It's a problem across the nation and here at home - a shortage of nurses. One way to combat the problem is to convince more people, both men and women, to enter the field.
In Mississippi there are 31,659 registered nurses. Only 2,811 are men, less than ten percent. That's why the Mississippi Hospital Association is using a unique public relations tool to put the spotlight on male nurses.
Twenty nine year old Sean Graham is a nurse in Hancock Medical Center's Emergency Room.. He's also Mr. November in the Mississippi Hospital Association's 2004 Calendar.
Graham is one of 12 male nurses chosen out of a field of 150 entries across the state. Photos and an essay on why they choose nursing as a career were the only requirements.
"It was nice to be selected to know that what I had to say and my feelings were so important," Graham said.
John Mohan is a nurse in Biloxi Regional's Anesthesia Department. The 44-year old is Mr. April. He and Graham are the only two male nurses on the coast to make the calendar.
"I was embarrassed when I first found out that I was chosen. I was surprised at my age that I was chosen for this, but I'm honored," Mohan said.
The calendar is a way to showcase men in a job traditionally filled by women.
"I think that males in general are still timid into coming into the profession because of old stereotypes. They think, 'Oh, that's a woman's profession. That's not for a man. He should go do something else,'" Graham said.
"When I first got into the field of nursing there was quite a bit of stigma associated with male nurses, thinking that male nurses were more of a feminine quality kind of guy and that's not true," Mohan said.
Both say education, and this calendar, could go a long way to changing those thoughts.
"Purchase the calendar, look at the guys, and know it's cool to be a nurse and be a guy," Hancock Medical Center's Public Relations Director Janet MacQueen said.
You can pick up a copy of the new calendar by dialing 1-800-289-8884 or log onto the Hospital Association's Web site at www.mshealthcaeers.com.