May 18, 2023

Advantages, disadvantages of being a man in nursing

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

Becker’s recently interviewed more than 40 male nurses about the advantages and disadvantages of being a man in nursing.

Two points they all agreed on were that the opportunities and benefits offered by a career in nursing are not being marketed to men, and men are an untapped resource, especially now when the nursing shortage has affected most healthcare facilities.

The men also were asked about the advantages they bring to nursing and the disadvantages they come across.

Their answers included:

  • “I don’t feel I have any specific skills that a woman does not have. But I have been told I bring a calm and confident presence; a strong, hard-working attitude; and a real compassionate experience for my patients.”
  • “I’ve realized through my time that it is beneficial to have male and female nurses who work together to accomplish the same goal, which is high quality patient care.
  • “Though teamwork isn’t gender specific, having grown up playing sports, every member of the team needs to do their individual part for all to succeed. Nursing is no different.”
  • “The only disadvantage I could think of relates to cultural competence. Patients may interact differently with a male RN [than] with a female RN, for different cultural or religious reasons or taboos.”
  • “In fact, my gender has significantly helped me in my career as I have largely been met with enthusiasm due to being underrepresented in nursing.”
  • “In general, the only disadvantage to being a male nurse comes from being the one who is often asked to refill the heavy water cooler or help turn a particularly heavy patient. But that is all part of good teamwork and done in good fun.”


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