• caring measurement;
  • caring questionnaire;
  • gender stereotypes;
  • gender;
  • male nurses;
  • Nancy Chodorow;
  • nurse caring;
  • nurse gender;
  • nurse–patient dyads

Gender and perceived nurse caring in nurse–patient dyads

The effect of nurse gender on nurse and patient perceptions of nurse caring was explored. Members of nurse–patient dyads (N = 145), equally distributed among the four possible gender combinations, completed matching forms of the Caring Questionnaire immediately following a shift. Perceptions of nurse caring that actually occurred during the preceding shift, as well as usual preferences about nurse caring, were measured. Results of two-factor ANOVAS showed no significant differences in actual caring according to nurse gender from either the nurse or the patient perspective. Expectations of certain nurse caring behaviours, however, were significantly lower for male nurses from both nurse and patient perspectives. The results suggest implications for nursing practice, education and further research.