Shortage spurs male nurse call

Torrens University students Emmanuel Oni, Micheal Williams and Kaplan Singh with three-month-old twins Logan and James. Picture: Alex Coppel. Courtesy: Herald Sun

Most blokes would admit they’re better at nursing a hangover than any bouncing new born. But men are in demand when it comes to Australia’s largest single health profession.

The push for more male nurses is on amid planning projections that the nation’s need for qualified carers is set to significantly exceed supply.

THINK Education health general manager Kath Curry said a nursing career offered great opportunities for males.

“Nursing is a very attractive occupation for career opportunities and progression and the increasing need to focus on the health issues facing men; it’s encouraging to see so many males choosing to enter the profession.”

“While encouraged that males make up 15 per cent of our students, I’m most proud that we are providing a safe and encouraging place for male nursing students to study.”

THINK Education has been offering nursing training for the last two years but of its 968 enrolled across campuses only 130 are men.

In Melbourne, there are 375 enrolled nursing students and just 53 male

Australia’s Future Health Workforce report into nursing released by the Department of Health showed Australia’s demand for nurses will significantly exceed supply, with a projected shortfall of approximately 85,000 nurses by 2025, or 123,000 nurses by 2030.

Ms Curry said male nurses were sometimes preferred by patients when it came to addressing issues that could be perceived as embarrassing.

“It’s really important for more male nurses to be at the bedside, to be role models for both physical and mental health.”

The Future Health report presented long-term, national workforce planning projections for nurses to 2030 and provided an overview of Australia’s current nursing workforce’s demographics and characteristics. It claimed Australia needed more nurses to keep up with staff shortages and turnover and with fewer men, some great talent remained untapped.

THINK Education currently offers a Diploma of Nursing and will launch a Bachelor of Nursing in 2019 via Torrens University.