Newcross's Ricky Baker on the 'MINT' collective supporting men in the nursing profession
The Men Into Nursing Together (MINT) was created by a collective group of registered; student and academic male nurses in an attempt to build a support network for men within the nursing profession. While this was the initial goal, it quickly dawned on the group that there were barriers to overcome when looking at societal views towards men in nursing and within the NHS.
The MINT now aims to raise awareness that there are over 75 thousand male nurses within the U.K. and that men are still choosing nursing as a profession. However, there is still a massive disparity when looking at the ratio of male to female nurses within the NHS.
In spite of the group being initially set up to promote and encourage more men to join and train to become a registered nurse, the MINT stand together with female and non-gendered colleagues to support in reducing the current nursing staff deficiency, amounting to over 42,000 nursing jobs.
On their Facebook page, it says: "Together we can end the stigma surrounding men in nursing by challenging people’s overall perceptions of nursing, ultimately creating a better staffed and more diverse workforce."
The group was founded by staff and students at Sheffield Hallam University.
We caught up with Student Nurse Ricky Baker, who works as a support worker for Newcross Healthcare, to find out more about MINT and the work they're doing...
What is your involvement?
"I'm a regional lead for Hereford and Worcester.
"I aim to spread the message about what MINT is trying to achieve, whilst encouraging and welcoming male nurses into the profession.
"As a student children’s nurse, my personal aim is to increase the acceptance of men within the profession, ensuring that children encounter positive male role models when accessing children’s services, creating a movement of change for a positive overall impact on nursing as a whole.
"I believe that by taking down barriers together, healthcare professionals can inspire and care for our children, creating and changing attitudes for a new generation."
Why aren't there more men in the profession?
"If you ask children to draw a picture of a nurse, they will most likely draw a female character wearing a dress and a hat. There is this traditional perception that nurses are predominantly female, and this is instilled in children from a very young age. Likewise, when looking at adult perceptions of men in nursing we can be considered by some as a curiosity and will be tag-lined with the term ‘Male Nurse’. However, more men are joining the nursing profession and we must educate society in order to show that nursing is a profession inclusive of all genders."
What do you love about your job?
"What I love most about my job is being able to make a difference in someone’s day. If you were to ask me how I do this, well I love to add that little bit of FUN! As a previous entertainer I love to make people smile and laugh, and if I can combine this with doing the job I love, then it surely doesn’t get much better than that!"
At Newcross, within our own healthcare workforce. we have a higher proportion of male nurses and carers than the national average, 23% of our nurses and carers are men.
If you're interested in working with us alongside your Nursing degree, you can apply for one of our support worker or care assistant roles, by following this link.
For more information on the MINT...
Find MINT on Twitter @MINTnursing
Find MINT on Facebook: MINT men into nursing together