Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


The profession of nursing is facing an imminent shortage of health care providers within its discipline. Registered Nurses comprise the largest group of health care professionals in the United States. The profession of nursing has experienced cycles of worker shortages in the past but this current situation is predicted to be unlike previous shortages. Efforts to alleviate previous nurse shortages focused primarily on efforts to glorify the feminine image of nursing to increase the recruitment of young women into the profession but the profession can no longer rely on an unlimited supply of women to become nurses because of an increased competition with other professions. Nursing needs to change its focus and recruitment strategies from that of white, relatively young, unmarried women to candidates who are from ethnic minorities, individuals embarking on a second career, other health care workers and men to fill present and future vacancies. In order to make gains to the profession with recruitment efforts, retention strategies must also be addressed. Currently, men constitute nearly six percent of the total number of registered nurses in the workforce and this percentage has varied very little over many years.

The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of male nurses who practiced in various roles that included the provision of direct patient care using the phenomenological research paradigm. The sample for this study consisted of twelve male registered nurses. One-on-one interviews were conducted utilizing a semi-structured guide.

Categories identified from the data were societal stereotypes, women's work, working with women, vulnerability, entitlement, and career satisfaction. The final assertion for this study was: The men in this study displayed strength, persistence, and perseverance to make the decision to become nurses; to finish their education in a timely manner; and to carve out a niche that has given them job satisfaction while maintaining a sense of superiority to work as professional registered nurses. Strategies for the recruitment and retention were developed from this study. The information obtained can be used to formulate further studies to help develop strategies to ease the present and the predicted impending nursing shortages.

Included in

Psychology Commons