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Men comprise almost 6% of all nurses and, until now, represented a largely untapped resource for the nursing universe.1 With the extreme nursing shortage predicted to extend into 2012, we must continue to do our utmost to attract the best and brightest nurses to the field.2 If we can make a career in nursing more appealing to men by recruiting them to and retaining them in our nursing schools and, ultimately, the profession, we'll come one step closer to scaling back the shortage.
Men in Nursing is the first bimonthly journal to address the issues most pertinent to us-where the male gender intersects the nursing profession. While our goal is to serve the overall information needs of men who provide nursing care, Men in Nursing will routinely extend its reach to nurses who teach, recruit, hire, retain, and work with us-both male and female.
Together we'll tackle routine and tough issues, such as: What's the best way to put a female patient at ease when performing a physical assessment? How should we address conflicts stemming from gender discrimination on our unit? What can recruiters do to attract more men to the field? And how can faculty and nursing schools adapt their programs to become gender neutral?
As members of the nursing profession, we're stakeholders in ensuring the future growth of our art and discipline. To do my part, I eagerly accepted the editor-in-chief position, and I share the journal's innovative vision. As a registered nurse with 20 years of experience, I know firsthand the unique issues men face on the frontlines of nursing care.
By far, my career path in nursing has been extremely rewarding, both professionally and personally. I've had various opportunities that have led to positive experiences, helping me build a solid foundation for my career. I've been an emergency department (ED) staff nurse, flight nurse, EMS coordinator, supervisor, manager/director of the ED, clinical project specialist, and, currently, director of oncology and community services. Through these opportunities, I've experienced the unique issues all nurses face in their various practice specialties.
From a personal standpoint, I feel honored to have been able to serve the patients who crossed my path. Knowing that I may have been a part of making a difference has reinforced my choice of nursing as a career.
Though I've had major rewards, I've also experienced some negative attitudes toward men in nursing, from the bias against assigning a female patient to a male nursing student, to the assumption that I was only a nurse because I couldn't get into medical school (though, I never had a desire to be a physician!!).
It's our goal to celebrate the male contributions to nursing and to encourage men to pursue this dynamic and rewarding profession. From the bedside to the boardroom, the professional options and personal rewards are endless.
Along with the editorial advisory board and clinical and editorial team, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins is committed to creating a journal that you can turn to for original research on men in nursing, current updates on clinical guidelines, the latest technology trends, career-savvy tips, and personal advice. We invite you to make this journal your own by submitting topic suggestions for future articles, original research, and letters to the editor. Help influence the issues you face as a man in nursing, by e-mailing us at the address below.
Bob Kepshire, RN, MS, CEN
Editor-in-Chief, Director of Oncology and Community Services, University Health Care System, Augusta, GA. firstname.lastname@example.org
1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The Registered nurse population: National sample survey of registered nurses. Preliminary findings. Available at: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/reports/rnpopulation/preliminaryfindings.ht. Accessed January 31, 2006. [Context Link]
2. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Nursing Shortage. Available at: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Media/FactSheets/NursingShortage.htm. Accessed January 31, 2006. [Context Link]
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