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Student voice

Missing: where have all the male nursing students gone?

Fewer men are applying to nursing courses and we need to do more to attract them into the profession, says new nursing student columnist Chris Steele
Christopher Steele

Research conducted by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service shows a decline in men applying for nursing degree courses in recent years. Across the UKs nursing student population, only 10% are men and men account for 11% of students on children's nursing courses.

Nursing is largely seen as a profession for women because they are more naturally caring, gentle and compassionate. This is true in some cases, however men can also have these qualities. It is archaic to assume that boys should aspire to take up stereotypically male careers.

Dangerous assumptions

The government has encouraged more women to pursue careers in traditionally male professions in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths. Whereas in 2016, Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom expressed her caution over men who work in childcare because paedophiles are drawn to working with children. If people have profoundly unsettling views like this, what


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