Exploring the career pathways of four males nurses to the deanship position in higher education: A narrative inquiry

Cecelia E. Fernan


Background and purpose: The career path to deanship for male nurses is still mostly unexplored. Male deans leading nursing schools is a new trend in the U.S.

Methods: A narrative inquiry using semi-structured interviews with four male deans of schools of nursing in the Southwestern U.S. was the methodology used for this study.

Results: The following themes emerged from the data: 1) service to others; 2) traditional career trajectories; 3) it is all about people; and 4) evolving leadership styles. Importance: The participants’ narratives provided first-hand accounts of how these men transitioned from the bedside to the boardroom in higher education. Their experiences could shed light on gender-related issues in nursing education and its leadership. Thus, this study can serve as a career compass for male nurses aspiring to academic leadership positions, inspire more men to join the profession, and aid educational institutions develop strategies for a more gender-balanced workforce.

Conclusions: This study proved that men are assets to the nursing profession in both practice and academia. Recruiting more men is part of a solution to the dean and faculty shortage. Preparing the next generation of nursing deans needs a concerted effort to enhance the diversity of the deans and the faculty to reflect the student population today.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v8n11p68

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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