Men entering into Nursing ProfessionNursing has long been considered a bastion of women for a variety of reasons. But the dynamicshave changed over the last few years with more and more men entering into this profession.Traditionally, men who decided to enter this woman-dominated profession faced many biases.While some thought men became nurses because they were unfit to be doctors, othersquestioned men’s abilities to be nurturers and caregivers. In fact, until very recently, male nurseswere not allowed to enter maternity wards and labor rooms. It may come as a surprise to many,then, that nursing was a male dominated profession historically. The first nursing schoolestablished in India in 250 B.C. was a men-only school.Although men who enter this profession still face subtle prejudices, a lot of effort has gone in tobring about a change in perception. Many universities are actively working towards removingperceived barriers to this occupation and encouraging the participation of men in their on-campusand online nursing programs. Frameworks such as American Assembly for Men in Nursing havealso been formed to promote and support nursing as a profession amongst men.Exciting OpportunitiesWith healthcare emerging as one of the fastest growing industries coupled with a growingdemand for trained nurses, many men now consider this profession exciting in terms of bothcareer advancement and personal fulfillment. Also contributing is the availability of online nursingprograms that open up a new avenue to study nursing as opposed to traditional classroomlearning.Men looking to enter this profession need to complete at least an Associate degree in Nursingand pass the certifying exam to practice as a Registered Nurse. However, higher degrees suchas Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master’s degree in Nursing may be required for careeradvancement. Many universities are also offering accelerated online nursing programs toencourage students to take up this demanding profession.Nursing offers everything that a man desires from a career – job security, attractive pay cheque,flexible hours, and exhilarating and fast-paced work environment. The profession has alsoacquired certain amount of glamour thanks to popular medical soaps such as ER, GreysAnatomy, General Hospital, Scrubs to name a few.And the timings couldn’t be better for men to enter this profession. According to the U.S.Department of Labor, registered nursing is going to be one of the fastest growing occupations inthe next few years generating 587,000 new jobs by 2016. To offset the shortfall of registerednurses, many hospitals are offering signing bonuses and benefits such as child care toexperienced nurses.But in spite of all these encouraging factors and a change in the stereotypical perception ofnursing, the percentage of registered male nurses in the country remains low. Men make up onlysix to seven percent of the entire nursing population in the U.S. Compared to other countries (10percent in United Kingdom and 23 percent in Netherlands), America has a lot of catching up todo.