Are you a man looking for the best nursing career that fits your interest and lifestyle? Men have traditionally been underrepresented in nursing, but there are many specialties where men can make their mark.
From patient advocacy to healthcare policy, male nurses bring unique skills and perspectives to the table – these nine professions are some of the best jobs available to today’s male nurse.
Read on as we explore how each specialty contributes to modern healthcare across multiple settings.
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Can Men Be Nurses?
For many years, nursing has been viewed as a profession exclusively for women, and men who choose to pursue it have often faced ridicule and discrimination for their career choice. However, times have changed, and there has been a significant increase in the number of men pursuing nursing.
Yes, men can be nurses just as much as women can be doctors. Male nurses bring a unique perspective and skills to the nursing profession, which can be invaluable to patients. As healthcare evolves, the need for skilled and caring nurses, regardless of gender, will only increase. So, the next time you meet a male nurse, don’t be surprised – he’s just as qualified and dedicated as any other nurse.
Nursing Men History
The role of male nurses is not a new concept in the history of nursing. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that men have had a significant representation in nursing until the 1800s. This early association between nursing, religious orders, and the military made it a natural fit for men.
However, with the advent of the Civil War, women took over nursing responsibilities, and by the early 1900s, they dominated the industry. This situation left little to no room for male nurses for several decades, and men were further restricted from serving as nurses in certain groups like the Army Nurse Corps until after the Korean War.
Nursing is a profession that has historically been dominated by women worldwide. According to the World Health Organization’s 2020 State of the World’s Nursing report, only about 10% of nurses globally are men.
However, this gender segregation has been gradually changing since the 1960s. In the United States, men currently comprise 9.4% of registered nurses, surpassing the 2017 and 2015 figures of 9.1% and 8%, respectively.
Similarly, the United Kingdom witnessed an increase in male nurses from 9% in 2011 to 10% in 2016. Even in Canada, where men constituted only 6.4% of the nursing workforce in 2010, the trend of men joining the profession is growing. Despite the underrepresentation of men, their contributions to nursing are equally valuable and essential in delivering quality healthcare services to patients.
The role of male nurses in healthcare is slowly changing today, as the healthcare industry recognizes the valuable contributions of male nurses, making nursing an equally fulfilling and rewarding career for both men and women alike.
Below are 8 Best Jobs for Male Nurses
Many types of nursing jobs are available for males, so choosing the best one can be overwhelming. Here are 8 of the most rewarding and in-demand nursing jobs for men:
1. Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) Nurse:
Every year, an astonishing 40 million people in the United States undergo major surgery. Many people don’t realize that, after that surgery is finished, a PACU nurse will be responsible for managing their post-operative care.
A PACU nurse is a critical care expert who assesses and treats patients in the hospital’s post-anesthesia care unit. They monitor patients’ vital signs, ensure that any post-operative medications are administered correctly, and look out for any signs of complications that could arise from the surgery. While patients may not be aware of the PACU nurse’s role in their recovery, these highly trained medical professionals are a crucial part of any patient’s journey back to full health.
Men looking for a career with unique challenges and opportunities should consider this role. While many states require an additional certification exam to become a CRNA, the potential profits are worth it, as CRNAs can earn up to$181,040/year.
2. Emergency Room Nurse
Emergency room nurses are the front line of care for patients needing emergency medical attention. This job requires a lot of quick thinking and decision-making, so men who thrive under pressure should consider this role. ER nurses are also highly respected professionals in the healthcare field and can earn up to $78,680/year, depending on their work facility.
Working as an emergency room nurse involves long hours and 12-hour, exhausting shifts. These shifts require the nurse to be on their feet constantly and move quickly from one patient to another.
However, there are some benefits to these long shifts; emergency room nurses often have four days off per week to rest and spend time with loved ones. Due to the job’s complexity, emergency room nursing is typically not a position given to new nursing graduates.
Hospitals require experienced nurses, as it can take up to six months to orient a nurse to the high-stress environment and vast knowledge required in the ER.
3. ICU Nurse
The ICU (Intensive Care Unit) provides a higher level of care for patients who are critically ill. ICU nurses must be able to assess the patient quickly and accurately. They are responsible for providing life-saving treatments, medications, and therapies to stabilize the patient’s condition.
ICU nursing is demanding, as nurses must think quickly and make sound decisions to treat their patients. Since time is essential when saving a life, ICU nurses are expected to react immediately and have excellent clinical judgment.
The upside to this highly-specialized job is that ICU nurses can earn up to $91,000/year, depending on their experience and location. Most hospitals offer additional benefits for ICU nurses, such as paid vacation days and tuition reimbursement.
4. Operating Room Nurse
Working as a surgical nurse is one of the most in-demand positions available for men. The OR is where the surgery takes place, requiring precision, speed, and a high level of care to ensure the patient’s safety. Because of this, most hospitals need OR nurses to have at least two years of experience before being hired.
A typical shift requires 8 hours, and you must be comfortable working with different tools and equipment. It can also be emotionally draining due to the life-saving procedures that occur in the operating room every day. The great thing about becoming an OR nurse is the excellent pay.
The average salary for an RN in this specialty is $40.20 per hour (source). You also work with some of the most advanced medical technology available today.
5. Critical Care Nurse
Critical care nursing is one of the highest-paying positions for nurses. It’s a specialty that requires you to be constantly on alert and react quickly to changes in the patient’s condition.
You must have excellent communication skills and be able to read and understand medical charts quickly. The hours are usually 8-12 hours daily, and the pay is quite generous.
The average salary for an RN in this specialty is $37.76 per hour (source). Working in critical care allows you to make an incredible difference in your patient’s lives, as they are often critically ill or have experienced some major trauma.
6. Home Health Nurse
Home health nursing is gratifying for men interested in helping those in need. It’s perfect if you like working one-on-one with patients and don’t want to feel like you’re away from home all day.
As a home health nurse, your primary responsibility is assessing the patient’s condition and providing necessary treatments. You must be able to think on your feet and make decisions quickly since you often won’t have access to medical equipment or specialists. The hours are flexible, and you can usually make your schedule, allowing you to take on other jobs or have time for personal commitments.
The average pay is $26.30 per hour (source). Home health nursing can be very rewarding, but it’s also a huge responsibility as you’re now solely responsible for the patient’s care.
7. Pediatric Nurse
Pediatric nursing is one of the most rewarding specialties for men passionate about working with children. You must be patient and understanding with kids and willing to work in an environment that can often be chaotic and unpredictable.
Typical duties include monitoring vital signs, administering medications, and assisting doctors with examinations. It’s also important to build relationships with the children and their families to provide support during stressful times.
The average pay for this position is $31.20 per hour (source). As a pediatric nurse, you must stay up-to-date on the latest treatments and protocols to best serve your patients. This specialty also requires lots of physical stamina since you’ll be on your feet for extended periods.
8. Mental Health Nurse
Mental health nurses specialize in providing care to individuals suffering from mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. This specialty requires a great deal of empathy since you’ll be dealing with emotionally struggling patients.
Your daily duties involve conducting assessments, administering medications, and providing therapeutic interventions. It’s also important to develop trusting relationships with your patients to provide support and guidance throughout their recovery process.
The average pay is $34.82 per hour (source). Working as a mental health nurse can be very rewarding, but it can also be challenging since these patients need more attention than those in other specialties. You must be patient and understanding when working with people with mental illnesses.
9. Flight Nurse
Flight nurses provide medical care to patients who need urgent transportation. This specialty requires a great deal of strength and stamina since you’ll be dealing with emergencies that can take place in the air or at high altitudes.
Your primary responsibility is assessing the patient’s condition and providing necessary treatments. You must also be able to quickly recognize and respond appropriately to any potential medical issues during the flight.
The average pay for this position is $44.52 per hour (source). Working as a flight nurse can be rewarding yet stressful, as you’ll need to make quick decisions in potentially dangerous situations. Being detail-oriented and highly adaptable is essential to provide the best care possible.
Reasons Why Men Should Go Into Nursing
Men nurses have become more commonplace within the medical field over the years.
Gender equality has assisted women in breaking glass ceilings in several professions. But, it has also assisted in introducing men to fields they otherwise wouldn’t explore. Male nurses help bring diversity to an area that’s in high demand.
Please keep going to discover the benefits of becoming a men’s nurse and why they are essential.
Demand for male nurses
The nursing field is on the rise. Recent studies conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predict a continued increase of 7% in job openings for nurses from 2019 to 2029. This growth is due, in part, to the rising demand for nursing care amongst aging baby boomers, the second-largest population group in the U.S. The need for male nurses has also become crucial in fulfilling the demand for nursing professionals.
Nursing offers flexible scheduling options, including three 12-hour shifts or four 10-hour ones for full-time roles and part-time and per diem nursing options. These nursing scheduling options provide an opportunity for all types of lifestyles and career goals while still being able to impact the healthcare field positively.
Several nursing Specialties to Choose From
Men interested in pursuing a career in nursing have a multitude of avenues to explore. If you’re a technical individual who enjoys the critical thinking aspect of nursing, consider pursuing anesthesia nursing. Alternatively, pediatrics may be the right path for you if you have a passion for working with children. For those who enjoy leadership roles, several middle management positions are available.
Additionally, a nurse educator role may be a good fit if you want to educate others. Finally, the nurse practitioner role offers a chance to work independently and make a significant difference in patient care. With so many options available, men can find their calling and make a meaningful impact in nursing.
Male Nurses Receive Competitive Compensation
Registered nursing is a career path that offers both financial stability and job security. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that registered nurses’ median wage is $82,750. This solid salary can provide a comfortable living for individuals pursuing a career in this field. However, it’s important to note that male nurses earn more than female nurses.
On average, male RNs make about $5,000 more per year than female RNs. This can be both discouraging and motivating for those considering a career in nursing. While it’s disheartening to see a wage gap between genders, it’s important to note that nursing is still a great career choice, with plenty of opportunities for growth and development.
Some patients prefer male nurses
Healthcare is a crucial aspect of life, and it is essential to cater to the needs and desires of each patient. Every patient is unique, with individual requirements that need to be fulfilled. Some patients might need a little bit more care and sensitivity, especially men who may feel self-conscious about appearing weak in front of women.
The presence of a male nurse can ease their worries and make them feel more at ease. Invasive procedures, such as catheters, can be stressful and intimidating for some patients, which is why some individuals would prefer to have a male nurse perform such procedures. Therefore, healthcare providers should accommodate the needs of their patients and ensure that they feel at ease, creating a supportive, comfortable environment for everyone.
Men Make Nursing More Accessible
It is no secret that nursing can still be seen as a primarily female profession. Men are often overlooked for nursing positions, and there needs to be more male representation in the field. However, having male nurses in healthcare can open doors for other men to pursue this career. Male nurses serve as role models who inspire and encourage other men to enter nursing, breaking gender stereotypes.
Simply seeing a man in scrubs can give those considering a career in nursing more confidence that they could make it work, as well as the reassurance that they won’t be alone if they decide to pursue this path. Male nurses are helping to bridge the gap between genders in the healthcare field and, as a result, making nursing more accessible to all.
We hope this informative article provides a satisfactory answer about whether a male can be a nurse. Male nurses play an essential role in the healthcare system and make a significant difference in patient care. From their competitive salaries to their ability to comfort patients, there are many advantages to having men in nursing. We encourage all those considering a career in nursing to give it serious consideration, as it offers both financial stability and job security, as well as the opportunity to impact people’s lives positively.
Mrs. Marie Brown has been a registered nurse for over 25 years. She began her nursing career at a Level I Trauma Center in downtown Chicago, Illinois. There she worked in the Emergency Department and on the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. After several years, she moved to the Midwest and continued her nursing career in a critical care setting. For the last 10 years of her nursing career, Mrs. Brown worked as a flight nurse with an air ambulance service. During this time, she cared for patients throughout the United States.