Men as nurses?

  1. I'm considering changing my career field from a maintenance technician to becoming a nurse. How are men viewed by the public and the nursing profession? I would appreciate any feedback, thank you.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    Hi zeke

    Welcome to Allnurses.com! I've worked in many different hospitals since the late 80's, and have never had any problems working or getting along with men who are nurses. The more the merrier in my opinion.
  4. by   Neon8
    Men as nurses: I love them, Patients love them, doctors love them. Go for it. You will be welcomed with wide open arms.
  5. by   VickyRN
    We have a lot of second career men in our program; some are in their mid-forties. It takes a lot of courage to start over into a whole new field and I admire these students. Most of them are doing very well and will make wonderful nurses, IMHO.
  6. by   Nurse Shark
    Zeke,

    I am currently in Nursing school and in my class of 37 we have 10 great guys that are working right along us girls and doing just as good if not better. ... I think that the times have changed and men should feel welcome in nursing. Even in the hospital I work in, there are several male RN's and they are excellent, organized nurses that have been very inspirational to me and have helped me learn more and understand more about patient care and the skills I will need when I am on the floor as a nurse.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Men as nurses?

    ABSOLUTELY!

    welcome to the boards. would love a new male nurse in our ranks...
  8. by   ainz
    Zeke--I am a caucasion male, 43 years old. I went into nursing in 1985 after 6 years of military service as a medic. I have earned an associate degree, BSN, and MSN. I have been a staff nurse, charge nurse, nurse manager, nursing supervisor, department director, assistant administrator, chief operating officer, and CEO of hospitals. I am currently a chief operating officer. I also have worked in ER, critical care, med/surg, psych, dialysis, telemetry, and currently administration. I consider my nursing career to be successful. I have found it very rewarding in many ways and I would not consider doing anything else, especially at this point in my life. Many people ask me why I left nursing to go into administration, I simply smile and say I have not left nursing, it is yet another phase of my nursing practice. There are so many things you can do with a nursing degree and some solid clinical experience, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination, desire, and willingness to make the sacrifices to prepare for your goals. In the mid-80's, and living in the south, I was always referred to as "that male nurse" by patients. I have very frequently been the only male member of my particular nursing unit staff (not a bad environment at all!!). I have been accused of being gay, asked many times when I planned to go to medical school, asked why I did women's work, and so on from the narrow minded rednecks you can find in the south (I can say this because I am from the south and love it). However I noticed this behavior changed in the 90s as more men came into the profession and attitudes seemed to change somewhat. I have never had an issue with any of my co-workers because of my gender. As I progressed up the management chain and got into administration, I have had directors of nursing that reported to me and have never had an issue because I am a "male" nurse. You will find male nurses in all areas of nursing but frequently in critical care, ER, and anesthesia. I have also been accused of getting promoted into administration because I am male. I found it very difficult to be promoted within the nursing department because I was male but could never prove it, however, I ended up getting promoted anyway because I was qualified, experienced, and have the personality to be able to pull people together and work together. Sorry for the lengthy email but I wanted to share my experiences with you. I would encourage you to go for it!! Please feel free to email me if you would like to talk further. Thanks. Oh yeah, and I have had, I think, dealings with physicians as any other nurse. I have not found that me being male really made any difference with the doctors. They just want their diagnostic information and a nurse to tell them what is going on with their patients when they make rounds, they are always in a hurry.
  9. by   shodobe
    Welcome zeke! I have been in nursing for 26 years now as an OR nurse. I would not do anything else. I love working with women and love what I do, despite loooooong hours and frustrating times. I think you will find you are very welcomed in this profession. Keep your ears and eyes open all the time, learn from a veteran and especially don't believe in the old saying, "they eat their young". You will find grumpy old nurses anywhere you go and just smile and do the best you can and that will be appreciated. Good luck and again welcome, Mike
  10. by   ainz
    I want to clarify one thing. I have not had any negative remarks made to me about being a male nurse in several years. During my last several years of clinical nursing the patients seemed to accept me being a male nurse without any problem at all. At times I have been assigned to female patients that seemed uncomfortable with me as their nurse even though their doctor was male. This is easily overcome by behaving as a professional and addressing their discomfort openly and immediately. After acknowledging their discomfort and reassuring them and then performing my nursing care in a very professional, compassionate, and empathetic way, I was able to win the female patients' trust. I have even had them request me as their nurse.
  11. by   nialloh
    Hi zeke. I've been a male nurse on a tele floor for 2 years now. I've had no problems with the "girls", implied or otherwise. I'm one of five men on the unit, and everyone seems happy to have us there. I've had no bad reactions to being a male nurse, it's just a fact that we're here.
    So if you want to go into nursing, go in with a clear mind. I think you'll enjoy it.
  12. by   MICU RN
    As mentioned in the previous post, you should not have a problem being accepted in nursing just because you are a male. However, some things which anyone that is thinking about being a nurse should do before jumpimg into it is go shadow some nurses in a hospital and try to get a real sense for what they do. In addition, look at what you want to do as a RN, so that you can make a good decision on what type of educational entry point you may wish to choose. There are three entry points: associate degree, diploma, and bachelors degree. IF you think you be happy just at the bedside then a associate or diploma degree may be all that you need, if you would like to get into management or advance practice then go get a bachelors degree. Also, realize that if you stay at the bedside you will probably not have the autonomy you are use to haveing in your maintance job. Many of my friends who have blue collar trades, plumbers, constuction workers ect have much more autonomy than I have at the bedside, although I have a college degree and plenty of responsibility, more than most of my friends. Also, most of my friends with blue collar trades make as much as me or more. ANd most of friends who are college educated professionals make more than me. So definitely don't do it just for the money. Lack of autonomy is one of the biggest negatives that I find with bedside nursing, you really have to get an advance degree ( NP, CRNA, ect.) to become a decision maker concerning the medical treatment of the patient. Not to say that a bedside nurse's role is not important, just the contrary, without it nothing would get done. And as I mentioned you will be given plenty of responsibility. These are just my points of view, since I am a male and came from a blue colllar background myself. Good luck!!!!
    Last edit by MICU RN on Jul 10, '03
  13. by   Karis
    I have worked with several male nurses and all of them have been very good nurses and coworkers. I have noticed patients referring to them as "that male nurse", but usually it's to tell me how much they liked that particular nurse. I did go to school with a male who was just awful, but that can be found in both genders. We did have a Dr. at my previous job who did alot of mastectomies and preferred for his patients to be taken care of by a female, even though he is a male. This is the only doctor I know that ever requested this. One time I did recommend to the charge nurse that a particular pt only be assigned to a female nurse. That was only because she was a very confused elderly woman who became very vulgar when a man entered her room. She would try to grab them. She was much better with women. In this instance, the charge nurse was a man and agreed with me (after she grabbed him). I know I was grateful to have a couple male nurses around when a large patient fell a while back.
  14. by   vettech
    Originally posted by Nurse Shark
    Zeke,

    I am currently in Nursing school and in my class of 37 we have 10 great guys that are working right along us girls and doing just as good if not better. ... I think that the times have changed and men should feel welcome in nursing. Even in the hospital I work in, there are several male RN's and they are excellent, organized nurses that have been very inspirational to me and have helped me learn more and understand more about patient care and the skills I will need when I am on the floor as a nurse.
    Wow, that's a high ratio! I my program there are ~140 students and only ~10 guys. Thats what, about 7%? From what I read, that's about the ratio of male RNs in the field too.

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