Nursing Schools
Career Choice
career
Group
Workplace
Motivation
university teacher
teacher
male nurse
profession
publicity

Keywords

  • Education
  • Gender
  • Male
  • Nurses
  • Pre-registration

Cite this

Whitford, Heather M. ; Marland, Glenn R. ; Carson, Maggie n. ; Bain, Heather ; Eccles, Jacqueline ; Lee, John ; Taylor, James. / An exploration of the influences on under-representation of male pre-registration nursing students. In: Nurse Education Today. 2020 ; Vol. 84.
@article{6296b557c2ed451192fb8c9623857455,
title = "An exploration of the influences on under-representation of male pre-registration nursing students",
abstract = "BackgroundWorldwide, men are under-represented in the nursing profession. In Scotland less than 10{\%} of pre-registration nursing students are male. Reasons for this imbalance need to be understood.ObjectivesTo explore the views of male pre-registration nursing students, nursing lecturers and school teachers about this imbalance.DesignMixed methods study using focus groups and online survey. SettingsFocus groups in four locations across Scotland. Online survey sent to teachers across Scotland.Participants and MethodsEight focus groups with 33 male nursing students; four focus groups with 21 university and college nursing lecturers; 46 school teachers returned the online survey. ResultsAlthough nursing was considered a worthwhile career with job stability and many opportunities, it was also viewed as not being a career for men. Assumptions about the profession and femininity were challenging for men and use of the term ‘male nurse’ was felt to be anomalous. In some circumstances the provision of intimate care to particular patient groups caused difficulty. Positive encouragement from others, a positive role model or knowledge of nursing from significant others could be helpful. However concerns about low earning potential and negative media publicity about the NHS could be a disincentive. Being mature and having resilience were important to cope with being a male nursing student in a mainly female workplace. Some more ’technical’ specialties were felt to be more attractive to men.ConclusionsNursing is viewed as a worthwhile career choice for men, but the gendered assumptions about the feminine nature of nursing can be a deterrent.",
keywords = "Education, Gender, Male, Nurses, Pre-registration",
author = "Whitford, {Heather M.} and Marland, {Glenn R.} and Carson, {Maggie n.} and Heather Bain and Jacqueline Eccles and John Lee and James Taylor",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1016/j.nedt.2019.104234",
language = "English",
volume = "84",
journal = "Nurse Education Today",
issn = "0260-6917",
publisher = "Elsevier B.V.",

}

An exploration of the influences on under-representation of male pre-registration nursing students. / Whitford, Heather M.; Marland, Glenn R.; Carson, Maggie n.; Bain, Heather; Eccles, Jacqueline; Lee, John; Taylor, James.

In: Nurse Education Today, Vol. 84, 104234, 31.01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - An exploration of the influences on under-representation of male pre-registration nursing students

AU - Whitford, Heather M.

AU - Marland, Glenn R.

AU - Carson, Maggie n.

AU - Bain, Heather

AU - Eccles, Jacqueline

AU - Lee, John

AU - Taylor, James

PY - 2019/10/23

Y1 - 2019/10/23

N2 - BackgroundWorldwide, men are under-represented in the nursing profession. In Scotland less than 10% of pre-registration nursing students are male. Reasons for this imbalance need to be understood.ObjectivesTo explore the views of male pre-registration nursing students, nursing lecturers and school teachers about this imbalance.DesignMixed methods study using focus groups and online survey. SettingsFocus groups in four locations across Scotland. Online survey sent to teachers across Scotland.Participants and MethodsEight focus groups with 33 male nursing students; four focus groups with 21 university and college nursing lecturers; 46 school teachers returned the online survey. ResultsAlthough nursing was considered a worthwhile career with job stability and many opportunities, it was also viewed as not being a career for men. Assumptions about the profession and femininity were challenging for men and use of the term ‘male nurse’ was felt to be anomalous. In some circumstances the provision of intimate care to particular patient groups caused difficulty. Positive encouragement from others, a positive role model or knowledge of nursing from significant others could be helpful. However concerns about low earning potential and negative media publicity about the NHS could be a disincentive. Being mature and having resilience were important to cope with being a male nursing student in a mainly female workplace. Some more ’technical’ specialties were felt to be more attractive to men.ConclusionsNursing is viewed as a worthwhile career choice for men, but the gendered assumptions about the feminine nature of nursing can be a deterrent.

AB - BackgroundWorldwide, men are under-represented in the nursing profession. In Scotland less than 10% of pre-registration nursing students are male. Reasons for this imbalance need to be understood.ObjectivesTo explore the views of male pre-registration nursing students, nursing lecturers and school teachers about this imbalance.DesignMixed methods study using focus groups and online survey. SettingsFocus groups in four locations across Scotland. Online survey sent to teachers across Scotland.Participants and MethodsEight focus groups with 33 male nursing students; four focus groups with 21 university and college nursing lecturers; 46 school teachers returned the online survey. ResultsAlthough nursing was considered a worthwhile career with job stability and many opportunities, it was also viewed as not being a career for men. Assumptions about the profession and femininity were challenging for men and use of the term ‘male nurse’ was felt to be anomalous. In some circumstances the provision of intimate care to particular patient groups caused difficulty. Positive encouragement from others, a positive role model or knowledge of nursing from significant others could be helpful. However concerns about low earning potential and negative media publicity about the NHS could be a disincentive. Being mature and having resilience were important to cope with being a male nursing student in a mainly female workplace. Some more ’technical’ specialties were felt to be more attractive to men.ConclusionsNursing is viewed as a worthwhile career choice for men, but the gendered assumptions about the feminine nature of nursing can be a deterrent.

KW - Education

KW - Gender

KW - Male

KW - Nurses

KW - Pre-registration

U2 - 10.1016/j.nedt.2019.104234

DO - 10.1016/j.nedt.2019.104234

M3 - Article

VL - 84

JO - Nurse Education Today

JF - Nurse Education Today

SN - 0260-6917

M1 - 104234

ER -