Created on: February 28, 2013
Stereotypes are something that this planet has dealt with probably since the time it was created. Chances are that anyone reading this article has been involved in one in some form or another. The male is always the bread winner in the family. If one is looking for a secretary, the person has to be a female. These are but a few examples, but what about the nursing industry? Turn on the television and most medical shows portray doctors as males, with a majority of their nursing assistants being females.
A study conducted by the United States Census Bureau seems to paint a different picture in today's society. The new data that the agency collected, which encompassed through the year 2011, showed that the number of male nurses in the United States has tripled since the 1970s. Back then, the percentage of male nurses in the country was at 2.9 percent. In 2011, that number was up to almost 10 percent, leaving some to wonder why the numbers have spiked up so much.
One of the reasons is that males are now allowed to become nurses. That would seem like an amusing one liner, but this is not the case. Much like women felt the sting of being excluded from jobs like the military for decades, so were men held out of the nursing profession. There were many nursing schools that did not allow male students within their classrooms. The Supreme Court stepped in and ended that practice, helping to lead to these increasing numbers.
The shortage of nurses back a decade or so is another reason for this increase. Times have gotten tough, and people needed to find jobs. When news started to surface that the nursing profession was short of bodies, it became an opportunity for folks to get some training and get into a career with some sense of stability.
Perhaps the biggest reason for the growing numbers of male nurses is the money. Like so many professions, if the money is good, people will come. This has been the case with the male nursing profession over the past few decades. There is a sad fact that has arisen out of these latest numbers, but it is not an unfamiliar one for women to see. Male nurses, on average, make more money than their female counterparts.
Some of that inequality can be traced back to the kinds of nursing jobs that males typically take. A CBS News report notes, "Men were found to be more likely to become nurse anesthetists, which is the highest paid nursing occupation, and were found least likely to become licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses, the lowest paid types of nursing." Regardless of this fact, this type of inequality has to be rectified; otherwise the nursing profession could find itself in a shortage again.
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