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Men in Nursing, Nurse Recruitment, Nursing Career, Theory of Planned Behavior



  1. Palazzo, Steven J.
  2. Erickson, Mark S.


AIM: The aim of this study was to understand male high school students' perceptions of nursing as a professional career choice.


BACKGROUND: Nursing is predominantly female, with male nurses accounting for less than 10 percent of the nursing workforce.


METHOD: A 32-item descriptive survey that contained demography items and constructs of the theory of planned behavior was administered to 820 high school students from a large Pacific Northwest school district.


RESULTS: Male students scored higher (less positive) relative to female students on all scales. When gay and bisexual male students were compared to female students, there was no statistically significant difference. Gay and bisexual male students scored significantly lower (more positive) than straight male students.


CONCLUSION: Self-identified female individuals and self-identified gay and/or bisexual male individuals have a more positive perception of the nursing profession than other self-identified male individuals. Nurse educators should work with high schools, schools of nursing, and nursing professional organizations to implement strategies to recruit male high school students.