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Gender, Men in nursing, Nursing education, Women's perceptions



  1. McRae, Maureen J. DNSc, RNC


Purpose: To explore the role of men as obstetrical nurses.


Design: Exploratory cross sectional survey using structured and open-ended quesions.


Sample: Three groups: 599 men licensed as Registered Nurses by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 337 District I AWHONN members, and 130 pregnant women.


Analysis: Univariate, bivariate, and logistic regression were performed for the AWHONN and pregnant women groups. Descriptive and narrative summaries for the men who were Registered Nurses.


Results: Seventy-three percent of AWHONN members had positive attitudes toward men in obstetric nursing. The experience of having worked with men in obstetrical nursing roles was the most significant predictor of positive perceptions by AWHONN members. Nurses in the positions of clinical nurse specialists or nurse educators in academia had more negative perceptions of men in this specialty. No predictor variables reached significance for the group of pregnant women. Only 6.8% of the male RNs questioned had ever worked in the specialty, and most reported a lack of interest in working in the specialty of obstetrics.


Clinical Implications: Findings suggest that both clinical and academic settings may need to adopt more nontraditional recruitment and teaching strategies to encourage men to pursue this specialty.