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Men Now Comprise ~10 Percent of RN Workforce

Last Updated: October 18, 2017.

The increasing participation of men in registered nursing can be attributed to multiple factors, including increasing educational attainment, rising labor demand in health care, and liberalizing gender role attitudes, according to a working paper published by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing participation of men in registered nursing can be attributed to multiple factors, including increasing educational attainment, rising labor demand in health care, and liberalizing gender role attitudes, according to a working paper published by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

Elizabeth Munnich, Ph.D., from the University of Louisville, and Abigail Wozniak, Ph.D., from the University of Notre Dame, explored the reasons behind the increasing participation of U.S. men in registered nursing.

The researchers note that the data show a strong upward profile in age, with men becoming more likely to report a nursing occupation as they age through their 20s and early 30s. About 50 percent of the increase is attributed to increasing educational attainment, particularly high school completion; rising labor demand in health care; and liberalizing gender role attitudes. Poor early labor market conditions in a cohort's birth state and immigrant inflows are associated with less movement of men into nursing.

"Men now comprise about 10 percent of the RN workforce, and their increasing share in this workforce has unfolded while the rate of women choosing nursing has increased much less dramatically," the authors write. "We find that longer-run demographic and economic trend factors play an important role in the rising share of U.S. men choosing an RN career, but there are many options for policymakers interested in encouraging more men to enter the nursing field."

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