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Publication

Man enough to care: Experiences of men working in the female dominated profession of nursing in the state of Oklahoma

Sayman, Donna M.
Abstract
Scope and Method of Study: The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of men in the female dominated profession of nursing in the State of Oklahoma. This study sought to: understand the experiences of men working in and those who have left the field, utilize interview data to suggest changes to provide support for men in nursing schools and on the job, explore how men manage their concept of masculinity in a female-dominated occupation and elicit changes that might focus on recruiting campaigns. The methodology employed was a qualitative design grounded in a critical feminist and symbolic interactionism frame. The scope of this study included 10 men who are currently or who have worked as nurses in the State of Oklahoma.
Findings and Conclusions: The findings suggested that nursing is saturated with particular gendered beliefs and processes that can shape nurses' experiences. This study elicited information on both of the research questions: 1.) what are the experiences of men who enter the female-dominated profession of nursing while in nursing school and how are these experiences gendered? and, 2.) what are the work experiences of men in the female-dominated profession of nursing and how is this personal knowledge gendered? A particularly striking finding that emerged from this study was the discovery of how men managed their concept of masculinity in a female-dominated occupation. Recognition and understanding of these impressions are significant in order to determine how to provide more support for me in nursing. Through inductive and deductive analysis, four major themes emerged: "Empowerment", "Expertise", "Communication", and "Identity". Two sub-themes associated with "Empowerment: were 1.) Segregated job opportunities within nursing, and, 2.) Issues of advancement. Four sub-themes were also associated with "Identity": 1.) Confusion with being the doctor, 2.) Feelings of exploitation by peers, 3.) Reactions to overt and subtle stereotyping, and, 4.) Men's frustration with pervasive feminine concepts of nursing. Many of these themes reflected gendered identities in occupations. It is hoped that this research may assist nursing education to recognize the unique needs of men in nursing and for the profession to be able to recruit and retain more men into the field of nursing.
Date
2009-12