The medical profession has experienced a large amount of growth in the past several years, with almost rampant growth being seen in the field of nursing.

With hospitals, doctor’s offices, psychiatric facilities, and others adding over 600,000 new jobs between 2002 and 2012, nurses are in very high demand. T

his results in an over 100% increase in the number of nursing jobs, with only 531,000 active nurses being reported in the 2003 Census. However, there exists a significant disparity between the number of men and women found in the nursing field: Of those 531,000 active and licensed nurses, only 5.2% (or 27,612) are men.

Why are Males Underrepresented?

In a recent article by Science Magazine, it was postulated that men choose to stay away from the nursing field due to the standard stereotype: Nursing jobs are mostly staffed by women, and any man who chooses nursing may be negatively stereotyped himself. However, more and more men are pushing past these old taboos, and realizing that nursing is a high-demand occupation that can yield a high amount of job security and an increasingly rewarding livelihood.

While many nursing schools are reporting a strong increase in male enrollment numbers, females still make up the significant majority of the student body.

Regardless of gender, it’s important to note that nursing school is an expensive proposition for many people. With the economy on the decline, many of those enrolling in nursing school are career changers who had been unemployed for an extended period of time prior to matriculation. Personal finances are thus typically strained, leading those interested in pursuing a nursing career to search for a way to fund tuition and fees. For most nursing school students, this requires student loans, credit cards, or scholarships/grants.

Nursing school grants are naturally the top choice for any student; these grants require no repayment, however many require that newly-licensed nurses serve in a high-need area for a predetermined amount of time. Because these grants are pursued by a large percentage of the student body, competition tends to be fierce. Many who do apply are never selected to receive grant money, and significantly fewer are given full-tuition scholarships.

Funding Advantages for Being a Male Nurse

However, would-be male nurses may have a significant advantage over their female counterparts: With females in the nursing profession being the clear majority, scholarships and grants have been created to draw men toward the profession. The most notable grant for male nurses is the scholarship administered by the American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN), and supported by Johnson & Johnson.

The AAMN is a professional organization that promotes the expansion of the male population in the nursing fields, and does so by supporting future male nurses with funding to attend nursing school. As with any grant, there are typically a large number of applications. Competition is thus very high, but a strong pre-RN program GPA will give many men a strong advantage.

This scholarship is given to just fifty nursing school students each year, and pays $1000 of the student’s tuition and fees. At the time of this writing, the AAMN is not accepting applications for this grant; awards have been given out for 2009, but do check their website regularly for updates.

The AAMN does also offer two scholarships that are separate from the one above: The Jadeh Moore Student Nurse Essay Contest, and the iStudySmart.com Scholarship.

The Jadeh Moore scholarship awards $500 to pre-RN students actively pursuing a career as a registered nurse. The only application requirement beyond program enrollment is an essay responding to a specific question posed by the AAMN itself.

Those students who the AAMN feels best answer the posed question will receive the grant money, payable directly to the school to cover tuition.

While $500 isn’t a large enough sum to completely offset the cost of a nursing education, it may be a significant enough portion to permit a student to attend school who otherwise wouldn’t have been able.

Entries are accepted once annually, with the application essay deadline generally being in August of each year.

The iStudySmart.com Scholarship is a new grant for those who are interested in completing Associate in Nursing coursework online through Excelsior College. The AAMN website gives very little information on this scholarship, so contacting them for further information is the best course of action for those interested in pursuing it.

Male students who are considered ethnic minorities may be able to receive grants based on their racial makeup. For example, Hispanic male nurses may be able to receive a very generous grant from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), a professional organization that specializes in the advancement of Hispanic nurses of both genders.

Based on locale, nursing students may receive up to $8,000 in tuition assistance from the NAHN, with the largest disbursements being given out to Hispanic nurses in the San Diego, California area. While this grant is not male-specific, many males have applied and have been selected to receive it.

Other such minority grants that are often awarded to male applicants include:

  • A $2,000 scholarship awarded by the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA). This is given to African-American men and women who are actively pursuing nursing degrees.
  • A $1,000 Philippine Nurses Association of America scholarship, given to Filipino nursing school students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs.
  • A scholarship administered by the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA), given to students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate education in a nursing field.
  • The National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association administers a grant to tribal members who are pursuing a nursing education.

Finally, it is important to note that while there may be a shortage of scholarships and grants specifically targeted toward male nursing students, there are dozens of nursing scholarships that are available to students of either gender. Being that requirements typically give preference to those with strong academic backgrounds, working hard to excel in nursing school will give you a strong advantage regardless of your gender.

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