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Sharing learning from our attracting diversity project

Published: 24/05/2017

This week we shine a spotlight on Edinburgh Napier University’s Attracting Diversity project working to attract more men into nursing.

This week’s blog in our series, highlighting the progress of our attracting diversity project in Scotland, is from Edinburgh Napier University.

The Edinburgh Napier University project, Attracting Diversity: Men into Nursing, encompasses two elements:

  • A study to investigate and develop a contextual understanding of what attracts or is a barrier to males entering the profession,
  • and a pilot of a Positive Action Intervention.

The analysis of data focused on gender imbalance in undergraduate nursing at Edinburgh Napier University. A mixed methods approach was employed to gain a better understanding of male nurses’ perspectives on the barriers for men to enter nursing. The findings of this study would provide insights into how the views of men in nursing at Edinburgh Napier align with the wider landscape, and inform a pilot positive action intervention activity.

The study concluded that our male nurses encounter comparable gender barriers to those nationally and internationally in terms of stereotypes, in a female-dominated profession. We identified that those who have embarked on a nursing career found it to be a positive experience and do not see gender/gender relations as a particular barrier, although they were highly aware of barriers that exist.

Notably, the researchers found that the number of male school leavers entering the profession to be low, indicating a need to further explore this area.

Based on this data, a positive action intervention was developed under the banner, ‘Beyond the Theory’; a tailored recruitment event held in September 2016. The purpose was to demonstrate the attractiveness of nursing as a career. We generated interest by targeting schools and the Edinburgh Napier website.

During the event, different nursing opportunities were presented. It also provided opportunities for potential candidates to gain advice from the school’s Programme Advisor of Studies. We evaluated the event by speaking to participants throughout the day, and it was positively appraised by the participants. The next stages of the project will include a further tailored event of this nature, and learning from the data gathered throughout the process.

Christine Pollock & Laurie Anne Campbell

Edinburgh Napier University