Men are finding a career niche in nursing -- even getting more rich. "A predicted shortage has led to recruiting and retraining efforts to increase the pool of nurses," said Karen Daley, president of the American Nurses Association, who adds that the profession is attractive for a variety of reasons.
"The work is rewarding and versatile. This is a career with job security, and the salaries are very competitive. Men are more likely to be in the subfields with higher earnings -- nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists."
There were 3.5 million employed nurses in 2011. Though women made up 91% of the nursing workforce, men had higher earnings. In that year; men, on average, earned $60,700 a year, compared with $51,100 a year for women. The highest percentage of men was among nurse anesthetists, 41%. Male nurse anesthetists earned about $162,900 a year.
"The more diverse our profession gets, the better it is for patients. It's very important that our diversification reflects what is happening in the larger population," Daley explained.