A NEW trend seems to be emerging at PGI’s National Institute of Nursing Education (NINE). A large number of men are doing the course to join a profession dominated primarily by women. This year, of the 55 students, doing the two-year post basic course, 18 are men. “I see a good future in this profession. My grandfather advised me to select this profession. I think I am on the right track,” said 22-year-old Kamal Kumar from Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. “It is true that this is a female-dominated profession. But I think things are changing and the number of male nurses is increasing.”
23-year-old Raju Ram is from Bikaner district. Son of a farmer, he also did a diploma in general nursing and midwifery (GNM) after studying science in higher secondary. “I don’t see any gender bias when it comes to providing care to patients. This is a profession in which you are doing something positive and it makes you feel happy,” said Raju. “In our state, there are more men who opt this profession than women. It is just that you have to provide care to the patients. With time and training, men and women can both do that,” he added.
The students begin their day with practical training at the hospital before attending classes from 2 pm to 5 pm. Sandhya Ghai, principal of NINE, says this is the first time that so many men have opted for the course. “It is a female-dominated profession till now. We used to see fewer men but in the intake of men in 2017-19, the number is huge,” she said.
There were only two men in the 2016-18 batch. Curiously, 17 of the 18 men in the course are from Rajasthan. The students said that because of new rules, candidates, applying for central government nursing jobs, must have two years of experience and a 10+2 with (GNM) diploma or a 10+2 with GNM diploma and post basic with six months’ experience.
“The government of Rajasthan has not announced new jobs in the nursing sector for the last so many years. Even though we have done GNM, there are no jobs. We are doing this course to be eligible for central posts,” said Muralilal (26) of Tonk district in Rajasthan, adding, “In Rajasthan, this profession is widely chosen by men as it pays well.”