University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is addressing gender imbalance in nursing with drive to recruit more male nurses

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is highlighting the many career opportunities it has for male nurses in a bid to attract more men to the role. Only around one in 10 nurses in Britain are male[i]. However, a report last year suggested that the number of men applying for university nursing places was up by 9%[ii]. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is keen to address this imbalance by promoting the diverse nursing roles and development opportunities that could appeal to both male and female nurses. 

The roles UHL is currently recruiting for include a Band 5 nurse to work in a 24 bed specialist hip fracture unit where patients undergo surgical intervention for their injuries; a Deputy Sister/Charge Nurse in theAmbulatory Surgical Unit (ASU); a Band 5 nurse tobecome part of the leadership team at Kettering Renal Unit; a Band 5 nurse to work at the Cardiac Angiocatheter Suite at Glenfield Hospital,  a Band 5 nurse to work on the Respiratory wards at Glenfield Hospital, as well as a Head of Nursing/Professional Lead.

Conor Ward, Head of Recruitment Services at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust says, “We are keen to improve the gender imbalance that traditionally exists in nursing and encourage more male nurses to join our Trust. We are working hard to attract male nurses and for them to look upon nursing as a viable and worthwhile career, but this can mean overcoming barriers.

“For instance, the language used such as matron and sister can be off putting for men, plus the perception in both schools and society is still that nurses are females. We are demonstrating that nursing is a rewarding career for men and women both financially and personally. We offer fantastic career development opportunities and a chance to progress quickly into leadership nursing roles if this is someone’s ambition.”

Geoff Davison is a male matron at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. Prior to starting his career, he was torn between becoming a nurse or working on a building site. Geoff decided on nursing and began his career at UHL, working his way up through the nursing bands to become a matron.

Geoff says, “Being a matron is challenging as you do not deal with just one specific area, you have to manage other areas that may require your assistance or advice. A career in male nursing has many rewards, such as interacting with patients and realising the great impact that you have on people’s lives.

“People tend to overlook the fact that nursing as a profession demands that you have a caring attitude, which is something not always attributed to men. However, nursing is a huge profession, with all types of different skills and experience required, no matter what gender you are and both men and women can excel in their career at our Trust.”

Martin Smith is also a matron at Glenfield Hospital. He has been at the Trust since 1984, when they warmly welcomed him to do his training. He has worked his way up through the nursing bands mainly focusing on coronary care and cardiology and is now a matron in charge of two cardiology wards.

Martin says, “Throughout the NHS there are a low number of male nurses coming into the profession, but a disproportionate number of males are in senior roles. There are opportunities for men to move forward in their career and seek promotion. Nursing shouldn’t be ruled out despite it not traditionally being so well rewarded in monetary terms and getting a more balanced workforce can only positively influence all aspects of the profession, including the pay.”

Ben Hyde, another matron at Glenfield Hospital who manages around 60 members of staff adds, “The barriers to male nursing are varied and often stem from career advice experts at schools, as well as the language used in nursing. Our Trust believes one of the best ways to give insight to young people who want a career in nursing is to visit local colleges and further education institutes. This can engage people in what nursing is about so they may consider it as a career choice in the future.”

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust LPT is part of a recruitment campaign, Y/Our Future that unites five major health and social care employers – Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, LOROS Hospice, Rutland County Council and Leicester City Council – to recruit doctors, nurses and health and social care workers to work in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Y/Our Future aims to promote Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as a leading career destination for health and social care professionals, with great career and lifestyle opportunities. For more information on vacancies across the county visit: