Men in Nursing: 6 Reasons to Choose Nursing as a Second Career

A male nurse working with an elderly patient
A male nurse working with an elderly patient

The need for nurses is on the rise in America. A shortage of nurses has expanded opportunities for men to enter the nursing profession to help fill the increasing number of nursing jobs. Over the next decade, nursing is expected to grow at a fast rate of 6%, double the average job outlook for all occupations. This equates to approximately 193,100 projected job openings yearly for registered nurses (RNs). 

Over the last 20 years, the number of male nurses has been consistently trending upward. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the percentage of male nurses employed in the United States has reached approximately 12-13% of the nation’s workforce. Likewise, the number of male students in an undergraduate nursing program in 2022 was nearly 13%, with Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs reaching almost 15% male enrollment.

These statistics support the reality that nursing is a good career, not just for the job security but also for the respected and meaningful nature of the work. Improving the patient experience and playing an integral part in an interdisciplinary team inspire more men to change careers, seek a second degree in nursing, and become nurses online


More Men are Needed in Nursing Roles

If you’ve ever wondered whether nursing is right for you, consider these six reasons why men are needed in nursing roles.


Reason #1 - Role Modeling

Men in nursing positions can role model a trusted profession as a rewarding option for the younger generation. The ability to expand opportunities by breaking down gender stereotypes may inspire youth to rise and answer the call to become nurses. Promoting gender diversity within the healthcare system can encourage inclusivity in nursing.


Reason #2 - Improved Communication

Sometimes, a patient or family may feel comfortable speaking with a male nurse about sensitive topics. When male nurses are represented in the field, opportunities for patient preferences to be accommodated are increased. Effective communication is essential for quality care and positive patient-provider relationships. 


Reason #3 - Specialization

Finding the right career fit within nursing is important because there are so many diverse specialty areas from which to choose. The decision about where to specialize in nursing is a matter of preference that is sometimes fostered by a personal connection to a particular area of patient care. Men are welcome in all areas of nursing, and clinical experiences within a nursing program can help clarify areas that future nurses may find particularly interesting. 


Reason #4 - Professional Advancement Opportunities

Nursing offers unparalleled room for professional advancement. As a field requiring lifelong learning, leadership opportunities in advanced practice and policy development give nurses a chance to change the world for the better. Entrepreneurship in nursing is a possibility for those who want to establish private practices or consulting. 

Many men may choose to advance into public health roles, nursing informatics, translational research, or gaining a specialty certification within an area of expertise.


Reason # 5 - Gain Applicable Life Skills

Nursing is a profession where useful skills transfer to everyday life. Male nurses may be more prepared to address illnesses and care for their children or their parents with the expertise gained through nursing school and patient care. Nursing skills that benefit everyday life include:

  • Empathy and compassion
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Teamwork and adaptability

Stress management and communication are two other skills gained in nursing that are useful in everyday scenarios.


Reason #6 - Diversity of Perspectives

An increasingly diverse workforce will allow different perspectives to be shared and incorporated into the delivery of patient care services. When the interdisciplinary team is varied and well-rounded, collaboration may be more effective when more perspectives are considered. Men provide valuable contributions to complement women in the workplace.


Nursing Roles Available to RNs

Nurses prepared with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree have many diverse career opportunities available. The BSN is valued for preparing clinicians with:

  • Strong critical thinking 
  • Leadership in a variety of clinical settings
  • Focus on health promotion 
  • Case management skills

Careers for BSN-prepared nurses extend into clinical and non-clinical roles. Some examples of these positions, including job responsibilities and salary outlook, are highlighted next. 


Hospital-Based Patient Care

Hospitals are one of the largest employers of RNs in the country. In 2022, hospitals employed approximately 59% of RNs, with an approximate median salary of $82,250 annually. 

Nurses who provide care to patients and families in hospitals may work long shifts and routinely engage in activities like:

  • Patient health assessments
  • Care planning with an interdisciplinary team
  • Wound care and medication administration
  • Transitioning care and providing discharge education

Within hospital settings, nurses may also hold roles in informatics, such as electronic health records experts who assist the care team with implementing technology and effective documentation. A nurse may earn an additional specialty certification beyond the BSN for an informatics role.


Ambulatory Care Settings

Nurses in ambulatory or outpatient care settings make up approximately 18% of the nursing workforce, with an approximate median salary in May 2022 of $78,670 annually. In outpatient care, nurses carry out many similar duties but may work in specialty practices. For example, a nurse specializing in orthopedics or sports medicine may routinely:

  • Assess injuries and manage concussions
  • Provide nutrition counseling for performance and recovery
  • Collaborate with athletic trainers and/or physical therapists
  • Manage inflammation and pain with nursing interventions

Nurses may also work in education roles where they train other nurses in continuing education and professional development. When working in home health or hospice, a meaningful part of the nursing job is educating patients and families on managing complex aspects of care and promoting as much independence and quality of life as possible.


Nursing Instructors

In the academic setting, BSN-prepared nurses may serve as preceptors in the field and teach students hands-on clinical skills. They may also work in nursing simulation labs and help students gain confidence as they practice real-world patient care scenarios. In May 2023, the median salary for nursing instructors was approximately $86,530. 

With graduate nursing education, some nurses advance their careers to serve in academic positions within colleges, universities, and professional schools. In these roles, the average salary in May 2023 was reported to be approximately $86,900 annually. Research and scholarly activities constitute a significant part of faculty positions, along with mentoring and advising students on their future career pathways.

No matter what work setting you choose, men in nursing have ample opportunity to advance their careers with a BSN degree. 


Why Choose Holy Family University to Pursue Your BSN?

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, you can attain an accelerated BSN (ABSN) degree from Holy Family University. The program leverages your prior education as a foundation for the nursing curriculum. Reasons to choose the Online Accelerated BSN Program at Holy Family University include:

  • Rigorous and rewarding experience
  • More affordable than local programs
  • High NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Fewer prerequisite courses (5 prerequisites required, whereas competitors may have 8 or 9 courses mandated)

Get your digital program guide today by completing the online form and connecting with an admissions counselor at Holy Family University.