Nursing Studies

Investigating the underrepresentation of men in Nursing

The aim of the project is to explore the influences and causes of the underrepresentation of men in pre-registration nursing across Scotland as males currently make up less than 10% of nursing students.

Pre-registration nursing recruitment and retention – underrepresentation of men, influences and causes

This project was commissioned and funded by NHS Education Scotland (NES) to investigate the influences and causes on the underrepresentation of men in nursing.  This came about because:

  • across Scotland, the current percentage of male nursing students is between 8-10%.
  • the Chief Nursing Office (CNO) Commission on Widening Access to Nursing and Midwifery Education and Careers suggested that best practice in the area of attracting more men into nursing needs to be identified alongside recommendations for a national approach to this.
  • the Gender Action Plan has set a target that no subject should have an extreme gender imbalance of more than 75/25 by 2030.

The aim of the project is to explore the influences and causes of the underrepresentation of men in pre-registration nursing across Scotland.  The three key objectives are to:

  • establish the rates of recruitment and retention of males to pre-registration nursing programmes (all fields) across Scotland over the past five years
  • explore the influences on recruitment rates of males to pre-registration nursing programmes across Scotland through the views and experiences of male pre-registration nursing students, nursing and further education college lecturers and school guidance teachers. 

Project team

Maggie Carson, University of Edinburgh

Heather Whitford, University of Dundee

John Lee, University of Dundee

Heather Bain, Robert Gordon University

James Taylor, University of the West of Scotland

Glenn Marland, University of the West of Scotland

Anna Gavine, University of Dundee