Male patients’ gender preferences for hospital nurses

Mitchell LeBlanc, Janet Bryanton, Kim Wood


There has been limited research exploring the beliefs and attitudes of male patients regarding the gender of their nurses. These attitudes, as well as the factors affecting the gender-preference of male patients, must be explored in a flexible, holistic manner. The objective of our study was to explore key aspects of male patients’ beliefs and attitudes about the gender of their nurses in the hospital setting, as well as the factors that influenced those perceptions. We employed a descriptive, qualitative, cross-sectional design. Data were collected through one-on-one interviews, which were transcribed verbatim. A deductive and inductive approach using content analysis of each question was used to analyse the data. Ten male patients were interviewed. Initially, participants reported no gender preference for their nurses. The majority agreed that the nature of the task did not matter in their preference for a male or female nurse. Most suggested that females were inherently better suited to nursing than males due to their ability to be caring, nurturing, and detail-oriented. Bussey and Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory of Gender Development and Differentiation was supported and provided a suitable framework for the study. There is a need for educational institutions to determine new ways to teach male nursing students to be caring, nurturing, and detail-oriented. Whether nurses are male or female, having a caring approach is important to patients, as well as possessing other ‘ideal’ characteristics.

Full Text:



Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.