The nursing shortage has developed because more nurses are leaving the field than entering it. This is compounded by COVID impacts adding pressure to a profession where nurses are leaving due to burnout. By 2029, the number of nursing positions will continue to increase as the demand rises.
For those considering a career in nursing, the profession is very lucrative. The average nurse makes roughly $67,000 per year. However, traveling nurses earn considerably more, with an average yearly salary of $110,000. Ultimately, nurses can maximize their earning power by obtaining more certificates and degrees. In addition to compensation, nurses can choose from several fields within the profession that may give them more career advancement potential. For example, in addition to being a travel nurse, a person can also work abroad, in the university setting, as a home healthcare nurse, and in a school, among other options.
Barriers for male nurses
Fifty years ago, it was unheard of to see men working as nurses in the hospital. However, in 2022, this has changed. Male nurses are slowly becoming more commonplace in a profession dominated by women. Some of the barriers that interfere with men entering this field are related to the negative stereotypes of men in this line of work. In many cases, many male nurses are presented as comical or even effeminate in media. Although most television programming is only fictional, these images leave impressions on men that can influence their career choices and perceptions.
Another barrier might have to do with how nursing as a profession is perceived. Historically, men were physicians and women were nurses, a role that is seen as subordinate to doctors. Some men perceive being a nurse as inferior, and as a result, avoid working in a profession with many rewards.
However, in the last few decades, some men have defied these stereotypes to enter the field at all levels. Some of the reasons include great pay, meaningful work, and opportunities for career advancement. Nurses can choose to work in hospitals or advance into leadership through experience, and attending a nursing leadership program like the one offered at the University of Indianapolis can be the foundation for ascending into nursing administration.
Why men make great nurses
Diversity is one of the biggest reasons that more male nurses are needed. Research has shown that regardless of the setting, people are more likely to trust someone if they look like them, and this is the case with men in nursing. Men naturally will trust other men because they have similar experiences.
In areas that are traditionally dominated by men, having male nurses around is also a plus. Organizations such as the military would benefit from male nurses who are needed at times when heavy lifting is required. Additionally, when grit and perseverance are required to get through a challenging situation, men can be just as helpful as women. With 35 percent of the military being nurses, an inclusive environment where males are allowed to contribute to the welfare of patients can be beneficial to the staff and patients.
Nursing is a high-stress field. Burnout, depression, and lateral violence are three reasons that nurses leave the vocation. For this reason, recruiting and hiring male nurses is important in staving off the exodus in this profession. Although the job requires professionals to earn a degree and develop other job-related skills, nursing also requires compassion and commitment to patient care. Other soft skills a person needs include a strong work ethic and the ability to make it through some of the most difficult situations.
While nursing can be a challenging job, it offers many rewards outside of compensation. Nurses learn skills that follow them beyond working in the healthcare setting. In addition, nursing presents professionals with the chance to encounter so many different types of fascinating people, as patients and coworkers alike.
Why should men (or their female coworkers) be left out of such a great opportunity? Men play a vital role in getting male patients to cooperate and trust that they are being taken care of in the hospital setting. Furthermore, in settings such as the military, male nurses can be an integral part of doing some of the more laborious chores in the healthcare setting. As today's nursing advances, the profession will need to draw on both male and female professionals with experience in all roles and specializations.