More Men Are Being Educated as Registered Nurses

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A review of data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National League for Nursing confirms that men represent an increasing percentage of nursing students.  Historically, the vast preponderance of registered nurses have been female and that remains true today. However, data from a variety of sources has documented that men are an increasing proportion of the nation’s supply of RNs. The last two National Sample Surveys of Registered Nurses showed an increasing male share over time.  Similarly a recent Census study reported that the male percentage of RNs rose from 2.7% in 1970 to 9.6% in 2011.  Data on the gender mix of nursing students confirms and reinforces this trend. In fact, the rising male percentage of students enrolled in nursing schools is a leading indicator of the subsequent male percentage of RNs in the profession. The male percentage of undergraduate nursing students has reached double digits. The number of male nursing students in undergraduate programs, master’s and doctoral programs continues to rise.