Men Can Be Nurses

Nursing is one of the most stable professions in terms of job security, projected job growth, and job offers given upon completion of an undergraduate program. The median salary for a nurse in the United States falls at around $67,000 annually, not including the increase that comes with the attainment of a Master’s of Science in Nursing.

Why is it then, that students at Oxford College of Emory University tend to cringe when asked if they would pursue nursing as a career?

“Nursing is just a bit too...hands on for me, I guess. Like, doctors do a lot more of the verbal stuff, you know? It doesn’t have to be so personal, or I guess not as hands-on,” said one female Oxford student, a current pre-med.


Fair enough. It is undeniable that there is quite a bit of personal interaction involved when caring for people in their most vulnerable state. Nursing involves an unyielding and constant amount of comforting others which can require a strong, even hyperactive sense of empathy and compassion. Perhaps this aspect of the nursing profession explains the response given by another Oxford student, this one a male and pre-pharmacy:


“Uh…[casual laughter]....well, I don’t know...nursing is kind of more for girls. Girls are just naturally better at that. [Brief pause]...when I think of a nurse, I think of a girl. So yeah, no, I wouldn’t go into nursing.”


It seems as if the nursing profession carries a bit of a stigma. Much like we as individuals are forced to behave in a certain wat or conform to societal norms based on our biological sex, majors and careers are often assigned to genders.


It is up to us as a community of intellectual, passionate, and caring young academics to help break the barriers that force us into conformity and open up a world of possibilities; a world where, believe it or not, men can be nurses.