Male nurses' views of gender in the nurse–family relationship in paediatric care

A. Arreciado Marañón*, D. Rodríguez-Martín, P. Galbany-Estragués

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: (1) To learn how male nurses view and manage their relationships with families of hospitalized children, in contrast to how they view those established by female nurses. (2) To know if male nurses' relationships with families of hospitalized children are influenced by gender roles and stereotypes. Background: Relationships are essential in care. Prevailing gender stereotypes suggest that males have more difficulties with relationships than with technical aspects of nursing. Method: Descriptive qualitative research in a public tertiary hospital September–December 2015. Participants were male nurses who worked in maternal and child health. Purposive sampling, based on criteria of homogeneity-regularity and heterogeneity-diversity. Semi-structured interviews and content analysis. Findings: Twelve male nurses participated. Two key themes emerged. (1) Establishment of professional–family relationship. Male nurses denied that male and female nurses established relationships with families differently, attributing any differences to personality rather than gender. (2) Management of relationships. Male nurses claimed that they set more limits on their relationships with families than female nurses. Discussion: Male nurses both disrupted and reproduced gendered stereotypes about relationships with families, revealing new models of masculinity. Conclusion: Male nurses reject the stereotype that nursing is a women's profession, but they interpret their relationships with families in terms of gender roles and stereotypes. Implications for nursing and nursing policy: These findings contribute to understandings of the influence of gender stereotypes in nursing. They support the work of professional associations and labour unions in Spain and other countries to combat gender stereotypes and gender differences in nursing.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)563-570
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Gender
  • Gender roles
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Male nurses
  • Nurse–family relationship
  • Qualitative research


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