I want to start by thanking Men in Nursing for opening my eyes to an issue I lived with but never understood. Gender bias in our profession is pervasive and harmful to the job we are trying to accomplish. It's also extremely evident in our educational system. As a senior at Norwich University (the oldest private military school in the nation) I am one of three men in my nursing class. This is in stark contrast to the 17:1 male-to-female ratio at the university.
Male nursing students need to advocate for themselves, their peers, and for a change in how nursing sees and portrays itself. Gender bias is an issue I have spent a majority of my senior year talking about. We need change in our nursing programs across America.
As more men enter the profession, the education system that supports nursing needs to be more gender friendly. It's the only way we'll retain men in nursing school, thus, in nursing. However, this is not an easy subject to talk about in school. Many think such discussions are overreactions and don't want to listen.
Change is hard. But the only way is for us to advocate for it. The message is clear. We need to encourage our male nursing students to stand up against gender bias and advocate for change. Once we can change the image in nursing schools, we can change an image that is so pervasive in our profession.
Robert A. Fabich Jr., NREMT-I, FF1