Gender Differences in Nursing
For over years nursing has been considered as a subordinate occupation in relating it with medicine or the common perception in many societies. The first nurses were women and the trend has continued for years without substantial change. The notion of nursing being for care is considered more suitable to women than men. The profession grew from a point of care providing to a recognized profession and the roles changed. Though it has been proved that the satisfaction of the patient is not related to the gender of the nurse still there are findings which illustrate differences between the two. This paper seeks to show why the profession has been dominated by women and why there are low men recording especially in United States and Canada .
The issue of gender dominance in the nursing profession has not been there in the past but the alarming low rate of men enrolling for the profession in Canada and United states is worth examination. There are studies which tend to suggest that the patient satisfaction in some instances has a very slight link with the nurses gender. The career patterns between male and female nurses have been very distinct before but the two have a shared link now. Women in their career patterns are said to take up lateral moves whilst men on the contrary make linear career moves. This means that a woman is likely to spend much time in one career compared to a man. For instance a female nurse will spend much time in the nursing before getting training for another post. This is commonly known as the certificate gathered syndrome which many women possess. On the contrary men are taking up the linear career whereby they consider career in which flexibility is fostered. Men are not grossly affected by the certificate gathered syndrome like women .
In the nursing context the option for nurses to stick to the nursing career is based on many factors. Their dominance has not been willful but inevitable. There are findings which suggest that female nurses have certificate gatherer syndrome not because it is a women trait but because the dynamics of the labor markets affect women and men differently. The study of both literal and linear career paths in women and men respectively show that it is not the career path that one takes but the minority men in nursing issue is due to the structural labor markets which are said to favor men than women. The most stated reason for the differences in the population of men and women in nursing career is the children career breaks that are experienced by both men and women. It is estimated that the period taken by women and men to attain nursing status is distinct .
The labor markets in the United States and Canada present a dilemma to men in relation to choosing nursing as a career. The nursing labor division is characterized by unqualified persons and the payment for the unskilled has been exceedingly low. Nursing in United States has been considered a career for the unskilled and hence many men than women find it hard to advance in nursing. With the minimal hopes of advancement few men have reluctantly joined nursing. The under representation of men in the nursing career in United States and Canada illustrates an imbalance that needs to be addressed. There are prevailing stereotypes about nursing which can not be ruled out since they increasingly influence the Canadian and United States men on their choice of career. The nursing career has continuously been associated with caring and submission. Large numbers of men think that these traits are for women. On the contrary the notion that joining the profession will make them look unmanly has greatly made it hard for more men than women to take up the nursing career .
There are notions in the United States and Canadian societys which perceive men as strong and aggressive. The foregoing statement shows that nursing is not in conformity with the societys expectations. In a society whereby people are used to nursing being a womans job it increasingly becomes hard for a man to get the societys approval after becoming a nurse. The said stereotypes may appear trivial but they have played an influencing effect on the choices that men make regarding their careers. In the reasoning of many men it is unwise to choose a career with negative perceptions while there are other options. Approximately 3.1% nurses in the United States and Canada are male. The overwhelming perception that nurses are poorly paid has made nursing to be considered unappealing to men. The notion is also evident in childrens understanding of the term. They believe that a man can not be a nurse. The said notion are passed from one generation to another hence making men shun nursing completely .
The foregoing literature shows that the nursing profession has been widely considered as a women career. There are stereotypes that have made it hard to have men joining it. The stereotypes evident have continuously reduced the number of men joining the career. The Canadian and American nursing field is highly dominated by women due to the factors discussed above. The negative stereotypes need to be address if the number of men joining the career is expected to go high.
Gender Differences in Nursing