Pi Mu Professional Day 2017: Male Nursing Student Experience

An exploration of the male nursing student experience: promoting success in a predominantly female profession – Betsy Heron

  • research based on work with
  • 9.2% of RNs in US are male
  • male student enrollment increased from 10 to 15%
  • therefore, issues remain related to retention
  • 11 interviews of male former nursing students
  • Georgie’s methods of
  • Coding completed across four researchers
  • Themes
    • gender bias exists
    • patients refusing care
      • often occurring in the maternity/women’s health rotation
      • disbelief that patients were okay with male doctors but not male nurses
      • attitude of the instructor affects the experience, either reinforcing the barrier or setting norm for patients
    • singled out by instructors
      • better know to faculty since there were fewer
      • called on more often
    • doing the “manly” stuff
      • lift, turn, move patients
    • no male role models
      • mixed responses regarding participation in a male nursing student organization

Presentation notes

  • theme presentations with short quotes
  • follow up focus on each theme with additional, longer quotes


  • How do these experiences compare to other health profession fields with a majority gender? For example, what about OT?
  • There is still a pay gap between male and female nursing students. How does hiring occur? Does the minority status of male nurses factor into this pay gap?

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