More men heading into nursing nationally, at UWEC

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EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - More men are heading into nursing, now representing nearly ten percent of all registered nurses according to a new study from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The study said males only represented 2.7 percent of registered nurses in 1970, but rose to 9.6 percent by 2011. U.W. Eau Claire's nursing program fluctuates from seven to 13 percent.

"Ten years ago, back when I worked at the hospital, they assumed you were a doctor and then when they found out you were wanting to become a nurse, they were like, 'Why would you want to become a nurse, why not become a doctor?'" UWEC nursing junior Lorin Divine said.

"People have different needs and the more representative we are of society, I think the better we are to meet those needs of the patients we care for," UWEC College of Nursing and Health Sciences Dean Linda Young said.

"I like that nursing's a mix of both very hands on technical skills, but also high level critical thinking, problem solving type skills as well," Divine said.

"As society is changing, that stigma is going away too," Marshfield Clinic nurse practitioner Steve Gessert said.

"I just like the flexibility, that without having to completely change careers, I can get a completely different experience," Divine said.

"They refer to it as a 'murse'; a 'murse' yeah. You kind of chuckle about it, but for me, it's something you're passionate about and something you wanna do, like I said, it doesn't matter," UWEC nursing junior Patrick Marsh said. "I don't care what other people think, I’m gonna do what makes me happy and try to help as many people as possible."

The study said male nurses do make more money than female nurses, but that may be due to more working in anesthetics, a higher paying job.

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