MSP backs new GCU men are nurses too campaign

14 March 2019

Glasgow Shettleston MSP John Mason has backed the launch of a new Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) social media campaign aimed at getting more men into nursing and breaking down stereotypes in schools.

Staff at GCU’s Department of Nursing and Community Health, where 25 per cent are male, came up with the idea @GCUMenRnurses2 and #GCUMenRnurses2 Twitter campaign to raise awareness and take their message around Glasgow schools.

 Figures recently published by UCAS revealed a 12 per cent increase in male nursing applicants across Scotland from 370 last year to 410 this year. At GCU, 8 per cent of its 1844 nursing students are male and the numbers have been increasing year on year with a 1.4 per cent increase this year.

Nursing Lecturer Stevie Morrison, who is involved in the Men in Nursing universities research collaboration reporting to the Scottish Government on how to best to increase numbers, said: “We’ve launched our Twitter campaign @GCUMenRnurses2 to raise awareness and our plan is to take our message out to schools. It’s vitally important to get that message out to children as young as possible.”

Mr Mason, Vice Convener of the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee and member of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, described the University’s new drive to encourage more men into nursing as a “brilliant idea”.

Mr Mason, whose sister Kay Dalby was one of the first to study a BA Nursing Studies in 1977 when GCU was Glasgow College of Technology, said: “This University is extremely important to me personally as a lot of the students coming to GCU are from the East End of Glasgow.

 “I think GCU’s new social media campaign @GCUMenRnurses2 to encourage more men into nursing is a great idea. It’s good to hear they are planning to take that message into schools to help break down those gender stereotypes from a young age.”

During a recent visit to the campus, Mr Mason got a tour of the School of Health and Life Sciences Interprofessional Simulation Centre teaching facilities by GCU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Professor James Miller and Dr Jacqueline McCallum, Head of Department of Nursing and Community Health. He also met students Craig Davidson and Adam Bellis.

Mr Mason asked to visit after GCU’s contribution to people, lives and communities was highlighted in the UK-wide #MadeAtUni campaign. The University’s community outreach initiative, the Caledonian Club, was named in the campaign’s top 100 Best Breakthroughs.

Professor Miller, a former Clinical Nurse, said: “We were delighted to welcome MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, to experience GCU’s leading edge simulation facilities used in the teaching of health professionals and to meet some of our 1,800 undergraduate nursing students – the second highest intake in Scotland.

"With my own background in nursing, I was delighted that GCU is playing a leading role in encouraging more men to enter the profession.

“With ground-breaking research, spin out companies and high calibre graduates, the University generates economic and social benefit worth nearly £1billion to the UK economy while supporting 14,000 jobs. “