Staff from Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) department of nursing and community health have launched a “men are nurses too” social media awareness drive and are also planning to visit schools.
Former boxer turned GCU nursing lecturer Stevie Morrison, who is involved in a research collaborative reporting to the Scottish government on how best to increase the number of men in nursing, said it was “vitally important” to get the message to children as young as possible that nursing was for both sexes.
The issue of the gender disparity in nursing has caught national attention this year and was the focus of this month’s edition of Nursing Times.
The GCU nursing department, where 25% of staff are men, has established a new Twitter page called @GCUMenRnurses2 and is using the hashtag #GCUMenRnurses2 to spread the word.
Latest figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) show male applicants for nursing courses in Scotland by the January deadline increased by 11% from 370 in 2018 to 410 in 2019, but are still down from 460 in 2010.
Bosses at GCU say the number of men studying nursing there is on the up but men still only represent 8% of the university’s 1,844 student nurses.
The university’s deputy vice chancellor, Professor James Miller, is a former nurse himself.
He said: “With my own background in nursing, I was delighted that GCU is playing a leading role in encouraging more men to enter the profession.”
The campaign has been backed by Glasgow Shettleston MSP John Mason, whose sister Kay Dalby studied nursing at GCU in 1977 when it was called Glasgow College of Technology.
He said: “I think GCU’s new social media campaign @GCUMenRnurses2 to encourage more men into nursing is a great idea.
“It’s good to hear they are planning to take that message into schools to help break down those gender stereotypes from a young age,” Mr Mason added.