5 things to know about male nurses in the US

In the 1800s, nursing was considered a masculine profession in the Unite States partly due to its association with the military, but perceptions began to shift in the early 1900s when laws meant to encourage equality created barriers to steer males away from the nursing profession, according to research from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan.

In addition to the passage of laws designed to hinder male enrollment in nursing, many nursing schools refused to admit men in the 1900s. This practice was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1981. However, the stigmatization of so-called "pink collar" jobs and America's culture of masculinity continue to drive gender disparities in the field of nursing.

Here are five statistics on male nurses compiled by researchers from MidAmerica Nazarene University.

1. Nationwide, there are 333,000 professionally active male nurses and 3.2 million active female nurses.

2. The national female nurse to male nurse ratio is 9.5 to 1.

3. In 2014, 14 percent of nurses were male. The American Assembly for Men in Nursing has set a goal to boost that number to 20 percent by 2020.

4. Among the 1 percent of total employed nurses working as nurse anesthetists, 41 percent are male. Nurse anesthetists are the highest paid nursing occupation.

5. Though male nurses represent a minority in the profession, the gender pay gap that affects most other occupations still applies. While the average salary for a male nurse is $60,700, the average salary for a female nurse is $51,100.

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