Illustrated infographic with statistics about male nurses.

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The Nursing Industry Is Flourishing for Men

Being a nurse is proving to be a viable career change for many men.

There has been a significant increase in males becoming nurses over the past few years. Compared to 2 percent in 1960, males now make up 13 percent of the nursing workforce. (1) A shifting economy and less stigma surrounding male nursing has likely contributed to this increase.

  • Out of 4 million nurses in 2017, 333,000 were males. (2)
  • Between 2003 and 2015, the number of male nurses who pursued a master’s or doctoral degree rose from 1,000 to 4,000. (3)
  • Travel nursing is becoming a highly-preferred field of nursing for men.

70 percent of male nurses think stereotypes are their biggest challenge.

Brief History of Male Nursing (4)

  • Contrary to what many may think, nursing was at one time dominated by men.
  • The first nursing school was established in India, and only men could enroll.
  • Not until the mid-1800s were women allowed to be nurses.
  • The general feminization of nurses began in 1901 when men were no longer allowed to be nurses in the military due to the reorganization of the military nursing corps.

A Shift in the Industry

  • Since 1970, the number of men filling nursing roles has more than tripled, increasing from 2.7 percent to 9.6 percent. (4)
  • Nebraska is the only state where male nurses outnumber women with a ratio of 3 to 1. (5)

Male Nursing Stats from Veteran Affairs

  • VA has a higher rate of male and ethnically diverse nurses when compared to national figures. (6)
  • Findings from studies indicate the primary contributing factor to more males entering the nursing field is a decline in jobs in a variety of primarily-male dominated industries, like automation and trade.
  • In Ohio, construction jobs have decreased by 12 percent, and mining jobs have been slashed by 14 percent since 2000. Jobs in the healthcare field, however, have risen by 38 percent during this same period of time. (7)
  • The average salary for men working as nurses is $68,450, with many men earning this amount of money straight out of nursing school. (8)

Being a Male Nurse in Ohio (8)

The latest Ohio RN Workforce Data Summary Report outlined the key following pieces of information:

  • 71% of RNs in Ohio who hold active licenses are between 18 and 55 years old. Ninety-three percent of them are currently working as a nurse.
  • 9% of the Ohio nursing workforce is comprised of men.
  • 11% of nurses in Ohio have some type of affiliation with the U.S. Armed Forces. Eighty-seven percent of them are veterans or married to a veteran.
  • 34% of nurses in Ohio have a BSN in nursing. One percent have a master’s degree.
  • The mean annual wage for RNs in Ohio is $65,00.(9)

The Demand for Nurses Is High Regardless of Gender

  • 16% – By 2024, the nursing field is expected to grow 16 percent.
  • 7 million – By 2050, the senior population in the U.S. is expected to be 83.7 million, which will likely put a greater strain on the medical field. (10)
  • 20% – Due to a shortage of male nurses, the American Assembly for Men in Nursing is carrying out a campaign to increase male nurses by 20 percent by 2020. (11)

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