As the first man to be elected president of the American Nurses Association, I work to elevate the nursing profession and increase the diversity of nursing across ethnicities and genders. The statistics on demographics in the nursing workforce vary, but they do reveal that the profession is lacking balanced representation across genders.
Previously, decades of legal barriers kept men out of the field, and nursing schools often refused to admit men, a practice deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Women currently make up 90 percent of the nursing workforce, while about 9 percent of nurses in the U.S. are men. That share has grown steadily since 1960 when men accounted for just 2 percent of the nursing workforce. When looking at nursing roles, the highest representation was in nurse anesthetists, with men occupying 41 percent of those positions.