Gender discrimination related to women's struggles to gain access to career ladders and equal compensation within a male-dominated society has been documented. However, little research has been conducted regarding discrimination among male nurses in a female-dominated work environment. In particular, there is a paucity of empirical data regarding male nurses in advanced clinical practice. As the number of male nurse practitioners increases, there is heightened concern about discrimination. The purpose of this study was to determine whether male nurse practitioners perceived gender discrimination in the workplace. Using Leininger's (1991) Theory of Cultural Care Diversity and Universality and Trentham and Larwood's (1998) Rational Bias Theory as frameworks, a descriptive research design was chosen. The setting was the state of Mississippi in which there are over 600 nurses who are licensed as family nurse practitioners, Male nurse practitioners make up 8% of this number. All male family nurse practitioners who are 1 1 1 licensed to practice in the state of Mississippi (n = 45) were invited to participate. Data were collected using the Swanson Discrimination Survey. Findings reveal that 62% of the respondents perceive that they have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace. Seventy-six percent state they have observed gender discrimination in reference to male nurses. Thirty-one percent state that discrimination played a role in whether they were allowed to work in a requested clinical area. Additional findings reflect that 69% of male nurse practitioners believe they enjoy better working relationships with male physicians than their female colleagues. The conclusions of the study are that gender discrimination is perceived among male nurses and that this discrimination is substantial compared to data concerning discrimination that occurs in non-health care occupations. Findings are significant to clinical administrators who are responsible for developing workplace policies and practice assignments. Further, as a profession, nursing must be scrupulous in facilitating the elimination of nurse stereotypes. The researcher recommends that a larger study be conducted over a broader geographical setting and that specific incidents of gender IV discrimination as perceived by male nurses and nurse practitioners be qualitatively documented.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Dr. Lynn Chilton
Swanson, Robert, "Gender Discrimination in Nursing" (2000). MSN Research Projects. 136.