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Did you read it: Does this growing trend in nursing surprise you?

male nurse
Stocksy | Sean Locke

Without a doubt, nursing remains a (heavily) female dominated profession. But this hospital in Seymour, Indiana is proof that the number of men in the nursing field is increasing.

Read on to discover how 15 male nurses at Schneck Medical Center are shining examples of the changing tide, and what motivates them to effect this change:

Luke Acton and Tyler Wessel are a part of a growing trend. Acton, manager of surgical services, and Wessel, ambulatory services manager, are among 15 male nurses at Schneck Medical Center. There’s a male nurse in nearly every department at the Seymour hospital.

That’s a jump from five male nurses in the early 2000s.

While women still hold 90 percent of nursing jobs, the number of men joining the field continues to grow. The U.S. Census Bureau found that 2.7 percent of registered nurses in 1970 were men, and that leaped to 9.6 percent in 2011.

“I think that there is a stereotype as far as when you come into a hospital, you expect your nurse to be a female,” said Acton, 34, of Seymour, told the Tribune. “I never had anybody say, ‘No, I don’t want you to be my nurse because you’re a guy.’ Actually, I feel like it’s kind of the opposite. I think there’s a positive stigma out there for male nurses in general, so I’ve never had any issue with it. I think that, if anything, it’s probably helped.”

Wessel, 30, of Brownstown said male nurses add diversity and balance.

“It used to be before the male nurse thing, you had doctors were the guys and nurses were the girls,” he said. “Now, it’s kind of melded. It’s more diverse totally. It just let health care be better as a whole. I think the neatest part is just the different angle on things. Guys and girls think differently on a lot of things.”

And the medical community seems to agree…

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nursing schools are making a concerted effort to recruit men and minority students.

“It’s ingrained in our DNA almost. It’s a culture thing,” Acton said of people associating nursing with women. “But there’s more and more nurses that are men. It’s getting there, it’s going that way, and I think the schools like the diversity. The stigma is kind of getting removed.”

Plus, nurses have options when it comes to a job. They don’t all have to work at a hospital or doctor’s office.

“You can do a lot as a nurse — work for insurance agents, lawyers. There’s all kinds of stuff you can do,” Acton said.

Wessel added there also are research, leadership, quality, pharmacy and psychology areas of nursing people can explore.

The biggest thing for Acton and Wessel is that they like what they do.

“It’s a great career,” Acton said. “We get paid well for what we do, I think. It’s enjoyable work. You get a sense of satisfaction that you’re helping people. I think you’re kind of drawn to that because you do want to help people.”

Curious to find out more? Check out the article in its entirety here, then share your thoughts with us in the comments section below—especially all you men out there!


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