Exploring gender-related experiences of male nurses in selected hospitals in eThekwini district with specific reference to recruitment and retention of men in nursing.
Background: The health care systems across are characterised by the gross shortage of nurses. A number of initiatives have been reported which seek to address this challenge. Literature shows that males remain an inadequately tapped source, They remain a minority in nursing compared to their female counterparts. Literature also shows that gender-based barriers for male nurses exist. The purpose of this study was to explore gender-related constructs that influence the recruitment and retention of men in nursing as experienced by male nurses in three selected hospitals in the eThekwini district. Research Methodology: A qualitative, explorative and descriptive design was used in this study to illuminate the views of male nurses regarding their recruitment and retention in nursing .. Purposive sampling was used to select male nurses from three hospitals for interviews and a total of 37 participants participated in this study. The participants were drawn from private and public hospitals. Data was collected through individual and focus group interviews and was analyzed qualitatively. Research Findings: Four major themes emerged from data. These included the journey to nursing, experiences of males in the nursing profession, retention of male nurses and strategies to recruit and retain males in nursing. Findings from the groups and categories of males in nursing in different hospitals showed similarities which reflected that the barriers faced by men in the nursing profession were still pervasive, consistent and had undergone few changes over time. Recommendations: Recommendations were categorised into community, general education, nursing education, nursing practice and nursing research.