African Americans as nurses.
- 0Mar 9, '11 by Daniel FloydHey everyone. I would just like to know if it is ok to work as a nurse as an african american and do many do it? Are there any drawbacks to this or will everything be alright? I thank you for all answers!
- 12Mar 9, '11 by UpstateNyDollCnaIs it ok??!! Of course it's ok, just like it is ok for Caucasians, Asian Americans or Latino Americans or anyone else to be a nurse. If it's what you want to do and you really have it in your heart to be a nurse then go for it and don't let anyone stand in your way.
- 42Mar 9, '11 by TheCommuter, ASN, RN Senior ModeratorI am not sure that I fully understand your question, but I will give it a shot. I am a black nurse, and yes, it is fully okay to work as an African-American nurse.
Do many African-Americans do this job? Well, the answer to this question is dependent upon the region in which you live. Some areas are full of black nurses and other regions do not have any as the result of population trends.
I would be telling a boldfaced lie if I said that there were no drawbacks and that 'everything is going to be alright' if you enter this profession. A small number of patients and families are bold enough to use the N-word and other racial slurs when referring to black staff members. A few patients will refuse caregivers based on racial/ethnic background, bluntly stating that "I don't want a black nurse." And, as always, you might even deal with demented elderly patients who will call you every name in the book because they have lost every ounce of tact.
If you are a people-person, there are plenty of positive aspects to nursing. I'd much rather focus on the beneficial stuff, although I am not the type to put the rose-colored glasses on anyone's face when they ask a question that deserves an honest reply. Good luck to you!
- 3Mar 9, '11 by MerakiHi Op. I think it would be helpful to have a little background from you about why you asked this question. I am guessing perhaps there is something about your personal situation that makes this a question for you? Maybe you are younger and have had very limited exposure to the nursing field? What were you worried about?
I am sure there are many communities where a young black male hasn't had the opportunity to meet many black male nurses prompting his question. (I don't know - speculating here!)
- 7Mar 9, '11 by noahsmamaFor those who are wondering where the question is coming from -- the OP is a 17 year old African American male who is considering nursing as a career (he started a thread yesterday about men in nursing).
Where I live, in the SF Bay Area, there are many African American nurses, some of whom are also male. Many of our patients and their families are also African American. In the year and a half that I worked in a peds hospital, I never heard of a case of a family requesting a nurse of a specific ethnicity. It did sometimes happen that male patients, or their families, would request male nurses, or female patients would request female nurses. To the extent possible, these preferences were accomodated -- of course it was easy to always assign a female nurse when requested, and not as easy to always assign a male nurse, but when possible it was done.
OP, my advice is, if you want to be a nurse, go for it! You definitely will not be the first African American male nurse in the history of the world, I promise. Good luck with whatever decisions you make about your future career!