According to a book by O'Lynn & Transbarger (2007) during the ancient times in Greece, the first known trained individuals to provide nursing care were men supervised by the male physicians" (p.9). Males were the nurses because women's roles back then was to their homes. In 250 B.C.E. the first known formal school of nursing was started in India and only men were admitted to the school because it was believed that women were not considered "pure" enough to serve as a nurse (p. 9). Men had to become skilled in cooking, bathing, bedmaking, physical therapy, caring for patients, and to be obedient to physicians. In ancient Rome, military hospitals were established and male nurses known as "nosocomi" were employed in them (p.10). When the Black Death struck Europe, military and non-military nursing orders cared for the sick and abandoned and bury the dead. The Protestant Reformation period brought significant change to the disappearance of men in nursing. Monasteries, convents, and hospitals that were staffed by various religious orders were closed. Military nursing orders diminished due to lack of funding and political instability with military pursuit, and governments banning their activities. "Although men continued to work as nurses when intimate care for men was needed or when physical strength was required to subdue confused or mentally ill patients, large number of hospitals, such as Maisons-Dieu of France, requested nuns as nurses" (p. 22). Men continued to nurse the injured in hospitals, but they also started working in exploration and colonization of the Americas. The first self identified European nurse to set foot in the U.S. was Friar Juan De Mena. During the Civil War in the US, outbreaks of yellow fever, typhoid, small pox, and dengue fever ravaged the South. Many African American men served as nurses for White residence and in their communities.
Florence Nightingale is most remembered as a pioneer of nursing, but she had a big influence with the demise of men in nursing. O'lynn & Tranbarger (2007) argued that "Although no one individual was more responsible in ushering in a period of female domination of nursing than Nightingale, three social changes were underway prior to Nightingale that contributed to the reduction of the number of male nurses" (p. 23). First, as mentioned the decline of monasteries and male nursing orders combined with relative increase in number of