Date of Award

12-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Theresa L. Pulos

Second Supervisor

Cathleen McColgin

Abstract

Currently, studies show that men are underrepresented in the nursing profession. The Health Resources and Services Administration (2013) found that although men comprise 49% of the population, only 9% of the nursing workforce is male. Additionally, there are predictions of an impending nursing shortage, related in part to an ageing nursing workforce and health care reform. Increasing the number of men could be a possible solution to the shortage. This may be accomplished by retaining male students in nursing education, although studies have identified many factors that impact negatively on their retention. The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (2000) reported that a diverse workforce is vital in order to reflect the changing characteristics of the general population. Given the projections of an impending nursing shortage, cultural and gender diversity becomes even more imperative. The research study used a qualitative phenomenological research design to explore the educational culture surrounding the male student in associate degree nursing programs in New York State. The findings revealed four major categories including: (1) navigating through the educational process, (2) redefining the nursing role, (3) ways of knowing, and (4) fulfilling destiny. Male nursing students are still blazing a trail that must be conquered, and much can be learned from their lived experiences. The retention of men during their nursing education program is key to reducing the proposed shortage of nurses and increasing the diversity of the profession. This study adds to the knowledge base of the male experience in nursing education, and the results could change the nursing educational culture.

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