The long held stereotype about nurses is slowly changing, as more and more men take to nursing as a career. A new research paper from professors Elizabeth Munnich and Abigail Wozniak looks at the growth in the number of male nurses over the past five decades. Men now make up about 13 percent of the nursing profession, up from 2.2 percent in 1960 and 7.6 percent in 2000.
The research lists several factors for the growing trend of men in nursing, including increased demand for nurses, a loss of social stigma, and a 1981 Supreme Court decision that required public nursing schools to allow male students. Because of the growing demand for nurses, particularly in specialized fields, many nursing schools now actively recruit men.
Doug Kolozsy was a carpenter/laborer who switched careers to become a hospital nurse. "I have no regrets of changing careers, I just with I'd done it sooner," he says. For starters, Kolozsy likes the more flexible schedule of nursing. "I work four days a week and I know some nurses who work less than that, so that's very attractive," he says. "Benefits are great, and there's always opportunities for growth within the organization."
The other factor Kolozsy noticed when he started exploring a career in nursing was the demand, which translates to job security. "There are so many areas of nursing, and such a need in different areas of nursing right now, that it's a very secure place to be," he says. "If you're a person who enjoys being around people, always meeting new people, and working with a professional group of people, then I would highly recommend getting into nursing."