PHOENIX - According to the American Nurses Association, National Nurses Week is celebrated from May 6 to 12 each year.
For 2023, National Nurses Week is taking place during a time of high demand for nurses.
Morale among nurses, however, is low, and now, a field that is long dominated by women is looking for a few good men to fill its ranks.
Phoenix man turns to nursing after life-changing event
For Hector Medina, his life changed nine years ago after he helped deliver his daughter in his living room.
"After that, I saw everyone at the hospital working on my daughter, and it was just motivating," said Medina. "It was captivating seeing them work on her, put her under the heat lamp. I was like, ‘wow. This us something I think I can do.’"
Medina joined the Navy shortly after, and stayed in the service for six years. His passion for nursing, however, was still burning. He later went back to school, and currently, he is completing the eighth of his nine semesters.
"Interestingly enough, 200 years ago, this was a male dominate job," said Medina. "I feel like men think they need to do things that are more masculine, but honestly, nursing is physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging, and I would recommend it to anyone."
Medina said he wants to become a labor delivery nurse. He said despite the stigma, he will be successful.
Male nurse in demand amid nurse shortage
"The more diverse a workforce is, the better," said Megan Graeff, Assistant Dean of Nursing and Student Affairs for the Arizona College of Nursing. "Males are about 12% right now of nursing nationwide, and we're in a nursing shortage. We need more nurses, so were going to need more male nurses as well."
According to the Arizona College of Nursing, Arizona trends along the national average. Graeff says the college is seeing more gender diversity among its student population.
"They also represent things to the patients, so having a male nurse, maybe male patients might feel a little bit more comfortable," said Graeff.