Support network uses social media to attract men into nursing

Facebook and Twitter groups connect students with nurses to promote profession

Facebook and Twitter groups connect students with nurses to promote profession 

Nursing students and lecturers have set up a network that aims to encourage more men into the profession.

Sheffield Hallam University’s Men into Nursing Together (MINT) project uses social media to connect male and female nursing students with registered nurses to share their experiences of studying and working in nursing.

Wide reach

The group has attracted 1,700 members since it was established in 2018, with individuals joining from the UK, United States, Australia and South Africa.

In 2018, 10.6% of nurses in the UK were men, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Positive role-modelling

MINT group chair Dave Gwinnell

Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) nursing student and MINT group chair Dave Gwinnell said: ‘Those involved in MINT often meet to take part in charity events that seek to promote positive role-modelling, and these continue to attract new members.

‘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 men and women.

‘MINT aims to highlight the career opportunities in nursing, and to encourage more men into the profession.’

Rebranding exercise

SHU principal lecturer in adult nursing David Wood said: ‘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 nursing students, need to visit schools and colleges to talk to boys about a career in nursing.’

Alternative view

However, not everyone is a fan of male-focused recruitment campaigning, and the RCN’s 2018 congress rejected a call for a strategy that targets men. 

Speaking during the congress debate, RCN public health forum chair Jason Warriner said: ‘What we should have is a strategy to promote nursing as a career for everyone, regardless of their gender.’

Further information

Visit the Twitter page for Men into Nursing Together

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