August 31, 2001
Reply by Nevidjon in response to letter by Bruce Wilson on The Nursing Shortage: Solutions for the Short and Long Term by Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN and Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, MS, CNA (Jan. 31, 2001)
I appreciate Dr. Wilson’s response to our article and the comments regarding gender typing of professions. As he notes, women have had the ability to enter traditional male professions for many years and there were some trailblazers early in the 1900’s. Since the 1970’s, women have entered these professions in increasing numbers; some might have chosen nursing in earlier days. During all of this time, men have also had the ability to enter nursing, which is seen as a female profession. Today, nursing still remains a predominantly female profession with a small percentage of men. The question is how to attract men into the profession. I would ask the men who are nurses to teach us how to talk to boys about nursing. Since there seems to be a continued societal bias against nursing as a choice for men, how can we present nursing as an excellent career for the 10 year old, 16 year old, or 22 year old male? I think readers of these articles would be interested to know how male nurses talk with boys about nursing or about successful strategies for helping boys/young men select nursing. I encourage further Letters to the Editor of OJIN on this question.
Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN
Associate Clinical Professor
Health Systems Leadership & Outcomes Program