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Isolation and marginalization: exploring attrition of men in preregistration nursing programs.

Taylor, James; Marland, Glenn; Whitford, Heather; Carson, Maggie; Leece, Richard


James Taylor

Glenn Marland

Heather Whitford

Maggie Carson

Richard Leece


BACKGROUND: In Scotland, similar to other countries, male nursing students have a high attrition rate. This study examined the reasons for and ways to decrease the attrition rate. METHOD: This four-phase collaborative study included four Scottish universities. Phase 1 involved three telephone interviews with men who had left a nursing program. Phases 2 through 4 used focus groups and interviews with 18 nursing students (13 men and 5 women) and 12 nurse lecturers. Thematic analysis followed a four-stage process. RESULTS: Male nursing students in this study felt isolated and marginalized, were stereotyped regarding their masculinity and physical attributes, had difficulty communicating, and were reluctant to seek help. Financial pressures and access to learning opportunities also disproportionately affected male students. Resilience and maturity are required to cope with these challenges. CONCLUSION: Proactive measures and visible role models in academic and clinical environments are needed to support male students in completing their nursing education.


TAYLOR, J., MARLAND, G., WHITFORD, H., CARSON, M. and LEECE, R. 2022. Isolation and marginalization: exploring attrition of men in preregistration nursing programs. Journal of nursing education [online], 61(4), pages 179-186. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 16, 2021
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2022
Publication Date Apr 30, 2022
Deposit Date May 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 2, 2023
Journal Journal of nursing education
Print ISSN 0148-4834
Electronic ISSN 1938-2421
Publisher Slack
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 61
Issue 4
Pages 179-186
Keywords Male nursing students; Isolation; Marginalisation; Masculinity; Nursing education
Public URL


TAYLOR 2022 Isolation and marginalization (AAM) (428 Kb)

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