The issue here isn't whether a male should be a nurse, or whether it is good to have a male as a nurse since they can help with larger patients or work with males.
Geez people, this is 2008, and if you asked this about a female and being a lawyer or doctor, or even recently even if a female should be president, people would have jumped all over you telling you not to discriminate, and about equal employment opportunities.
What if I came on here and asked... What do you think about a black registered nurse?
In the 1970s when RNs made $6 per hour, and the job of an RN was primarily management of patients for extended periods in hospitals and nursing homes, most men really weren't very interested in the job. There were a few areas of nursing at that time which were beginning to pick up the interest of men such as the ERs, ICUs, ORs, and anesthesia, and the emerging role of the nurse practitioner. At that time 1?f all RNs were men.
At this time over 7?f all RNs are men, but a recent review of enrollment of some BSN programs showed that approximately 25?f the students currently enrolled in the RN courses at those schools were men.
The history of nursing has always had men in it.
In Rome, in the third century, there was an organization of men called the Parabolani brotherhood that provided care to the sick and dying during the great plague in Alexandria. During the crusades, groups of men known as Knighthood orders, such as the Knights Hospitalers of St.John of Jerusalem, the Teutonic Knights, and the Knights of Larzarus, comprised of brothers in arms who provided nursing care to their sick and injured comrades. These orders were responsible for building, organizing and managing great hospitals, setting a standard for the administration of hospitals (predominantly in the battlefield) in Europe at the time.
Another male group, the Alexian Brotherhood, was organized in 1431. Knighthood orders of the Middle Ages combined religion, chivalry, militarism, and charity. Their original purpose was to carry the wounded from the battlefield and to provide care.
Seventy years before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, Fray (Faiar) Juan de Mena was shipwrecked off the south Texas Coast. He is the first identified nurse in what was to become the United States. James Derham was an African American man who worked as a nurse in New Orleans in 1783. He was able to save enough money to but his freedom from slavery. He went on to become the first African American physician in the United States. In the middle 1800’s the United States was embroiled in the Civil War. Both the Confederate and Union Army had males serving as nurses although we only hear about the Union volunteers, who were predominately female. The Confederate Army had assigned thirty men in each regiment to care for the wounded. This could have been the start to the modern Combat Medic of today. The Union also had males designated as nurses or serving as such. The poet Walt Whitman is known to have served as a nurse for the union army. In the year 1808, Lazaro Orranti and Martin Ortega were two men that were employed as nurses at a hospital in San Antonio. The hospital employed only men as nurses. 100 years later the nurses residence had a sign above the door which said "Welcome to no mans land".
The Nurses Associated Alumnae became the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 1917, and “Men were excluded until 1930.”
One of the early accomplishments of the female nursing organizations was to exclude men from nursing in the military. In 1901 the United States Army Nurse Corp was formed and only women could serve as nurses. At this point in history military nursing which had been mostly males changed to being “exclusively female.”
It was not till after the Korean War that men were permitted back into nursing. During the intervening decades men who were Registered Nurses enlisted and were drafted, but they were not assigned as nurses.
Once males were again permitted into military nursing, the numbers with in the civilian population also started to increase. The chances of having an all male team of nurses is more than five times as likely to occur in the Military than in the civilian healthcare world. One of the little known facts of military nursing is the high percentage of men in all three services. In the Army 35.5?f its 3,381 nurses are men; in the Air Force, 30?f 3,790 nurses are men; and in the Navy, 36?f the 3,125 nurses are men. One must remember that in the nursing profession that only 7?s male. In the Army, 67?f CRNAs are men, 40?f the OR nurses are men, 34?f ED nurses are men, 29?f critical care nurses are men and 39?f medical/surgical nurses are men.
The emphasis of the professional nurse or RN in today's health care setting is managing highly acute patients, with mostly high tech equipment. There is a vast variety of medications, and an ever changing understanding of medical conditions. The RNs are generally shifted onto staff management roles quickly. This type of activity is drawing males into the professsion more, as it is more attractive to many males.
Answered By: US_DR_JD - 6/30/2008