On Wednesday night, five Members of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) featured in a segment on ABC’s 7.30 program examining men in the nursing profession.
Daryn Mitford MACN, Lee Poole MACN, Alanna Geary FACN, Nick Hayward MACN and Kazuma Honda MACN powerfully shared their personal stories and views on why it is essential for more men to pursue a career in nursing. Currently, only 11% of the nursing workforce identify as male.
Daryn Mitford is a Nursing Manager at Campbelltown Hospital. He believes it is essential to challenge the perception that caring is not seen as tough. “Caring is tough,” he said.
“With my career I look after everything from death to birth, you have to be able to change from one to the other at any split time. That’s tough, that’s caring.”
Lee Poole is a Nursing Director in Brisbane who highlights increasing the number of men in nursing will benefit the nursing workforce.
“We know there is a current nursing shortage and a predicted continuing ongoing nursing shortage within Australia and worldwide,” he said.
“How we are going to fill that workforce? Increasing the number of men is one of those strategies. “
Metro North Hospital’s Alanna Geary echoed Lee’s sentiments that there needs to be a strategic focus to increasing the number of men in nursing.
“It is important that we embrace male nurses and get them in as undergraduate students and promote them to their level of ability,” she said.
Challenging popular culture’s negative representation of men in nursing is a top priority for Nick Hayward.
“Nursing is nothing like the movies and TV,” he said.
“Nursing in reality is evidence based, it’s highly technical and highly skilled.”
The journey into nursing was deeply personal for community nurse Kazuma Honda MACN, who was inspired to become a nurse after the death of his intellectually disabled brother.
“Having the desire to help others somehow gave me a belief that I was helping my brother indirectly,” he says.
Kazuma’s patient Alan Chapman is grateful for his care and highlighted the many advantages to being cared for by a male nurse.
We are so proud of our Fellows and Members Daryn, Lee, Alanna, Nick and Kazuma for sharing their experiences and perspectives on creating a more inclusive profession for men.