Number of male nurses on the rise

Story by Rhonda Amore

The nursing profession is experiencing a noticeable demographic shift. Males are becoming nurses at increasing rates as evidenced in top news magazines, including The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of male RN’s has increased threefold, rising from 2.7% in 1970 to 9.6% in 2011. The added diversity of male nurses is reshaping the profession, and many of those men are choosing nursing because of an attractive job market, enhanced technology, and expanded growth opportunities.

As Cox College continues to grow, so has the number of our male nursing graduates. Cox College admitted its first males (as transfer students) in 1965 when it was known as Burge School of Nursing. The first two male graduates, Lee “Alex” Miller and Rodney Hoover, graduated in 1974. Today, our institution is seeing a higher trend as 12% of Cox College graduates in 2014 were males, and 13.2% of graduates in 2016 were males.

Randy Melton, BSN, graduated from both Burge (1981) and Cox College (2014), and was introduced to nursing as a junior in high school when his mother was in a traumatic car accident. This significant event required an extended stay in the hospital, and it was at this time Randy began to entertaining nursing as a career. Today, Randy has enjoyed multiple job opportunities over his 36-year nursing career, ranging from the ICU to his current position as Nurse Manager of Meyer Orthopedic Rehabilitation Hospital (MORH) and Same Day Surgery (PACU) Departments at CoxHealth.

Gary Miller, BSN graduate in 2017, cited the quick hiring opportunity CoxHealth MICU offered as a stress reducer during his final semester of school. Current BSN Student, Brad Neiman, shared a similar experience when he was offered an RN position months before graduation.

“The thing I love most about the nursing field is the multitude of opportunities it offers,” Neiman said.

Kyle Shaw, BSN graduate, chose the nursing profession because nurses are involved in every aspect of care.  Currently, Kyle is employed at CoxHealth NTICU, where he assesses, analyzes, and interprets patient data for critical care of patients.

Shaw stated, “I love what I do and could not imagine having picked a different career.”

Becoming a nurse has additional benefits such as earning a competitive salary immediately upon graduation, having plentiful job opportunities, and just being in demand. Watching the profession grow and expand to include more male nurses is equally exciting and adds another level of diversity and perspective to patient care.




Source: Gross, L. (2013). More men join nursing field as stigma starts to fade. USA Today. Retrieved from