Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
Men have always been a minority in nursing globally; I know - I am one. There is only one country exception and that is Jordan where they have a problem recruiting women to nursing. Otherwise, the pattern is the same across the world. Given the gender imbalance in and the female gender stereotyping of nursing, what makes men become nurses and why do they leave? This is the focus of a study from Poland by Kluczyń ska (2016) titled: 'Motives for choosing and resigning from nursing by men and the definition of masculinity: a qualitative study' and published in JAN. The study aimed to: 'establish the main motives for choosing nursing by men in Poland and the results for leaving the profession.'
The author interviewed 17 men in nursing in Poland to try and find answers. Reasons for joining were varied but some saw it as a vocation. Others came in by accident or simply to get a job. Others still claimed it was due to an interest in medicine. This last group were the ones most conscious of their masculinity. Men left nursing almost exclusively due to low income.
The author concluded: 'The study indicated that men’s decision to choose nursing is polymotivational in nature. The specified groups of motives (vocation, medical interest, accident, pragmatic motives) were not mutually exclusive and frequently overlapped, but usually one of the motives was crucial for the choice of nursing' and '(t)he motives for the choice sometimes become the reasons for resignation. Employment stability is associated with a low income, which usually contributes to the resignation of men from the nursing profession, as most of them feel obliged to perform the role of breadwinners.'
You can listen to this as a podcast
KLUCZYŃSKA U. (2016) Motives for choosing and resigning from nursing by men and the definition of masculinity: a qualitative study. Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.13240