The Scalpel's Blog

14.11.18

More men please!

Kirstie Stott, director of the Inspiring Leaders Network, flips the gender balance debate on its head and asks: why aren’t there more male nurses?

As an advocate for gender equality, I was recently struck by the NHS Provider Board report from NHS Improvement, which is an interesting but not surprising read.

As someone who strongly believes in gender balanced boards and being representative of the communities they serve, it was somewhat unusual to find myself drawn more to the issues of the lack of men than women and the gender and role composition on boards.

The report evidenced that most director of nursing posts are held by women – not surprising given that women form 90% of the nursing workforce. In 2017, the NMC reported that men make up just short of 11% of registered nursing, and this doesn't look like it sets to change since there has been only a 0.1% rise in the number of men on the NMC register, and men entering university to study nursing doesn't look more promising.

Surely this makes nursing one of the most gender separated professions in the UK?

We know that recruitment and retention within healthcare is a global challenge, and that each day more nurses leave the UK register. Figures from 2017 showed that there had been 33,000 nurses leave and that this number now outweighs the number of joiners each year, which was approx. 29,025 in the same year.

In 2017, the register had just over 690,000 nurses and midwives on it. With just short of only 11% (75,000) nurses being male, surely this means that there is a huge wealth of untapped potential in the form of men out there!

Not only having more of a serious conversation about attracting men into the profession will boost numbers, but will also add masses of value as we know that having a diverse workforce will yield better results and outcomes, support better team dynamics, especially when morale is low and challenge traditional ways of working, and particularly in a profession that has been female dominant since its inception.

So, what are the issues? And why don't we see more focus on recruiting men into the profession? There is so much great work being done in other industries such as tech and stem to bridge the gap in gender diversity, and I believe we can learn so much.

Let’s get into schools early and encourage boys to aspire to a caring profession! I would love to see more male driven nursing and midwifery campaigns, and men as role models for the profession going out and promoting the great work they do.

Maybe having more men in the profession will also support the wider issues of gender equality at the top, because the NHS workforce is 77% female. Adding more men at middle and junior levels could surely be a good thing in ensuring the overall workforce is representative of those communities we serve?

 

Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

‘Damaging’ NHS targets ‘have had their day’ claims Lord Prior

15/02/2019‘Damaging’ NHS targets ‘have had their day’ claims Lord Prior

NHS targets “have had their day” according to Lord Prior as the head of the health service launches an attack on 25 years of flawed h... more >
Controversial shake-up of Kent stroke services given rubber stamp amid calls for judicial review

15/02/2019Controversial shake-up of Kent stroke services given rubber stamp amid calls for judicial review

A major reorganisation of stroke services across Kent and Medway have been approved following a unanimous decision by the Joint Committee of CCGs... more >
A&E waiting time performance hits all time low as NHS ‘buckles under the strain’

15/02/2019A&E waiting time performance hits all time low as NHS ‘buckles under the strain’

A&E waiting time performances in NHS trusts in England have hit their lowest level since regards began, according to the latest NHS statistic... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond doubt or dispute, other than in government, that the NHS is inadequately funded. Even the secretary of state has argued that it will need more mon... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

14/02/2019Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

Ahead EvoNorth we caught up with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership. Dr Tracy Vell MBE shares her thoughts on the Northern Powerhouse, what it means to her and why she thinks it’s important to attend EvoNorth.  What does your role as ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >
332 304x150 NHE Callout banner.

comment

Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

14/02/2019Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

Sam Ward, director of commissioned services at the Royal Voluntary Service, argues that the right training can help harness the power of voluntee... more >
Leading and managing experts

14/02/2019Leading and managing experts

A coaching conversation is likely to yield the best results. Managing experts in the health industry can be a challenging and varying responsibil... more >
Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

14/02/2019Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

The health impacts of asbestos in the UK can cast a much wider net than those in the construction and building sector. Liz Darlison, head of serv... more >
ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

14/02/2019ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

Peter Brown, acting head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), explains the importance of good practice in data pr... more >

health service focus

View all News

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >