Nursing should be rebranded as gender neutral through a national campaign to attract more men into the profession, according to a major report commissioned by Scotland’s NHS.
The research concluded that nursing is still “inherently seen as a female profession”, which acted as a “powerful deterrent” for many men who might otherwise consider it as a career.
Less than 10 per cent of student nurses in Scotland are male, a figure that has barely changed in the past decade, the study led by academics from four leading universities found.
Men who took part in the research also said the term “male nurse” should be scrapped as it reinforced existing stereotypes, and called for advertising and recruitment flyers to be updated.
The research comes amid concern over a lack of nurses in Scotland and ongoing recruitment problems, which NHS staff have already warned is having an impact on patient safety.
Last year a survey by the Royal College of Nursing warned that staffing levels in hospitals are frequently lower than planned, with nurses having to stay at work longer to make up the difference.
The Men in Nursing report was led by researchers at the University of Dundee in co-operation with colleagues from Edinburgh, West of Scotland and Robert Gordon Universities.
They gathered views from nursing students, university and college lecturers as well as secondary school careers advisers around Scotland.