Nursing students and lecturers at Sheffield Hallam University have established a national support network that aims to encourage more men into the profession.
The Men in Nursing Together (MINT) project connects male and female nursing students and registered nurses across the UK to enable them to share their experiences of being a student nurse and working in a clinical environment.
Whilst figures vary depending on the type of nursing that is being studied, the average number of male nursing students has stalled at around nine percent nationally in recent years and has historically been significantly lower compared to their female counterparts.
MINT aims to help increase the number of men studying nursing as well as promote the profession as a career path.
The project has grown significantly since it launched in 2018 and now has connections across the UK with both men and women in all disciplines of nursing, students and qualified practitioners, coming together via the MINT Facebook and Twitter networks to help recruit the next generation of nurses.
Dave Gwinnell, chair of the MINT group and a student nurse at Sheffield Hallam, said: “Caring is central to nursing but caring is still predominantly seen as a role performed by women. However, caring can be done equally well by both men and women. MINT aims to highlight the opportunities of nursing as a career, and to encourage more men into the profession.
“Those involved in MINT often meet to take part in charity events that seek to promote positive role-modelling and continue to attract new members. MINT has more than 1,700 active members, from around the world including Australia, the United States and South Africa and we’re continuing to grow significantly.”
David Wood, principal lecturer in adult nursing at Sheffield Hallam, said: “Nursing is an exciting, challenging and rewarding career, but it would benefit from including more men. It is still seen as a female profession, which is not helped by some of the gendered job titles, such as ‘matron’ and ‘sister’ which need rebranding with gender-neutral job titles.
“Gender stereotypes are formed at a young age, so more work is needed with children of school age to change this. Nursing needs to be presented as a good career choice for boys in schools. Male nurses working in clinical practice and male student nurses need to go into all schools and colleges to talk to boys about a career in nursing.”
The University is the largest provider of health and social care education in England. With courses covering all aspects of healthcare including nursing, midwifery, allied health, social care and sport, its curriculum creates the skilled workforce the NHS needs to deliver better long-term health outcomes for the nation.
Over the last five years, more than 8,000 students have qualified as healthcare professionals from Sheffield Hallam.
For press information: Tim Ward in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 5220 or email email@example.com