Despite the Barriers Men Nurses are Satisfied with Career Choices


  • J. Creina Twomey Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • R.J. Meadus Memorial University of Newfoundland


male nurses, career choice, barriers, career satisfaction


Men remain a minority in the nursing profession. In 2005, 5.6 per cent of the nurses in Canada were men (Canadian Nurses Association [CNA], 2005); while in the United States (U.S.) men comprise about 5.8 per cent of the registered nurses (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA], 2004). Although the basis for this gender imbalance has been discussed in the literature, there is a paucity of data regarding reasons why men choose nursing as a career, perceived barriers experienced in practice, and factors associated with career satisfaction. A descriptive design was used by the researchers to examine these questions among a group of male registered nurses (N = 250) in one Canadian province. Knowledge about reasons why men choose nursing, the barriers they experience in practice, and information about factors that impact career satisfaction may help to attract men into the nursing profession, and aid development of recruitment and retention strategies.


Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2005). Annual Report 2004-2005. St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2005). 2005 workplace profile of registered nurses in Canada. Ottawa, Ontario

Boughn, S. (1994). Why do men choose nursing? Nursing and Health Care, 15(8), 406-411.

Boughn, S. (2001). Why women and men choose nursing. Nursing and Health Care Perspectives, 22(1), 14-19.

Buerhaus, P.I., Donelan, K., Norman, L., & Dittus, R. (2005). Nursing students’ perceptions of a career in nursing and impact of a national campaign designed to attract people into the nursing profession. Journal of Professional Nursing, 21(2), 75-83.

Hanvey, L. (2003). Men in nursing. Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Nurses Association. Hart, K.A., (2005). What do men in nursing really think? Survey respondents speak out. Nursing, 35(11), 46-48.

Hoffman, A.J., & Scott, L.D. (2003). Role stress and career satisfaction among registered nurses by work shift patterns. Journal of Nursing Administration, 33(6), 337-342.

Jinks, A.M., & Bradley, E. (2004). Angel, handmaiden, battleaxe or whore? A study which examines changes in newly recruited student nurses’ attitudes to gender and nursing stereotypes. Nurse Education Today, 24(2), 121-127.

Kovner, C., Brewer, C., Wu, Y.W., Cheng, Y, & Suzuki, M. (2006). Factors associated with work satisfaction of registered nurses. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 38(1),


Mackintosh, C. (1997). A historical study of men in nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 26(2), 232-236.

Meadus, R.J. (2000). Men in nursing: Barriers to recruitment. Nursing Forum, 35(3), 5-12.

Poliafico, J.K. (1998). Nursing’s gender gap. RN, 61(10), 39-42.

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). (March), 2007). The Men in Nursing Interest Group (MINIG). Retrieved March 23, 2007 from

Rheaume, A., Woodside, R., Gautreau, G. & Ditommaso, E. (2003). Why students choose nursing. Canadian Nurse, 99(5), 25-29.

Shaver, K.H., & Lacey, L.M. (2003). Job and career satisfaction among staff nurses. Journal of Nursing Administration, 33(3), 166-172.

Sochalski, J. (2002). Nursing shortage redux: Turning the corner on an enduring problem. Health Affairs, 21(5), 157-164.

The American Assembly for Men in Nursing. (Sept, 2005). Retrieved September 6, 2005 from

The University of Iowa College of Nursing Men in Nursing Mentoring Task Force. (May, 2006). Retrieved May, 22, 2007 from

Trossman, S. (2003). Caring knows no gender. American Journal of Nursing, 103(5), 65-68.

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. (May, 2007). The registered nurses population: Findings from the 2004 national sample chapter III: The registered nurse population 2004. Retrieved May 14, 2007 from

Zysberg L. & Berry, D.M. (2005). Gender and students’ vocational choices in entering the field of nursing. Nursing Outlook, 53(4), 193-198.




How to Cite

Twomey, J. C., & Meadus, R. . (2008). Despite the Barriers Men Nurses are Satisfied with Career Choices. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 7(1), 30–34. Retrieved from