Document Type

Presentation - Oral - to professional peers



Date of Activity

Fall 10-20-2023


The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2019) recognized the role of a culturally diverse workforce in improving the quality and cultural competence of care. The AACN identified the need to attract students from underrepresented groups, including men. According to the results of the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, only 9.4% of registered nurses in the United States are men, a 2.8% increase from 2013 (Smiley et al., 2021). The 2020 United States census reported 49.5% of the population is male (United States Census Bureau, 2020). A significant effort is needed to increase the percentage of men in nursing to better reflect the population of men in the United States. One strategy to increase the percentage of men in nursing is to increase the recruitment efforts of men in high schools.

School counselors facilitate high school students’ exploration of career options (Pannoni & Moody, 2020) and influence the career path decisions of teenagers. Several studies have reported high school counselors often not encouraging high school students who reported an interest in nursing (Bartfay et al., 2010; Boughn, 1994; Grainger & Bolan, 2006; Kelly et al., 1996; Kronsberg, 2017; LaRocco, 2007; Meadus & Twomey, 2011). However, these studies are dated and may not reflect current school counselor practices. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore the current practices and perceptions of school counselors when advising male high school students regarding a career in nursing. This information can assist with identifying any bias or barriers on the part of school counselors, inform future strategies to address these biases and/or barriers, and identify potential opportunities for partnerships between professional nursing and professional school counselor organizations.

For the quantitative arm, the authors utilized a modified version of the Nursing Attitudes and Perceptions (NAP) Scale along with two open-ended questions. Data was collected via an anonymous Qualtrics survey. Participants were recruited via email utilizing the American Association of School Counselors (ASCA), National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) databases, public school district websites, and social media. Study participants were then provided a link to sign up for an interview for the qualitative arm. Interviews followed a semi-structured format with eight open-ended questions. Interviews were conducted via Zoom, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed via Nvivo software.

Sixty-one completed surveys were included in the quantitative analysis and nine interviews were included in the qualitative analysis. Data analysis is ongoing and completion is estimated for Fall, 2023. The NAP-SC (Cronbach's = 0.879) mean is 24.426 and the median is 25, with scores ranging between -46 (negative attitudes and perceptions) to +46 (positive attitudes and perceptions). Participants from the Pacific region of the US had the lowest mean scores and participants from the Mid-Atlantic region had the highest mean scores. Results from an independent-samples t-test revealed a lower NAP-SC score among male participants (M = 17.83, SD = 10.30) than among female participants (M = 25.25, SD = 8.67), a statistically significant difference of -7.42 (95% CI, -15.10 to .26), t(52) = -1.938, p = .023. There were no statistically significant differences in NAP-SC mean scores between other variables (including age group, years of experience, certification status, ASCA membership, and working at a RAMP school). Individual NAP-SC item means between variables are currently being explored. The response rate of 61 to the quantitative arm was a limitation of this study. Qualitative data provided insight into the current school counselor experience, their personal views on/experiences with men in nursing, how they counsel students on a nursing career, and what they need to improve their ability to do so. One of the most common themes was the need to connect and expose students to male nurses, but none of the participants were aware of AAMN. This provides AAMN an opportunity to partner with school counselors and school counselor organizations to fulfill this and other identified needs.


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