Readers’ panel: Should universities offer male-only bursaries for nursing students?
Coventry University said last month it will offer bursaries to men who apply for degrees in nursing, midwifery and other healthcare disciplines, giving ten male students £1,000 a year in a bid to address the gender imbalance in these courses. Nursing Standard readers have their say.
Coventry University said last month it will offer bursaries to men who apply for degrees in nursing, midwifery and other healthcare disciplines, giving ten male students £1,000 a year in a bid to address the gender imbalance in these courses. Nursing Standard readers have their say
Andrew Haydon is a second-year adult nursing student at the University of West London
Financial incentives to join a profession that is crying out for more staff could be a great way forward, especially with the loss of the bursary for most students. However, targeting a specific gender could be considered discriminatory, and we need to encourage all sexes into nursing. It is more important to tackle gender stereotyping, with health services actively going into schools to start breaking down these stereotypes and the myths surrounding nursing.
Sabrina Ffrench is a second-year adult nursing student at the University of Wolverhampton
Nursing is a demanding course that requires care, determination and strength, and I believe all nursing students should be entitled to a bursary. However, figures from UCAS show that just 10% of nursing students in the UK last year were men, so I can understand why Coventry University is taking this approach. Hopefully, this incentive to encourage more men to take up nursing courses will mean more men joining the nursing workforce.
Ewout van Sabben is a second-year children’s nursing student at the University of West London
Promoting nursing as non-gender specific would be more beneficial than handing out money just to get more testosterone on the front line. The money would be better spent educating young people about the amazing possibilities that come with a nursing career. Along with great male role models, and getting rid of the outdated image of nursing, that would be crucial to getting more men into nursing and making it a more accessible profession for all.
Jessica Ross graduated from the University of Nottingham in July 2016 and is now an emergency department staff nurse
I agree that a more gender-equal nurse ratio in the NHS is something we should strive for. Preferential financial payments to one gender are not the way to achieve it. Financial inequality is still an issue. Should male nurses also be paid more to try and bridge the gap? If the answer is no, the same should apply to bursary payments.
Lauren Ferrier is a third-year mental health nursing student at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen
Although there are initiatives to encourage women into male-dominated industries, women still tend to be paid less than men for the same job due to issues such as taking time out of work to raise children. These bursary payments could end up being another way that women become worse off. Additionally, my male colleagues were drawn to the job by a motivation to help others, and feel that monetary incentives may attract the wrong type of men into nursing.
Readers panel members give their views in a personal capacity only