nursing career

  1. I am a man and I'm thinking of becoming a nurse. I've just started my first semester of college and I've been truly interested
    in the nursing field. Are any of you male nurses? For you female nurse tell me about your experiences w/ male nurses.
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   wildtime88
    Hey guy I am going to give this to you straight and clear and honestly.

    Nursing is still very much a female dominated profession with all the attributes attitudes and progress that you have seen in any other dominated arena.

    There is still somewhat of a female attitude that men are not allowed atmosphere in some areas and also with some clicks. Over all females still talk about each other behind their backs and avoid direct confrontation. Overall they still accept more of a burden and are easier to keep under control. They still say please or may I or will you. They still accept sacrifice without much protest. Overall they are still afraid to speak out or say no. Money, making demands, or refusing to do something are still considered dirty subjects. Overall, they are much quicker to follow a path that will lead them away from direct conflict. Overall, individually they will run from direct conflict and agree to demands. Overall, they will run to a third party to fight their battle and make their objections for them. Overall, they are still quicker to compromise or make concessions. Overall, they are still easily shamed or made to feel guilty in order to get them to give in or agree to do something they do not want to do. Overall, they do not make good team players by a male's description. You have to cover your back a lot more in this profession because of the silent enemies you might make. Overall they still tend to hold silent personal grudges and then tell on you instead of confronting you. Overall, they still tend to smile at you while they are writing a note to someone telling them how bad you are. Overall, they are still very scared of authority figures. Overall, they do not like to make waves in public or use direct confrontation. Overall, they like to sit back after the fact and only amongst themselves say what someone should have done or said. Overall, if one stands up to object the others either hide or bow their heads in silence. In short, overall females are still in control within the profession but not have any control over the profession as in how it functions or operates. Overall, they still tend to devalue their self worth. Any male that enters this profession needs to understand it is not like working with other men and the atmosphere is much different. A male overall, can only advance as far as the women in the profession do.

    If you are coming in here as a career and not a "calling", then right now you can get a job anywhere in the hospital. The pay will more than likely not be equal to the duties, responsibilities, or workload. In the next 3 to 5 years there could be a surge of new nurses coming into the market that will hold pay down. Nursing is just now starting to increase the pay scale that was present in 1995. You can move on from the bedside into other areas of nursing such as education, law, management, administration, research, or sales. All these professions you can achieve a whole lot easier without becoming a nurse and make as much or more money. Physician's assistants on average are still making more money than Nurse Practitioners. Nurse Anesthetists are doing very well and it is has a larger percentage of males in it. It will normally require a BSN with at least 1-year of critical experience to apply to the program. Then it is a 2 year crammed clinical and curriculum program. This group of nurses has advance much farther than any other.

    There is a few things I would suggest that you do right away. One is first investigate what a calling is, not just meaning but what some nurses think this entails. Second, decide where you want to be in 10 or 20 years as far as career advancement or economic status. Third, decide if you will be satisfied with slow growth in your professional career when it comes to pay. Forth, decide how much you willing to personally sacrifice if you enter this profession. Fifth, think about just how long you can take working in a female dominated field.

    There are some ladies who already have or are starting to break away from the female stereotypes that men have all come to know. But there is much more that have not.


    I am going to catch hell for this one Nate but.......
    Last edit by wildtime88 on Jan 5, '02
  4. by   nurs4kids
    Hi nate, welcome!
    Well, wildtime just showed you one side of nursing. The disgruntled, I'm in it totally for the money, I want to blame women for my woes, men are superior...you get the picture. That is the picture from a man who has no family to support and who does nothing more to help the profession than gripe. Thank God, he is a minority in nursing. He raises some great thoughts, but takes every opportunity and turns a potential nurse away from the profession. He is an agency nurse, and the longer he can hold on to this shortage, the more secure his job.

    I am a female nurse and I work with several male nurses. I love working with male nurses just because I'm a guy's gal. However, I do not see the differences wild points out above. I don't see the guys making some big stand; I don't see the women as back-stabbing. Nursing is like any profession be it male dominated or female: you have a mixture of personalities, period. Nursing does have it's problems, but they are not all unique to nursing or to female-dominated professions.

    My advice would be the following: If you're in it for the pay, you'll be dissappointed (take wildtime for example). If you're in it as a calling, you'll be blamed for holding the profession back. If you're interested because you want to help people and make a moderate living, then you'll be very happy. It's hard work, but it's very rewarding emotionally. It's managable financially. Men are very accepted in nursing and the patients are very receptive to male nurses. As long as you're realistic in your expectations, you'll be happy. Read this board and you'll find many of the problems with nursing. Some are exaggerated, some are to the point and accurate. Overall, this board is a place where nurses vent their frustration. If it were as bad as wild says, this bb would be empty; we'd all leave the field.

    Welcome, and good luck!!
  5. by   wildtime88
    That reminds me, overall women are more likely to be in self denial. And you can see how they fight.

    Nate, it is a different world with a different set of rules.
  6. by   nurs4kids

    and if you wonder how cowards fight, you'll notice the "last edited" time on wildtime's first reply on this thread. You'll note it was edited AFTER my UNEDITED reply. This was done so that he could play off what I said and make it look like he said it first.

    Don't get frustrated with these first few replies, you'll get many others that are not so negative. You're getting the middle of the night replies. Wait until tomorrow when the day people are here. They are much more objective
  7. by   LilgirlRN
    I am female, needless to say, given the nick that I chose or I am one really sick guy...nah I'm female, Hi Nate, I'm Wendy. Let me tell ya, I don't care what sex you are, what color you are, how old you are as long as you can do your job and do it properly. Wild, I don't know what woman has pissed you off, but don't take it out on the rest of us. I resent being thrown in with nurses of that sort, in my estimation, the men are just as bad if not worse than the women when it comes to gossiping. You want to know something on your floor, ask one of the guys, they can tell you whatever is going on, usually in great detail. There are usually only one or two guys per shift, so they become confidants to the female nurses. If the guy can keep his mouth shut, all is ok, most of the time they get just as caught up in he said/she said. For the most part, as with any profession men make more for the same job, so you have that in your favor, you'll be surrounded by women (that can be good or bad depending on you marital status and your age). If you're young you will have lots of moms, if you are older you may have many to chose from in the non-mom arena. Nursing is a noble profession, as long as you act like a professional, you will be fine. Besides, like an email I recently received says, men are good for lifting heavy things and killing bugs
    Last edit by LilgirlRN on Jan 5, '02
  8. by   mattcastens
    I would agree with nurse4kids ... ignore wildtime if you're intent on enjoying this site. He tends to like to enrage and bait.

    I love nursing. Granted, there are some aspects that I could do without, but in general it's a very rewarding profession. Yes, it is a female-dominate profession, and women tend to look at situations and deal with problems (and politics) different than men, but the women I work with have never held it against me or any of my many male co-workers. In fact, I have never met one that has said that they didn't like working with men -- quite the opposite. (FYI, on my unit there are about 50-60 nurses on staff, six of us are male. That's about ten percent.)

    A lot will have to do with what field of nursing you're interested in. Men tend to focus on the critical care aspects: Emergency, Intensive Care, Transport, etc. However, there are men in all areas of nursing.

    The only problem I've ever had being a man in nursing was during my OB rotation -- and then it was from the fathers!
  9. by   traumaRUs
    I'm an ER nurse (female, age 43) and love it! I've also done agency nursing (still do on occasion and love the money there - $54/hour). Wildtime wouldn't be happy anywhere!!! QUIT WHINING!!!!

    Anyway, ER and ICU nursing probably have the most males - our ER is big and we have about 25% male. We all do the same job. Our raise this year was about 11% which isn't too shabby.

    As with any job, anywhere there are always things you love and things you don't. I personally don't feel nursing is a calling, but a profession. I act professionally and I am treated professionally!! Its that simple.

    I wish you luck. With the nursing shortage expected to last well into this century, the opportunities are endless. Good luck...judi
  10. by   mattcastens
    Here's an old cartoon I found a while back that the male nurses on my unit have always enjoyed....

    Nursing: Not just for chicks anymore!
    Last edit by brian on Feb 16, '04
  11. by   Furball
    My floor is approx. 15% male. They make wondeful nurses! But...backstabbers come in both sexes and in all occupations. The biggest one on my floor happens to be male. In general though, the guys I have worked with are great, very knowledgeable, hardworking and compassionate. Go for it and good luck, we are happy to have you around. God bless, Furball

    PS Only one of the male nurses I have worked with was gay so that stereotype is in error along with the female back stabbing stereotype.
  12. by   Furball
    I just reread my post and thought that my PS might be misunderstood. It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is...the one gay nurse was the best. I'm just refuting some of the erroneous stereotypes flying around. Welcome aboard whether your male, female, brown, black, white, green, gay, fat, skinny, whatever.
  13. by   Jenny P
    I work in a CV-ICU unit and our staff of approx. 70 nurses has about 20 guys. I've worked charge a few times when there may have been just 3 or 4 gals out of 12-14 nurses. Those testoserone nights can be just as bad as some of the PMS days guys complain about.
    If you are thinking about nursing, give it a try. If you don't like it, you can earn a living at it while you go back to school for something else-- and you will make more $$$ than you can flipping burgers!
    I thouroughly enjoy working with nurses who are willing to team build and who advocate for their patients, their co-workers, AND their profession. I don't care if they are male or female, what color, creed, or nationality they may be, nor do I care how old or young they may be. I DO care that they are committed to do the job that they are paid for and do it to the best of their ability.
    Try it you might like like it!
  14. by   PhantomRN
    If you want to become a nurse I say go for it. I work in the unit and the staff is about 10% males. I am female. I find it no different to work with men or woman.

    As far as gossiping goes, we have one male who leaves no stone unturned when It comes to talking about people. But then we have a few females like that as well.

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