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The Role of Men in Nursing Today

The Role of Men in Nursing Today

Kathy Quan

Many people are surprised to know that the first nurses throughout the world were actually men. The first nursing school was in India in about 250 BC and only men were felt to be pure enough to be nurses. During the Black Plague in the 1300’s, a group of men formed one of the first hospitals to care for the victims.

To learn more about men in the history of nursing, see the comprehensive site from Bruce K. Wilson PhD, RN, BC, an associate professor of nursing at the University of Texas Pan American (UTPA). This compilation is a terrific resource and a tribute to all nurses.

Today, about 6% of the nursing workforce in the U.S. is made up of men. However, in the military at least 35% of the nursing force in each of the three branches is composed of men. Men were excluded from nursing in the military in the early 1900’s and did not resume this function until the early 1950’s, after the Korean War.

Throughout the world today, more men are entering the field of nursing and there is a major push to delete the stereotype that nurses are women. In fact, men are finding roles in all fields of nursing. Nursing is a not a gender, it is a profession. The art of caring is not something only women understand. With the tremendous shortage of nurses, more men are encouraged to join the profession.

After the events of September 11, 2001, people throughout the world began to feel a sense of needing to bring more meaning into their lives. The desire to do something to make a difference has lead many to look to nursing as a new career. Many more men as well as women have begun to find a great satisfaction in becoming nurses. And more and more men are considering nursing as a second career.

To find out more about men in nursing today, check out the American Assembly for Men in Nursing.

This article was originally published on The Nursing Site.

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