Men's Experiences Facing Nurses Stereotyping in Saudi Arabia: A Phenomenological Study

The Open Nursing Journal 22 Apr 2024 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118744346299229240321052429



Stereotypes about the nursing profession include low ability, low compensation, minimal educational requirements, little autonomy, and a preponderance of women in the field. Contrary to popular opinion, nursing is typically a female-dominated career, and there has been an increase in the number of male registered nurses in the past few years.


The primary aim of this qualitative investigation is to delve into the experiences and realities faced by male, registered nurses (RNs) in Saudi Arabia and their role in nation-building through Saudi Vision 2030– a national initiative to improve the lives of every citizen based on the pillars: a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation.


The study applied qualitative descriptive phenomenology. Twenty-three male RNs were selected through purposive sampling from a total of five hospitals (three government and two private). Semi-structured interviews were used to collect the data. Data was analyzed utilizing Colaizzi's descriptive phenomenological method, and the COREQ checklist was utilized to report qualitative results.


The primary themes were the following: (1) “The stigma of men in nursing” contributes to the idea that men who work in a profession that is primarily dominated by women have a lot of deeply embedded challenges; (2) “The Murses: male nurses rising above the challenges” shows how male RNs deal with specific issues they face while caring for patients in a range of settings, and (3) “The future of male nursing in Saudi Arabia” discusses how male RNs may help the nursing profession grow and develop.


Male RNs experienced both positive and negative professional impressions from people inside and outside the healthcare facilities. In some cases, male RNs faced workplace violence and discrimination. Nonetheless, it was evident that male RNs strove harder to “belong” and to earn respect from the people of Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: Gender identity, Male nurses, Phenomenological research, Qualitative research, Saudi Arabia, Social status, Stereotyping.
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