How, and Why, to Recruit Male Nurses

Lena J. Weiner, August 25, 2014

Male nurses face lots of scrutiny about their career choice. To retain this growing segment of the workforce, challenge your assumptions about male nurses and make sure you're sending the right message.

For years, human resources departments have openly discussed the discrimination and judgment women often face when they step into a traditionally male role, like hospital finance or the C-suite. But what happens when a man takes on a traditionally female role?

That's a reality faced by male nurses—or, as they're colloquially called, murses—on a daily basis.

While most people have grown comfortable with women climbing the corporate ladder, healthcare still has a long way to go when it comes to accepting men who choose a role that is associated with women.

"If you ask kids to draw a nurse, they'll draw a picture of a woman in a skirt with a cap," says Bill Lecher, RN, MS, MBA, NE-BC, president of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing and senior clinical director at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

But in a medical system where cultural competency and diversity are becoming important elements of improved patient outcomes, this has to change. Here are four steps toward creating an environment where nurses of all ethnicities and both genders can flourish.

Lena J. Weiner

Lena J. Weiner is an associate editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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