Two female nurses walk down hospital hallway.

Suffice it to say, the term “nurse” has almost become synonymous with “females in healthcare.” In fact, according to the United States Census Bureau, women hold 76% of all healthcare jobs. It should be no surprise that women have driven 80% of the overall growth in the healthcare industry. But have you ever thought to wonder why most nurses are female? During Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating our female nurses, but also examining why women tend to pursue a healthcare-related career, particularly in nursing. 

Why Are Most Nurses Female? 

A simple answer that may come to mind first when assessing this question is simply that nurses exemplify many of the natural qualities of women. Many females flock to this profession because of their inherent capacity to care for another human being. Nurses are often seen as caring, compassionate, patient, and understanding. And nursing thrives on a woman’s instinct to nurture. 

Gender and Nursing as a Profession 

Nursing as a profession takes the qualities that many women possess and amplifies them. It provides the opportunity to be caring and compassionate in a career that doesn’t diminish women being so. Instead, nursing helps advance, applaud, and reward females in nursing. The nursing profession provides opportunities for women to: 

Be Their Best Self 

The healthcare industry allows women to harness both sides of herself—the kind, caring compassionate caregiver, with the responsible leader. A leader who is empowered to do what she believes is best for her patients. Many physicians are starting to see the true value of nurses as a key part of the interdisciplinary team. Nurses are the ones that are in the trenches daily, advocating for patients, and fighting for their well-being. This career path provides professional and personal satisfaction in the knowledge that their job has a greater meaning than just a paycheck. 

Advance Their Career  

While nurses can be selfless and compassionate, they also have aspirations for career advancement. All this can be accomplished in the healthcare space. Within the nursing profession, there are many different avenues where women can use their nursing degree to advance their career. Beyond nursing, women across the healthcare industry are making their mark.  

According to the Nursing Journal, “Women have increased their participation in record numbers in health care occupations that require higher education, including dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, physicians and surgeons, and veterinarians...These occupations were dominated by men in 2000. Women now make up the majority of veterinarians and pharmacists, and have made strong gains, doubling their representation, in other occupations.” The opportunities are limitless and women in every sector of healthcare are breaking glass ceilings—paving the way for the women that come behind them. The sky is the limit as long as you are willing to work hard and as we all know, women will! 

Balance Their Work Schedule and Personal Life 

It's no coincidence that almost 87% of the RN workforce is female. A major appeal of nursing to women is the schedule flexibility. Even in 2023, women remain primary caregivers at home—whether that be for children or elderly family members. Schedule flexibility is important for nurses with a family and responsibilities at home. It's also possible some women don’t yet have home responsibilities but have other goals and aspirations aside from their career. A well-paying job combined with a flexible schedule allows for the exploration of new hobbies and traveling. Women want to have it all—and with nursing they can! 

With nursing jobs apps like ShiftMed, nurses can take their flexibility even further than full-time nurses and have total job flexibility. With ShiftMed, nurses can choose when and where they want to work with complete control over their schedules.  

Nursing is a career where a caring nature is applauded and advanced—not looked upon as a weakness or something that could hold you back. This industry provides a space where nursing careers can take different shapes and advance in different ways. A nurse can work in an office, a hospital, a rehab facility or a skilled nursing facility—any number of days that work for their schedule. Nurses can lean into what makes being a woman amazing, while simultaneously climbing the career ladder and balancing their personal lives. So, let’s celebrate these bosses!  

At ShiftMed, we know what it’s like to be a nurse. We know how it feels to care deeply for patients’ well-being, yet to feel conflicted in the need to take care of yourself. The tension that comes from long days and nights of very hard, physical, mental, and emotional work. So, we built an entire suite of benefits centered around prioritizing their personal success and work-life balance. If you’re not already a ShiftMed nurse, what are you waiting for? Download the ShiftMed app today.