Men’s Presence in Nursing Positions Expands

( The demand for skilled and qualified nurses is on the rise. The population is aging and the need for healthcare, including long-term and end-of-life care, is growing significantly. As a result of increasing demand, employers have shifted their recruitment efforts to target more men to fill this need. Colleges and universities have also responded by making more of an effort to recruit men into their nursing programs.

According to a recent study released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Men in Nursing Occupations, more men are entering this occupation, which has traditionally been dominated by women. While women still comprise the majority of personnel in the nursing field, the percentage of male registered nurses has more than tripled since 1970, from 2.7 percent to 9.6 percent. In addition, the proportion of male licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses has more than doubled from 3.9 percent to 8.1 percent.

According to the study, in the nursing profession, men typically earn more than women, with an average annual salary of $60,700 for men compared to $51,100 for women. Men also tend to gravitate towards high-paying nursing occupations, such as nurse practitioner and nurse anesthetist. Nurse anesthetist jobs have the highest concentration of men across all nursing occupations, with men holding 41 percent of nurse anesthetist positions.

Higher Salary Nursing Specialties Men Should Consider

Men who are interested in a career in nursing can take advantage of relatively low unemployment rates of nursing positions, such as registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists.

Registered nurses perform a wide variety of job duties including caring for patients, consulting with physicians, monitoring patient behavior and response to treatment, administering medication and diagnostic tests and treating medical emergencies. Many registered nurses hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or often benefit from an online RN to BSN degree program to obtain their degree while still working. According to a 2011 survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses earned salaries ranging from $44,970 to over $96,630 with an average of $69,110.

Nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice nurses, perform many of the same duties as registered nurses but also perform duties often associated with doctors, including prescribing medication, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests and performing medical procedures. The majority of nurse practitioners hold a master’s degree and a growing number go on to earn a doctorate. According to the 2009 National Salary and Workplace Survey of Nurse Practitioners, average salaries varied by state and ranged from $77,000 to $106,481.

Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia to patients under the direction of surgeons and in collaboration with the operating room staff. Nurse anesthetists must complete a nurse anesthesia program, which awards a master’s degree at the end of the program. Most programs require the nurse to hold a BSN and have a year of nursing experience for admission. Although the BLS does not list salary data separately for nurse anesthetists, nurses at the upper end of a pay scale typically have higher levels of education and experience, and work in roles of increased responsibility.

A Career in Nursing is a Great Opportunity for Men

Men who are interested in the medical field or are looking for a career field with significant growth and employment opportunity should consider a career in nursing. With the high demand for nurses and a recruitment focus on men, this could be an ideal time for men to enter this dynamic and rewarding career field. The best paying nursing positions require at least a BSN degree and many require a master’s degree or higher. An RN to BSN degree program can help working RNs advance their career by obtaining their degree and positioning them to earn master’s and doctorate degrees after completing their BSN.

Authored by Tyana Daley, who is a writer and editor for University Alliance. She specializes in career-related topics across multiple industries and strives to enable professionals to fulfill their career goals.