Role Strain of Nursing Student

O’Lynn (2004) used a survey to explore the prevalence of discrimination and the perceived importance of gender- based barriers for male students in nursing education programs. The sample was randomly selected fi-om the current male members of the American Assembly of Men in Nursing and the current male licensed registered nurses from the U.S. state of Montana. One hundred eleven stu- dents eompleted the survey, of which 90.1% of the sam- ple stated that they were “nervous that female patients would accuse male students of sexual inappropriateness when providing intimate care.” Of the same sample, 80.0% stated that “different requirements and or lim- itations put on male students in obstetrical and gyneco- logical department clinical rotations” represent significant barriers to male nursing students.

Sherrod (1991) suggested that the fact that male nursing students face greater obstetric role strain than do female students may be related to societal stereotypes about male nursing students in the obstetrical setting. She further explained that feminine behaviors of the obstetri- cal nurse are not viewed as socially acceptable for males. Wu (1999) asserted that the medical care system operates as one of the most gender specific of all professions. Physicians, mostly male, are in the leadership position, with nurses, mostly female, expected to assume subordi- nate roles. When the nurses who choose nursing pro- fessions contradict role expectations, such as in nursing, they are easily targeted as a disparate group. Hence, they are more apt to experience role strain arising fi-om their gender when they are in training or working (Stott, 2007; Wu, 1999). It is necessary to flirther understand the role strain experienced by male nursing students to assist in finding ways to reduce it. Furthermore, previous studies had either a small sample size or lacked comparative gender groups (Sherrod, 1991; Tzeng, Luo, Jang, & Sheng, 1999). The current study was thus designed to fill this gap in the research.

Role Strain of Nursing Students

Journal of Nursing Research Vol. 17, No. I, 2009

Design and Data Collection A cross-sectional survey using structured question-

naires was used in the current study.

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