Hospitals must recruit male nurses to diversify workforce

Recruiting and hiring more male nurses is a good way to diversify the hospital workforce and can ultimately benefit patients, according to experts from American Sentinel University.

"It's important that nursing diversification mirror what is happening in our population. Men provide unique perspectives and skills that are important to the profession and reflect the quality of care delivered," Christopher Kowal, R.N., adjunct professor of nursing at American Sentinel University, said in the statement.

As the country faces an expected nursing shortage in the next decade while it deals with aging baby boomers and more insured patients under the Affordable Care Act, the industry must change its perception of male nurses and break gender-related stereotypes that can hold men back from nursing, Kowal said.

The number of male registered nurses more than tripled to 9.6 percent in 2011--up from 2.7 percent in 1970, FierceHealthcare previously reported. Despite being in the minority, men out-earned women with an average $60,700 salary, compared to $51,100 for female nurses.

Kowal said one of the stereotypes is that men aren't compassionate enough to care for patients and are only useful for heavy lifting and dealing with rowdy patients. Another is that men settle for a nursing career as opposed to going to medical school to become a doctor, he added.

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