Article Data

  • Views 1332
  • Dowloads 258

Original Research

Open Access


  • Marianne F. Moore1
  • Yue Xie2
  • Patrick Davis3
  • Amanda Scarbrough2

1School of Nursing, Sam Houston State University

2Department of Population Health, Sam Houston State University

3Department of Kinesiology, Sam Houston State University

DOI: 10.15586/jomh.v16i2.221 Vol.16,Issue 2,May 2020 pp.9-17

Published: 04 May 2020

*Corresponding Author(s): Yue Xie E-mail:

PDF (503.3 kB)


Background and Objective

The shortage of male nurses in the United States is a well-known phenomenon that the nursing aca-demia is trying to remedy. This case study examines the experience of a new southwest US nursing program in its recruitment and retention of male nursing students. In the process, the case study will attempt to explore insights on opportunities to improve nursing workforce policies to better attract male recruits into the profession.


Data related to application, enrollment, and retention were retrieved and merged from the school’s application and enrollment systems. Overall, 978 students were enrolled from 2011 to 2019, with 837 females and 141 males. For applications, from 2014 to 2018, there were 2185 applicants, with 1879 females and 306 males. Statistical analyses were done using SPSS version 25 (IBM). Results are shown as means±standard deviation. 


Results show that 14% of the applicants to the program were male, while 14.4% of the enrollees were male. In terms of retention, males had lower (73.8%) retention rates than females (83.9%), although it is not statistically significant (p=0.08). On average, there were significantly fewer male applicants and enrollees (p<0.001) than females, and the differences are getting larger (p<0.001).


Nursing shortage and, more specifically, the lack of male nurses is a well-known phenomenon in healthcare. Nursing schools have attempted to diversify enrollment through the recruitment of more male nursing students; however, their efforts seem to have hit a barrier with a continued shortage of male applicants. To change outcomes, the nursing profession and academia should consider providing more community education and outreach programs targeting students and their parents earlier in their academic careers.


baccalaureate; education; male; nurses; nursing; students 

Cite and Share

Marianne F. Moore,Yue Xie,Patrick Davis,Amanda Scarbrough. SHORTAGE OF MALE NURSING STUDENTS: THE EXPERIENCE OF A GROWING NURSING PROGRAM. Journal of Men's Health. 2020. 16(2);9-17.


1. Evans J. Men nurses: A historical and feminist perspective. J Adv Nurs 2004;47(3):321–8.

2. Landivar LC. Men in nursing occupations. United States Census Bureau; [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2020 Jan 10]. Available from: /Census/library/ working-papers/ 2013/acs/2013_Landivar_02.pdf

3. Moore CJ. Highlights in the history of the Army Nurse Corps [Internet]. [cited 2020 Jan 10]. Available from: 1950-1960

4. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Fact sheet: Enhancing diversity in the nursing workforce [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2020 Jan 10]. Available from:

5. DataUSA. Registered nurses [Internet]. [cited 2020 Jan 10]. Available from: nurses# demographics

6. Muench U, Sindelar J, Busch SH, Buerhaus PI. Salary differences between male and female regis-tered nurses in the United States. JAMA 2015;313(12):1265–7. 2015.1487

7. Hodges EA, Rowsey PJ, Gray TF, et al. Bridging the gender divide: Facilitating the educational path for men in nursing. J Nurs Educ 2017 May 1;56(5):295–9. 70421-08

8. Younas A, Sundus A, Zeb H, Sommer J. A mixed methods review of male nursing students’ challenges during nursing education and strategies to tackle these challenges. J Prof Nurs 2019;35(4), 260–76. 01.008

9. McDonald M, Brown J, Knihnitski C. Student perception of initial transition into a nursing pro-gram: A mixed methods research study. Nurse Educ Today 2018;64:85–92. 10.1016/j.nedt.2018.01.028

 10. Kapphahn CJ, Wilson KM, Klein JD. Adolescent girls’ and boys’ preferences for provider gender and confidentiality in their health care. J Adolesc Health 1999 August;25(2):131–42. https://doi. org/10.1016/S1054-139X(99)00050-6

 11. Turchik JA, McLean C, Rafie S, et al. Perceived barriers to care and provider gender preferences among veteran men who have experienced mili-tary sexual trauma: A qualitative analysis. Psychol Serv 2013;10(2):213–22.

 12. Sullivan Commission. Missing persons: Minorities in the health professions, a report of the Sullivan Commission on diversity in the healthcare work-force [Internet]. [cited 2020 Jan 10]. Available from:

 13. National League for Nursing. Biennial Survey of Schools of Nursing Survey Highlights 2017–2018 [Internet]. [cited 2020 Jan 10]. Available from: pdf ?sfvrsn=0

 14. Brody AA, Farley JE, Gillespie GL, et al. Diversity dynamics: The experience of male Robert Wood Johnson Foundation nurse faculty scholars. Nurs Outlook 2017;65(3):278–88.

 15. Munnich E, Wozniak A. What explains the rising share of US men in registered nursing? ILR Rev 2020 January;73(1):91–123. 1177%2F0019793919838775

 16. Scarbrough AW, Xie Y, Shelton SR. Parental guidance required: How parents could help reduce the shortage of minority physician assistants. J Phys Assist Educ 2017 September;28(3):153–5.

Abstracted / indexed in

Science Citation Index Expanded Created as SCI in 1964, Science Citation Index Expanded now indexes over 9,200 of the world’s most impactful journals across 178 scientific disciplines. More than 53 million records and 1.18 billion cited references date back from 1900 to present.

Social Sciences Citation Index Social Sciences Citation Index contains over 3,400 journals across 58 social sciences disciplines, as well as selected items from 3,500 of the world’s leading scientific and technical journals. More than 9.37 million records and 122 million cited references date back from 1900 to present.

Current Contents - Social & Behavioral Sciences Current Contents - Social & Behavioral Sciences provides easy access to complete tables of contents, abstracts, bibliographic information and all other significant items in recently published issues from over 1,000 leading journals in the social and behavioral sciences.

Current Contents - Clinical Medicine Current Contents - Clinical Medicine provides easy access to complete tables of contents, abstracts, bibliographic information and all other significant items in recently published issues from over 1,000 leading journals in clinical medicine.

SCOPUS Scopus is Elsevier's abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Scopus covers nearly 36,377 titles (22,794 active titles and 13,583 Inactive titles) from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields: life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences.

DOAJ DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

CrossRef Crossref makes research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse. Crossref committed to open scholarly infrastructure and collaboration, this is now announcing a very deliberate path.

Portico Portico is a community-supported preservation archive that safeguards access to e-journals, e-books, and digital collections. Our unique, trusted process ensures that the content we preserve will remain accessible and usable for researchers, scholars, and students in the future.

Submission Turnaround Time