On March 12th the School of Health and Social Care hosted their 4th men in nursing and midwifery recruitment event. This event is specifically aimed at addressing questions for men who are considering enrolling in the program. Even with the poor weather and the rising restrictions due to COVID we had 12 individuals attend the event with a really positive response.
There are a couple reasons why Edinburgh Napier University and the nursing profession are interested in recruiting more men. Firstly, the number of men in nursing has sat around 10% for the better part of the twentieth century and for all of the twenty first century to date. The 10% figure applies to most nations in the global north and generally reflects the global average as well. In many places, including Scotland, governments have implemented equitable gender targets across the board. Historically gender equity has focused on women in STEM, business and trades but given the disparity in nursing, this is also a priority area for gender equity.
Secondly, increasing diversity in a workforce is a known way to increase the creativity while also enhancing the quality of service delivery by that workforce. Achieving these benefits of gender equity are not necessarily about hitting a number target of 50/50. Improvements that come from workforce diversity could come at any ratio but it is more likely to be achieved at 50/50 than it is at 90/10. Achieving a nursing workforce that is representative of the population it serves also applies beyond men but needs to include other groups not equitably represented in the profession.
As the percentage of men in nursing has been stuck at 10% for some time a concerted effort is needed by the training institutes, among other nursing bodies, to increase the gender balance; hence the men in nursing recruitment event. What was interesting when talking to attendees of this event was that for the most part most were looking at nursing as an interesting, rewarding and flexible career.