Nurses Take Aim at Stereotypes, Mariah Carey Video

Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media , April 15, 2010

Male nurses are rare, accounting for only 5% of the 2 million registered nurses in the U.S., but national ad campaigns are trying to help break stereotypes about male nurses.

The ad campaign is asking men "Are you Man Enough to Be a Nurse?" The ads depict a variety of men and then provide a brief description of a hobby each man enjoys. The men shown in the campaign are dressed in nurse scrubs, sports attire, and business suits.

According to a study conducted by the Bernard Hodes Group in 2004, 50% of the men surveyed have encountered stereotypes in the workplace, and 56% said they encountered the stereotype at school.

Even though the use of these ad campaigns can help promote nursing and recruit more males into the profession, the Hodes study reveals that the men did not view the ads in a positive way.

However, an assistant professor at the UCF's College of Nursing believes that no matter where you work, if it is in a good team environment, the stereotypes will not matter.

"We did not care if you were male, female, white, black or Puerto Rican," Christopher Blackwell, assistant professor at the University of Central Florida, said. "What we care about was that you were a good, productive member of the team."

Sarah Kearns is an editor for HCPro in the Quality and Patient Safety Group. Contact Sarah at

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