Number of male nurses showing slow, steady rise

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee is following a national trend in a slow, steady rise of men in the nursing profession.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that as of 2011, 9.6 percent of all registered nurses in the U.S. were male. That percentage has tripled in three decades, from 2.7 percent in 1970.

Vanderbilt University professor of nursing Peter Buerhaus told The Tennessean the social stigmas associated with men in nursing are disappearing. Buerhaus thinks the economic benefits are attracting more males to the field.

Buerhaus said he thinks men choose nursing instead of other careers in medicine for some of the same reasons women do. For one thing, he said, it often means more direct involvement with patients, the community and families, and more emphasis on prevention.


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