Personality correlates in a sample of male nurses in the British Royal Air Force



This descriptive study provides data relevant to two currently popular views of the male nursing image. Firstly, that male nurses tend to prefer the more technological or administrative aspects of nursing and secondly, that they exhibit to an unusually high degree what are commonly thought of as being amongst the more feminine personality traits. The sample consisted of 91 male RAF nurses working in RAF hospitals, and was of predominantly English nationality. Of the 39 SRNs in the sample 65-8% preferred general nursing to the more technical areas such as intensive care, operating theatre, orthopaedic and renal. The preference for general nursing was even greater, 76-1%, amongst the 30 SENs surveyed. The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) and a Level of Aspiration Test (LOA) were used to obtain measures of the personality traits of the sample. The scores obtained showed that the male RAF nurses were significantly less psychotic than male civilian nurses, male civilians or servicemen of similar age. They were also significantly less extraverted than servicemen as a whole and significantly more stable than the male civilian norm. A comparison of SRNs with SENs revealed only two significant differences. The SRNs were significantly less extraverted and had a significantly higher level of aspiration than the SENs.