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Three times more male nurses than 1970

Posted by: Colleen Stoxen Updated: February 26, 2013 - 1:42 PM

More men are finding their calling as nurses.

A new study from the United States Census Bureau reports the number of male nurses has more than tripled since the 1970s. Back then, about 2.7 percent of registered nurses were men. The new study, which tracked data through 2011, finds that men now make up 9.6 percent of all employed nurses in the United States - about 330,000 men in total.

The new report looked at Census Bureau data to track rates for nursing occupations including registered nurses (RNs), nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses.

Overall, there were 3.5 million employed nurses in the U.S. in 2011, 78 percent of whom were registered nurses. Recent years of shortages have led to increased recruiting efforts, according to report, which included recruiting men into the field.

Men, in fact, had been largely kept out of nursing in past decades because nursing schools often refused to admit men. The Supreme Court ruled that practice unconstitutional in 1981 after a case involving a state nursing school.

The report also noted increases in the proportion of male licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses has more than doubled from 3.9 percent to 8.1 percent since 1970.

Read more from CBS News.

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