I just wanted to offer a word of encouragement, you are the minority in a HUGE profession. However over the years of your education, you will find that nearly every patient has been cared for by a "male nurse" and they were the best one they ever had. It's sometimes hard constantly being surrounded by women, their hormones and their problems, but it helps you understand the women in your own life. I came away from school a more sensitive and caring person. I had another guy in my class, and we are best friends to this day. We live in the same apartment complex, carpool to work, and swap "war stories" in the car after a long night's work. We both moved 750 miles from home to work where we do now, and we both love it. We had to stick together in school, studying for finals, tests, those dad-gum care plans, etc. You guys will be a precious commodity in whatever area you choose. You will not be given preferential treatment, but almost expected to excel in what you do. You will be "expected" to get your advanced training, eg ACLS, PALS, CCRN, and maybe become charge/resource nurse, or even assistant/nurse manager. Face it. The people on your unit will look to you for leadership whether or not you've developed it yet. You will be the cool cucumber in the garden of hot peppers. Hang in there. You'll take a lot of flak for being "Gaylord Focker" but those same people will be asking you to tell them your cool stories from the ER or ICU. Most outsiders have a fascination with medicine, but never will see the things you will. You don't have to be a doctor to be respected. I currently work in a Level III Neonatal ICU with premature babies. I NEVER thought in school I'd be doing this. It is the most rewarding job I've ever had. It's a job I love to go to every night I'm on. Sure the breastfeeding teaching is kind of weird, but saving the life of a 23=weeker in the delivery room, and watching him grow and finally go home months later is priceless. So hang in there, use these forums, keep your eye on the goal!
Steve, RN, NICU, Emergency Air Neonatal Transport, Neonatal NP down the road!