Male Nurses Are Still Few and Far Between

nursingMale nurses have always been a slim division in an industry that's been booming for years -- an industry still dominated by women. According to Male Nurse Magazine (who knew?), out of the approximately 2.6 million registered nurses in the U.S., there are still only around 7-8 percent who are male nurses.

So what is it about nursing that fails to attract men to a solid career that not only pays well, but also offers a good slice of job security during the coming decade?

-- See hourly rates for different nursing specialties.

Traditionally, nursing has been the domain of females for reasons of personal preference and interest, and also because of hiring restrictions in male-dominated fields such as technology and finance. Even in the midst of a stale job market, however, male nursing numbers don't seem to be increasing much.

This begs the question: Are men not flocking to the field of male nursing because of gender stereotypes, or is the job not being marketed as a position suitable for both sexes? Regardless, nursing is still one of the top contenders for burgeoning industries, and the benefits for men choosing nursing as an employment field are quite numerous. Here are the major benefits:

-- Compare the ratio of men and women in nursing.

Steadfast job stability

Despite the rough economy, the nursing field has been consistently growing -- you can't stop people from aging and getting sick. And with Baby Boomers heading into retirement, the need for qualified RNs is going to boom even more.

High starting salaries

The average starting salary for a nurse in the country is around $40,000, and the majority of U.S. nurses currently earn in the $65,000 range. And with the need for more qualified registered nurses in the future, salaries are predicted to continue on an upward trend.

-- See average salary for registered nurses.

High job satisfaction

Polls have shown that despite the sometimes odd hours and stressful environment, many nurses have high self esteem and a higher than normal job satisfaction rate, which they attribute to being in a well-respected field. Although the nursing field can be intense and demanding, the reward of helping others and making a positive difference in someone's health is a worthwhile trade-off.

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