Maternity nursing is perceived as an unwelcoming specialty to many nursing students who are men. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the experiences of nursing students who are men at a Southeastern university before, during, and after their obstetric clinical rotations.
Students were interviewed individually. The sessions were recorded and transcribed. The transcripts were analyzed individually and collectively by a three-person study team using existential phenomenology.
Seven nursing students who are men participated. Four major themes were discovered: preconceptions, welcoming, perceived rejection (of and by participants), and maternity unit culture. Students' perceptions appeared to be grounded in their level of comfort with maternity nursing.
This study adds to the scant amount of information available about experiences of nursing students who are men during their clinical maternity nursing rotation and may help to explain why some men may feel unwelcome in women's health nursing.
Nursing students who are men do not always feel welcome in maternity nursing. In this study, nursing students who are men offered perceptions of the experience of their maternity nursing clinical rotation. Results can be helpful in interacting with nursing students who are men on maternity units.
Jose Mari Lawrence Mitra is a Staff Nurse, Cardiovascular Progressive Care Unit, Johnson City Medical Center, Johnson City, TN. The author can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth D. Phillips is a Professor, Associate Dean for Research, East Tennessee State University College of Nursing, Johnson City, TN.
Joy E. Wachs is a Professor Emeritus, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.