Being male in a female dominated profession can make you feel isolated but can also make you feel empowered. Before the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, it was illegal for men to practise as a midwife, and the first male midwives began training in the early 1980s. Nursing has started to shift away from previous images of a female-dominated profession and is slowly becoming more inclusive in both primary and secondary care settings.
Men account for 10.8% of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register, according to the 2016/2017 annual equality and diversity report, which is a decrease from the 11% reported in the years 2015–2016.1
As a male nurse, you are often faced with questions such as ‘doctor?’, ‘but you’re a man, why would you want to do this?’ and ‘when are you going to qualify as a doctor?’.
Being a male nurse is not a sign of failure, I set out to be a nurse and I am proud of my achievements and accomplishments within my role. Patients are at the forefront of the care I deliver.
The skills required to do the job
Society gets caught up in social constructions-—what we believe society should look like. Perhaps to men, the profession sits between two images of a nurse, with one being a sexualised image and the other the professional from TV shows with stethoscopes around their necks.