Male student dilemma?

  1. 0
    I feel like my Nursing profs judge me based on what I wear (loose fitting urban clothing). The reason I bring this up is a few days ago a prof in one of my nursing classes who I don't know on a personal basis made a really snide remark about my choice of clothing (she basically said I dress like a thug). I didn't think much of it until today. I've also always been an A student and I'm doing fine in my electives but in my Nursing class I'm sitting at C which is really unusual for me.

    I don't know if I'm over thinking this too much but I'm not about to change my entire wardrobe on a whim. Someone just tell me I'm over thinking this...
  2. 15 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I'm not sure that it's a "whim." Whether any of us like it or not, it's well-known and well-documented that all of us make all kinds of immediate, unconscious assumptions about others based on appearance. Is your appearance conveying the messages about yourself that you want to convey? The clothing I wear to work every day isn't necessarily what I "want" to wear -- it's clothing that sends the message about who I am, and my role at work, that I want to communicate to others at work.

    I'm not saying you should change the way you dress, and I'm not saying that it's okay for your instructor to allow your appearance to affect your grades (if that is what is happening). But you might want to start thinking now about what kind of messages you're sending to others who don't know you well, and whether those are messages you really want to be sending. Nursing school is preparing you to enter an occupation where you will be interacting all day with strangers and professional colleagues, all of whom will be, to some degree, whether it's right or wrong, making judgments about you based on your appearance.

    Just something to think about ... Best wishes for your journey!
    hikernurse and Norcal007 like this.
  4. 5
    I would judge you too.

    I prefer tye-dyed Grateful Dead t-shirts myself, but I most certainly didn't dress like that for school. If I were to dress that way, my professors may have thought I was an acid-eating (not anymore!) burnout and I would have been in no position to expect them to think otherwise.

    Also, I don't understand why you feel this is a gender-based issue.

    Part of nursing school is learning about an applied science, and part of it is about growing up and taking responsibility.
    Fiona59, grownuprosie, ERICRN1985, and 2 others like this.
  5. 3
    Dress like a professional and you will look professional and be treated like a professional. That's the way society works. I would give it some thought because it can affect how you are perceived. Not everyone can see your sterling qualities, or will bother to look. People judge you on your appearance, what do you want them to think? Surely you can find some clothes that are stylish and professional.
    Fiona59, LexRaven, and Gradius like this.
  6. 0
    Congrats on putting 2 and 2 together! I would consider modifying your wardrobe. I would also consider having a convo with that instructor, ( Part of nursing school is learning the professional role, there may be more learning for some than others.) ask her/him what he/she meant, and why he/she felt that way. With that comment from the inst., I have to wonder if you are intimidating, causing discomfort for, the instructors and/or other students.
    Good to see you have the insight to question this.
    Quote from jumper44
    I feel like my Nursing profs judge me based on what I wear (loose fitting urban clothing). The reason I bring this up is a few days ago a prof in one of my nursing classes who I don't know on a personal basis made a really snide remark about my choice of clothing (she basically said I dress like a thug). I didn't think much of it until today. I've also always been an A student and I'm doing fine in my electives but in my Nursing class I'm sitting at C which is really unusual for me.

    I don't know if I'm over thinking this too much but I'm not about to change my entire wardrobe on a whim. Someone just tell me I'm over thinking this...
  7. 0
    Okay. This wasn't the response I was looking for. Why does it matter what I wear? Half of girls in my class show up with their pajamas some days. How does what I wear effect my learning or the learning of others? I'm actually paying to be there it's not the other way around and furthermore there's no dress code at school. I already had a chat with my classmates I'm going to talk to her directly and see what her reasoning is, assuming she admits to discrimination.
  8. 4
    Quote from jumper44
    Okay. This wasn't the response I was looking for. Why does it matter what I wear? Half of girls in my class show up with their pajamas some days. How does what I wear effect my learning or the learning of others? I'm actually paying to be there it's not the other way around and furthermore there's no dress code at school. I already had a chat with my classmates I'm going to talk to her directly and see what her reasoning is, assuming she admits to discrimination.
    Sooo you have C grades...an your biggest concern is that one of your professors thinks you dress like a thug? Prioritize.

    I don't think it's discrimination. Everyone should be professional. If your classmates get A's and wear pajamas...they look good on paper to hiring managers when they send a resume. If you send in C grades PLUS you dress like a thug...you don't stand a chance.

    While it may not matter to you what you wear to class, would you wear your attire to an interview? Would you feel comfortable if the CNO or CEO of the local hospital you want to work at came to the classroom to unofficially "scout" for new employees?

    Focus on your grades and your level of professionalism first and foremost. If you feel your attire is appropriate, continue as you are and move on to studying.

    *EDIT: while C grades aren't bad, just remember how competitive new grad programs can be!! Also, these same professors you want to confront about your perceived discrimination, aren't going to want to write letters of recommendation when you need a professional reference after graduation.
    Fiona59, ERICRN1985, canadiandude, and 1 other like this.
  9. 2
    I hate it too, but nursing professors are a lot of stuffy conservatives, and dressing professionally can, in some instances, give you an edge. They want to to conform, you're at a professional school, you should look like a professional.

    It doesn't matter if there's a dress code or not, a lot of nursing professors seem to have this attitude, and you have to fall in line if you want optimum results. I always sit front row center, so i look the part of the "top" student, and guess what? I'm damn close (well, I work my ass off too). Fake it until you make it bro'.

    Everyday at nursing school can be a possible line on a job, so look the part and you can win. It sucks, that you have to deal with this, I dress pretty casual, but my professors seem pretty chill for the most part.
    Fiona59 and elkpark like this.
  10. 3
    You can dress cool without being too outthere. There is a time and place for everything. Would you wear shirt and tie to a club? nope Would you wear pants falling down your hips to an interview? I hope not. Given there is no dresscode I would find a school that has a description of a dress code and try that as your benchmark for starters.
    If you were getting A grades then one teacher comes comments on your dress and now you getting C grades, that would be something to keep an eye on as possible discrimination, so on that I disagree with some of the other posters. Maybe you should have a one on one with the instructor and do a review of the test to see if you actually did that bad, but dont mention anything about their thug comment, just observe for now and let them know you are interested in getting better grades. I will tell you this. I saw a youtube video with a female student nurse and they did not hesitate to tell her, "hey we dont want your kind here"...that was straight up racist...so watch the reaction you get when you speak to them one on one and you will know.
    As for how you dress, dress comfortable but see if you can make small changes, like no loud words and prints for starters. Remember nurse instructors , especially older ones are still used to the nurse should be a "blonde white upper/middle class female" and you step in with urban wear, its a culture shock to them as that is what they are comparing you too. It will take an adjustment for most of them. You don't have to change who you are as a person, but for class keep it plain and simple, you never know who might step in class, might be your next employer who knows but outside of class , wear what you will. Unfortunately people judge by how we dress but as men in nursing if the school does not have a dress code, make your own as we have to keep our standards high.
    As for fairness on how you are treated, As long as they have the same reaction to say a female student with a shorts and her butt showing off, or cleavage hanging down, and they have the same reaction, then I'd say they are being fair with their judgement of you.
    Last edit by ArrowRN on Oct 30, '12
    Fiona59, bardone, and Kandy83 like this.
  11. 1
    Quote from nurse2033
    Dress like a professional and you will look professional and be treated like a professional. That's the way society works. I would give it some thought because it can affect how you are perceived. Not everyone can see your sterling qualities, or will bother to look. People judge you on your appearance, what do you want them to think? Surely you can find some clothes that are stylish and professional.
    Pretty much what Nurse2033 said.
    Nursing is a profession and people in the community expect you to look and act professionally as a nurse. Im sure it works withthe girls too who wear to revealing clothing and what not, it doesnt mean you have to wear tailored suits like james bond, but yeah a professional look and manner does go along way in nursing school
    Fiona59 likes this.


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