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The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is highlighting the nursing profession's leading role in shifting harmful gender stereotypes and improving health outcomes for men.

“The theme for International Men’s Day 2022 is ‘helping men and boys,’ a challenge I am proud to say the nursing profession is leading across Australia and the world,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said.  "For too long, the ‘she’ll be right mate’ tough guy attitude has dominated men’s approaches to their health and society. This has affected their engagement with the health system, resulting in poor preventive health practices and an overrepresentation in conditions like mental health, heart disease and preventable cancers. 

“In the nursing profession, harmful masculine stereotypes around caring have contributed to men making up only 11.5 per cent of all Australian nurses, according to the latest registration data from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.   

“However, these entrenched social norms are beginning to change, and the Australian College of Nursing is at the forefront of the charge for change.  

“This International Men’s Day, I would like to acknowledge all those who champion by challenging the traditions to create a more equitable society for us all. 

“At ACN, we have seen this through our Men in Nursing campaign that focuses on highlighting the benefits a nursing career offers men and encouraging men that #itsoktocare when choosing their vocation. 

“Increasing the number of men in nursing in Australia will tackle gender equity and allow more men the opportunity to join Australia’s most trusted, ethical and respected profession. This could go a long way to enhancing the predicted workforce shortages our profession will face by 2030 and beyond.

“As a champion of diversity, I will always speak out to ensure the composition of our profession reflects Australian society and that all Australians have access to a health professional who best suits their needs – regardless of gender, race, religion or any other contributing factor."

Photo: Ayo Ogunseinde/Unsplash

   

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