By Jadryn Dick
With men only making up one in 10 of all graduating nurses in Western Australia, a call has been made for the state government to invest in advertising the nursing profession to a male audience.
“Nursing has always been a female dominated profession, it’s got a real stigma,” said Darren Falconer, Assistant Dean at Notre Dame’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.
“It’s about breaking that stigma,” said Mr Falconer.
Steven Moylan, a third year nursing student at Notre Dame agrees that there is a stigma attached to nursing.
“Even when I’m on prac… you’re wearing a uniform that clearly says School of Nursing but you’ll still get mistaken by patients for a doctor.”
Steven also believes there is not enough being done to encourage young men into nursing with many government policies only in the drafting stages.
Men in Nursing is a campaign video made by Mr Falconer and a team of academics being shown in schools to draw males towards the profession.
“Many males come into nursing as a second career choice, not straight out of school, which tells us it’s not really being sold to them,” said Mr Falconer.
He said there has, however, been a trend for graduating male nurses moving into the emergency departments and intensive care units as they tend to go for a more technical-based job or, as he describes it, a job with ‘more edge’.
Mr Falconer also said the School of Nursing and Midwifery does not use the term ‘male nurse’ because it wants to get rid of the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding the course.
“At the end of the day we’re all nurses.”