KUANTAN: There has been an increase in the number of male students taking up nursing since 2015, said the rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak.

He said that based on their record, only one male student enrolled for the nursing course when the IIUM Kulliyyah of Nursing was established in June 2004 and today some 15 per cent of the 523 nursing students are males.

“This trend shows we can train male nurses as well as female nurses now that the demand for them at health facilities is also rising.

“The male students have also shown outstanding achievement in the field of nursing, with the best student at last year’s convocation being a male,” he told reporters after attending the opening ceremony of the third International Nursing Conference organised by the IIUM Kulliyyah of Nursing here today.

The conference was officiated by Deputy Minister of Higher Education Datuk Mohammad Yusof Afdal.

Meanwhile, the IIUM Kulliyyah of Nursing dean, Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Kamil Che Hasan said the demand for male nurses was greater in several health disciplines, especially those requiring physical strength such as in operation theatres and orthopaedic wards.

He said although the nursing career was often associated with women, society was now more open to accepting male nurses.

The conference, themed Future Global Direction in Nursing and Midwifery for Sustainable Healthcare Workforce, began today and was attended by 200 participants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The conference aims to gather nursing practitioners and experts to exchange ideas and innovations as well as to present research outcomes and the latest findings related to the field. -Bernama