Parents aren't supportive of a Nursing career

  1. Hi everyone. I discovered this forum quite some time ago but this is my first post here. I'm 17 (turning 18 in this December).

    I have envisioned becoming a nurse in the future from quite a time. I felt (still feel) that this was the ideal career choice for me, based upon the type of person I am. I've been doing a lot of research and planning on what I'll be doing, after what, how, when and so on in order to succeed and get onto this profession that I wholeheartedly love! I kept this desire (or "dream", or whatever you prefer calling it) to myself because I was tremendously terrified about what'd happen when I finally broke it out to my parents (especially my mother and my elder brother). Well, finally, it was today when I decided to finally let my mom know what I dreamt of becoming someday and....well, expectedly, she didn't approve of my decision. I saw that coming; I'd be lying if I say I didn't. I must say it was kinda too harsh then I expected it'd be. And I can already imagine how my Dad and brother are going to react when they hear this. They think it is something "meant for girls and women to do" and me, being a guy, I won't ever get any sort of respect or whatsoever from them, my relatives or anyone! Hence, I'm forbidden to even think about it.

    I'm feeling absolutely crestfallen, dispirited and I can picture if nothing, a miserable future for me right now! I am genuinely passionate about becoming a nurse; but the aura around me is nowhere close to peaceful or positive right now. I just wanna do what I love doing and apparently, no one cares or understands. Any tips for coping up would be helpful and highly appreciated! Thank you for reading (in case you read the whole story).
    Last edit by Sam101 on May 31
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from Sam101
    They think it is something "meant for girls and women to do" and me, being a guy, I won't ever get any sort of respect or whatsoever from them, my relatives or anyone! Hence, I'm forbidden to even think about it.

    I'm feeling absolutely crestfallen, dispirited and I can picture if nothing, a miserable future for me right now! I am genuinely passionate about becoming a nurse; but the aura around me is nowhere close to peaceful or positive right now. I just wanna do what I love doing and apparently, no one cares or understands. Any tips for coping up would be helpful and highly appreciated! Thank you for reading (in case you read the whole story).
    My perspective is coming from a male nurse in the US. I don't know the culture that you are surrounded by. I have had no, none, zero disparaging words towards me from instructors, co workers, families, or public. Not only am I a male in what was a stereotypical female career, but I am a NICU nurse. Traditionally, women care for infants. So you would think that I would get criticism from Alpha male fathers, but instead I get nothing but respect from them. In my particular specialty, the parents that have male babies gravitate towards wanting me to care for them. Maybe they feel male-male bonding helps their baby get stronger quicker.

    Here is a history lesson on males in nursing. Men in Nursing Historical Timeline

    Males have been in nursing for centuries. My advice is to ignore your critics and pursue a career that you want to pursue, not what they want you to choose. They are not going to live your life, you are. Nursing is a noble and respected profession for both males and females.
  4. by   Devon Rex
    Hi Sam!

    I am also a male nurse. I work in the Orthopedic unit of a large hospital. A nursing degree will open up a lot of doors for you. I do not know the reason your mother disapproves of it, but it makes me sad she feels that way. Follow your dream.

    Guy in Babyland is giving you the best advice at the moment: "Males have been in nursing for centuries. My advice is to ignore your critics and pursue a career that you want to pursue, not what they want you to choose. They are not going to live your life, you are. Nursing is a noble and respected profession for both males and females."

    Be strong! Persevere!
  5. by   Sam101
    Thank you for your comment!

    I got momentarily depressed, but I now know more than ever that nursing is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in the future. The disapproval, if anything, is only going to make me stronger and strive even more in my journey to become a nurse. I guess what they say is true that "Rejection is the best motivation".
  6. by   Niandra
    That's so awesome that you want to be a nurse!! Definitely pursue it!!!

    I know this is especially hard still being in high school and dependent on your parents, but it's great you're rejecting that toxic masculinity macho crap in favor of doing something you love. (I've known several male social workers who also unfortunately dealt with this BS from their families).

    There are plenty of male nurses out there! It's so crazy to me when people denigrate it as this lesser profession that is only for women. I've worked with some amazing male nurses over the years. Where I currently live and work in rural South Africa (where female nurses are called "sisters" and still wear skirts!) we have a ton of male nurses even though gender roles are even more rigidly observed here in general.

    General advice I would give to anyone thinking about nursing:
    Get entry level experience at a hospital.
    Work as a nursing assistant while you're in college. It would 1) be GREAT experience and 2) let you make some money and get a little financial independence from your parents. You also might be able to meet some male nurses this way and learn more about their experience.
    Last edit by Niandra on Jun 1
  7. by   meanmaryjean
    No one can forbid you to think.
  8. by   kkbb
    As a mom to a son I will tell you this, I can only hope that one day my son grows to be brave like you. It is hard to take a stand against family and to fight for what we believe in and want to be. To have that type of sense of self and conviction at a young age is wonderful. Believe in yourself.

    It might be a hard road, but it is a harder one to end up in a career you hate, filled with regret that you did not do what you wanted to. Believe me. And it took me a lot longer to figure out what I wanted (and to stand up to my family to get there).
  9. by   Sam101
    Thank you, Niandra! Really appreciate your advice!!
  10. by   Sam101
    Aww...thank you, kkbb! You're absolutely correct! I'd rather try and fail rather than never trying and spending the rest of my life wondering "What if?" and saying to myself "I should've"" (I hate saying "should've" by the way)! Thanks for your comment again!
  11. by   Rionoir
    So sorry that your family is so close-minded, but don't you dare let them discourage you from your dreams.
  12. by   NurseSellsHomes
    Go for it! Your heart is dictating that you will be a nurse. It's your calling! Don't let anyone steal or dim your LIGHT! Become a nurse and shine! At the end of the day, you will be proud that you overcame this challenge and will have the power and ability to take care of and preserve the lives of your mom, dad, family members and our community. That is honorable! And no one can take that invaluable education and knowledge away from you! Be strong, persevere and accomplish your dreams! And let your light shine!
  13. by   CMitchell11
    Wow. I'm sorry your family is close minded to your aspirations.

    In some ways I can relate. I'm 27 & initially went to school to pursue my moms idea of a career at the age of 19. Needless to say I completed the tech program & hated the field so much I never sought a job in that particular industry. I landed myself about 12k in student loan debt for an education/career that was never my idea. Again, I went back to school to purse Business Admin at 24yrs old because it was a "flexible" degree with a lot of opportunities. First, I'm not good at accounting & second-It's the furthest choice from my personality & self fulfillment.

    Anyways, my only advice is to pursue what YOU desire. Hell, if you wanted to be a circus act I'd give the same advice-do what makes YOU happiest because you're the one who has to live with your career.

    You are from a different generation. Male nurses are becoming more common, don't let close minded people make your career choice.
  14. by   samist
    Not a male nurse, BUT I can sympathize with your situation. So let me offer you some advice that helped me along the way.

    I think and I know that it is extremely difficult to try and pursue something when you have no support from your loved ones. When I first told my loved ones at the time, that I wanted to become a nurse, I was met with a series of the following responses: "why do you want to do that?...You know you're going to be working as a peon, scut work?...But you're so smart and talented, why don't you become a doctor, that's what we had envisioned for you?...". My boyfriend at the time had the audacity to try and convince me to switch my career choice because he had envisioned marrying a doctor, his sister was a nurse and he said "I'm sure she now regrets becoming a nurse instead of going to med school".

    Everyone is quick to offer their opinions when it goes against their vision, their hopes, and their beliefs without a single thought of how it could impact the other person. So what I'm getting at is, if this is truly what you want to do, then go for it. The only person that has to deal with the choices and consequences is you. No one can live your life for you except for you. You have to not only be happy, but passionate about your career choice. Your passion will see you through school and the duration of your career. Follow your passion and success will follow.

    Since your family isn't supportive of your decision, make sure your external support system is strong (friends, teachers, etc), you will lean on them more than ever before, during, and after nursing school. Maybe one day your family will come around like mine did. You have a dream, just maintain your tenacity and push through it!

    Good luck and all the best dear!

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