Aim: This study seeks to describe the survival strategies of male nurses in Japanese rural areas. Methods: Interviews were conducted with 12 male nurses who described their occupational experiences. The modified grounded theory approach was used for the data collection and analysis. Results: The survival strategies of these male nurses can be categorized into four types: (i) giving priority to the achievement of financial security; (ii) agreeing to a dependent relationship with doctors; (iii) maintaining one's male identity through supporting the female nurses; and (iv) making an appeal to the significance of men in the female-dominated nursing profession. Conclusion: The survival strategies that were used by the male nurses were subtle, allowing them to influence indirectly both the female nurses and the doctors. These findings contribute to our understanding of the experiences of male nurses, a gendered minority in a female-dominated workplace, and encourage gender equality in the nursing profession.
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