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Keywords:

  • Iran;
  • male nurse;
  • nursing image;
  • public image;
  • self-perception

Abstract

The stereotypical public image of nursing is a major concern for male nurses around the world. In this study, we explored how Iranian male nurses perceived the public view of nurses, and their perceptions of themselves. A qualitative descriptive design and content analysis were used to obtain data from 18 purposely-selected male hospital nurses with a baccalaureate nursing degree in Tabriz, Iran. Semistructured interviews were conducted and analyzed. Two main themes emerged: (i) the outsider's view of nursing, which referred to the participants' perceptions of their public image; and (ii) the insider's view, which related to the male nurses' perceptions of themselves. Results included personal transition into a positive professional self-image through the educational process, and continued public perception of nursing as a female profession ill-suited for a man. Strategies to improve the insider's and outsider's views of nursing are listed to help recruit and retain more Iranian male nurses.