Student Nurse Activists

  1. I'm starting this thread to continue what I think was a great discussion about student nurse activism. I'd like to know what is -- or is not -- happening on your campus and what you'd like to see change as you pursue your nursing degree.

    Sunnyjohn suggested that perhaps nurses need an image makeover. What's the image of nurses projected by faculty on your campus? If you think it needs to be changed, in what way, and how would you go about it?

    I'm particularly intrigued by this topic right now because I'm reading a great book, "The Complexities of Care," edited by Siobhan Nelson and Suzanne Gordon. The editors contend that nursing hurts itself by promoting itself as "virtue work" -- the caring work done by angels of mercy -- as opposed to "knowledge work" -- the caring work done by professionals highly educated in science. They suggest that by continuing to promote itself as "the caring profession," nursing might actually discourage great candidates from embarking on a career that involves great technical skill, intellect and ethics. Does anyone else see this conflict?
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  3. by   Scrubz
    I'm a guy and I've thought about doing some thing to help boost popularity for male nurses. I don't really know what I could do though... Any advice?
  4. by   manofcare
    How about going to the local High School on career day and asking the students to guess what you do for a living or what your career path is. Then explain the requirements for nursing, such as the need for strong science skills, etc. My best friend is in the program ahead of me by a year and I bet the students would guess we were police. The one stigma that seems to come back is that all male nurses are gay. No offense meant, but the image for male nurses needs to change in order to attract more men to nursing. And yes, I think there is a need for more men in nursing. More qualified men, and more qualified women. The myth that only women can care needs to be eradicated once and for all.
  5. by   sunnyjohn
    Yea! Let the Reform BEGIN!

    I will post my comments soon. I need time to think

  6. by   Freedom42
    Great idea, Manofcare. We have a student organization on campus that does just that. (I don't think there are any men involved, and that's a shame.) That could work on several different levels. I know if I were a middle schooler, I'd be thrilled to have someone come in my classroom in scrubs and a stethoscope and tell me about a job that can really be an adventure.

    One thing that struck me during all of last semester's reading was the need -- at least from my point of view -- for a radical public image campaign. Something along the lines of, "The Few. The Proud." Oh, wait, that's taken. But you get the idea. And promoting nursing as a challenging profession to recruit men benefits everyone. History shows us that whenever women join a profession in large numbers (e.g., teaching, the "clerking" of yester-year), the wages go down. If we recruit more men to nursing, it stands to reason that not only do we help ease the shortage, but working conditions and wages are likely to improve.

    Here's something that might work for you, Scrubz: Why not have your campus paper or local news profile a man who works as a nurse? I found this example online; I wish it emphasized more about this nurse's scientific education, but hey, it's a start.

    Also, have you seen this terrific recruitment poster from the Oregon Center for Nursing? My school has one hanging at its main desk. I'm thinking we could do a local version -- or a calendar -- to raise money.
  7. by   SA2BDOCTOR
    I need time to gather my thoughts also. This is an excellent thread............