Members of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Men in Nursing Working Party at the 2019 National Nursing Forum.
During our Men in Nursing Campaign, men from all across the country have shared their passion for nursing and being a nurse in our eBook and video series. However, men are not alone in their push for equality in the nursing profession and they are joined by a group of women passionate about increasing the number of men in the nursing profession. Included in this group is Kate Barnewall MACN, a Registered Nurse and member of The Australian College of Nursing Men in Nursing Working Party – a group dedicated to improving the nursing workforce to allow for the greater retention and recruitment of men. With International Men’s Day approaching, Kate has coordinated the perspectives of females about the contribution their male colleagues make to the nursing profession. Do you have a story about a male nurse you would like to share? Let us know by commenting on this article or via the social media hashtag #itsoktocare.
- Kate Barnewall MACN: Registered Nurse, ACN Men in Nursing Working Party Member and article author
In my experience of nursing and midwifery, I have found men to be great working colleagues, who have a natural ability to remain calm and confident in times of stress or adversity. They communicate well with people of all ages and I have witnessed men draw out conversation and confidence in male patients, who may otherwise be reluctant to share with female nurses, which helps bridge a connection to addressing men’s health concerns. I have found male nurses to be very respectful of the history of nursing (which is traditionally a female profession) but also keen to add value to the modern landscape of nursing.
- Ariel Yokota MACN: Enrolled Nurse, ACN Member in Nursing Working Party Member
Through the eyes of a nurse who has experienced paediatric nursing, it is evident that a young boy and a young girl are equally loving, affectionate and caring in their expression. We cannot expect that a profession could only be for one gender when the stereotypes that separate men and women simply don’t exist when we are young, nor do they need to exist as we become adults. Those who choose to be a nurse feel a call and a passion to care and support people in times of need, responding to this call has nothing to do with gender.
- Cathy Carmody, Registered Nurse
Men are valuable to nursing and contribute in wonderful ways to this fantastic profession. Nursing is a family legacy in my family and I would hate to think that due to small mindedness or bias that opportunities would be lost to my son. Surely this is what many nursing leaders have fought for in the past? The richness in the nursing profession is due to progressive, empowered, critical thinking patient advocates, I think we need to look at recruiting men to nursing in a similar manner.
- Hilary Floate, Registered Nurse
Men bring a different lens to nursing, they show compassion and caring in a very different way to women. Men are capable of diffusing difficult situations with humour and fun, which I have witnessed in my current field of child vaccination. One of the male nurses I work with is able to get even the most difficult adolescent to listen and be vaccinated without drama, through good humour, no nonsense and he even brings his own sticker collection and bubbles for the under-fives, they adore him!
- Dr Martha Mansah, Registered Nurse
The best example I had, would be of my Dad, a Mental Health Registered Nurse. I have seen him at work, and he is quiet in his delivery, but he is compassionate and caring. He has many years of knowledge and experience under his belt, but he is humble and generous with his time and with patients. He is all about person-centred care and ensures that the well-being and health of his patients are his top priority. I believe, he makes a significant contribution to nursing and he is one of many men, who has made nursing what it is today and impacted positive change to the profession.
- Dr Winnie Wu, Registered Nurse
My experience of working with male nurses, in general, is very positive. I found they were more open-minded towards organisational change as well as working with a diversity of patients and staff members. They also had a good sense of humour and liked to be a leader in a group. My experiences were based on the critical care setting, which may be different from other health care settings.
Let’s Talk Leadership: International Men’s Day Event
To celebrate International Men’s Day, we are delighted to introduce former High Court Justice The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG in this exciting series to highlight the importance of developing collaborative leaders and men in nursing. Tickets are available to all to further showcase nurses as leaders of key social, political and humanitarian issues. Register for the event here.