Despite their historical significance to the UK's nursing profession, numbers of registered male nurses here have seldom exceeded 10% of the total. This is not an immutable principle, given that countries such as the Netherlands manage to attract males to the profession in much greater numbers. This paper examines and critiques the available literature on males in nursing from both a historical and present day perspective. In so doing, it discusses factors such as caring, over-performance and career progression, and, notions of masculinity. It then moves on to outline and discuss an on-going pilot study specifically designed to examine the motivations and experiences of a sample of preregistration and postregistration male nurses in the UK, across a range of ages and ethnicities. The ultimate aim of the study is to produce evidence which will advance the recruitment of men to a profession which is currently experiencing severe recruitment difficulties. The paper presents themes emerging from the study to date, examining the implications these may have for the future management of nurse recruitment.