More must be done to encourage men into nursing to help “diversify” the profession and address the recruitment crisis, a MSP has warned.
The call from Miles Briggs, a Scottish Conservative who represents Lothian, comes ahead of a men in nursing network event due to take place on Friday.
“I totally think we need to do more to encourage more men to consider nursing”
The event, which has been set up by the Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) men in nursing network, will be held at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and invites people to talk about the cause.
The ENU men in nursing team believe that being a man in the profession can be an “isolating experience” and so decided to build the network to try and change this.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s event, Mr Briggs said: “I think for too long young men have avoided professions which were historically seen as only appealing to females, such as nursing, and I totally think we need to do more to encourage more men to consider nursing as a career path in the NHS.
“It would diversify the workforce, something that’s always worth doing, but more importantly help address the recruitment crisis now and in future,” he added.
“There is absolutely no reason why men can’t go into nursing, and the days of thinking otherwise are long gone,” he said.
The call follows recent figures which revealed the trend in male nursing staff had dropped between 2011 and 2017 to a seven-year low.
“There is absolutely no reason why men can’t go into nursing”
Figures from the Information Services Division Scotland showed there were 6,924 registered nurses who were men in in 2017- a reduction of 49 staff from the previous year.
Numbers reached a high in 2014, with 7,168 nurses who were men, the figures showed.
It means around one in 10 of Scotland’s nurses is a man.
When the figures were released at the end of last year, Mr Briggs said he hoped the SNP government considered a recruitment drive to help encourage men to think about a career in nursing.
The network event will take place at the Coffee Club between 11am and 1pm and is open to anyone interested in talking about men in nursing.