Following International Men’s Day, the Australian College of Nursing is highlighting the nursing profession’s leading role in shifting harmful gender stereotypes and improving health outcomes for men, while also calling for more men to consider a career in nursing.
The theme for the recent IMD 2022 was ‘helping men and boys’. ACN CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said, ‘This is a challenge I am proud to say the nursing profession is leading across Australia and the world.
‘For too long, the “she’ll be right mate” tough guy attitude has dominated men’s approaches to their health and society,’ she said. ‘This has affected their engagement with the health system, resulting in poor preventive health practices and an over-representation in conditions like mental health, heart disease and preventable cancers.’
Adjunct Professor Ward continued, ‘In the nursing profession, harmful masculine stereotypes around caring have contributed to men making up only 11.5 per cent of all Australian nurses, according to the latest registration data from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
‘However, these entrenched social norms are beginning to change, and the Australian College of Nursing is at the forefront of the charge for change.’
Showing the way
The Australian College of Nursing CEO said she wanted to acknowledge all the champions challenging traditions to create a more equitable society.
‘At ACN, we have seen this through our Men in Nursing campaign that focuses on highlighting the benefits a nursing career offers men, and encouraging men that #itsoktocare when choosing their vocation.
‘Increasing the number of men in nursing in Australia will tackle gender equity and allow more men the opportunity to join Australia’s most trusted, ethical and respected profession,’ she said.
‘This could go a long way to enhancing the predicted workforce shortages our profession will face by 2030 and beyond.
‘As a champion of diversity, I will always speak out to ensure the composition of our profession reflects Australian society and that all Australians have access to a health professional who best suits their needs – regardless of gender, race, religion or any other contributing factor.’
You can learn more about ACN’s Men in Nursing initiative by visiting: acn.edu.au/men-in-nursing.