College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Make nursing gender neutral, report recommends

Nursing should be branded gender neutral to attract more males, researchers say.

While nursing is increasingly viewed as a rewarding career, the perception of nursing as an inherently female profession is still a barrier to more males pursuing nursing careers, according to a new report.

Men in Nursing

The authors of ‘Men in Nursing’ found that less than 10 percent of Scottish nursing students are male, a figure that has hardly changed in the past 10 years.

However, the profession was viewed favourably in terms of stability and opportunity for development.

Key recommendations

To encourage more men to become nurses, the report recommended a gender-neutral rebranding of nursing and a renewed focus on the skills and caring values that underpin the profession.

Researchers also highlighted the need for gender-neutral education on health and care topics to begin earlier, ideally at pre-school or primary school levels.

More narratives showcasing positive male nursing role models were also needed.

Collaborative report

Experts from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Health in Social Science contributed to the ‘Men in Nursing’ report, which was led by researchers at the University of Dundee with further contributions from the Universities of West of Scotland and Robert Gordon.

The report was commissioned by NHS Education for Scotland through the Scottish Collaboration for the Enhancement of Pre‐Registration Nursing.

Related links

Men in Nursing report

Health in Social Science