Male nursing students/nurses

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Tweety, BSN, RN

33,821 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I think SmilingBlueEyes and I had this conversation before, that males in her class got away with murder, when it was the opposite in my class. There were two of us in a class of 60 and we stood out, and were under the microscope and couldn't get away with anything. We both strived real hard and were model students, all the problem students were female.

Again, male, female, gay, straight, green aliens from Austrailia, anyone with an RN or LPN to help me out is fine. :)


1,093 Posts

i can tell you that when i was in nursing school - i had only 5 guys in our class...and we were all soooo glad they were there..they added to our learning and they knew it..i am sorry that your program doesn't support males in nursing....but i do feel that is a rare far as pictures...i think you are being a little sensitive.....and as for TV portraying male nurses poorly - get on board - TV portrays ALL nurses poorly...this is something the ANA has been attempting to all male nurses are gay???? well all the female nurses are ho' we both are shown strong, learn your stuff,.....and encourage other men to join up!!


20 Posts

Specializes in Geriatric, Rehab, Hospital.

Dude, i hear ya when it comes to discrimination from women about Male Nurses.

Most are cool with it,and even respect a man who they feel must be special to be so compassionate and caring to do the work we do.

But there are SOME...:(

They either fell threatened or intimidated or have had some bad experiences with a man in their life and suddenly YOU are the personification of all things WRONG with the Y chromosome.

It's a cross to bear, but I do it for the sake of my patients.....


24 Posts

Krebs, man

1st let me say that if Drew Carey and Will & Grace are where you are looking for validation than you are in more trouble than you realise.

I also possess the XY chromosone and have been a Nurse for 27+ years. I have never found it to be a problem. I have worked in ICU,ED, PACU, ENDO, Home Health and as a trainer for HP/Agilent Technologies, and as an Agency Nurse and Traveller. As far as I can tell, I have never been hampered by my gender. I have also worked with men who have worked in OR, Peds, Offices, Hospice, MedSurg, etc. If you are a willing to work, able to get along with others, and show a lot of caring for your patients, opportunities will open up for you.

The trash on commercial TV seldom shows anybody in a positive light. Sensationalism, steriotyping, ignorance and plot lines aimed at 4th graders make wonder why intelligent and educated people even watch that stuff.

If you think that more should be done to spotlight men in the nursing profession you might try being a little more proactive when you graduate. How ???? Try getting involved in local speakers bureaus to talk to a variety of groups about health care issues. Another possibility would be to get certified in and teach CPR or first aid to non-nursing groups such as scouts, troubled youth, condo associations, etc. Actively participate in high school career fairs or in health fairs.

I think that the most important thing that you can do for Nurses, men and women, is to portray the profession in a positive light. Present yourself as knowledgable while avoiding being a know-it-all. Strive to help the profession to grow while avoiding being a whiner, complainer or *****er. Realise that it is intelligent, caring, people that are needed in nursing and gender has nothing to do with that.


The miracle isn't that I finished, The miracle is that I had the courage to start. John "The Penguin" Bingham

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health.

When I trained in England twenty odd years ago there were three men to 21 women in my group. I'd say back then things were a bit odd - we weren't allowed to look after female patients (except on geriatrics - that was somehow acceptable) whereas nobody stopped female nurses looking after males or male doctors examining females. We were a bit of an oddity and the MALE nurse was annoyingly a part of our title; but it was the sleepy South-West of England. After qualifying I moved to London where the situation was totally different - no big deal and no discrimination whatsoever.

Here in France it's absolutely no big deal - you are treated the same and it's no problem with you catheterizing women etc. A nurse is a nurse.

It was only in my training days that I felt I was treated any differently. Since qualifying I don't think being a man has hampered me at all, in fact in England it's well documented that men in nursing tend to climb the career ladder much faster and there are disproportionately high numbers of them in senior nursing positions.

With the French language it's easy to distingush as there are masculin and feminine versions of everything, so if you're described as 'infirmier' everybody knows that's a man as opposed to 'infirmière' which is a woman. I think sadly in anglo-saxon culture the word 'nurse' still conjurs up images of a woman.

I can't think of any images on French TV of nurses of either sex, though whenever they cover the health service as a news item they're as likey to interview a nurse of either sex.

In the UK a male character in an extremely popular soap (Martin Platt in 'Coronation Street') applied to do his nurse training and it was reported that immediately afterwards there was a dramatic rise in the number of applications from men for nursing courses! The soap has since charted his career and he's now a charge nurse in A&E (Emergency Room). I think his character has actually dome alot to present nursing as a normal career choice for men.

Popular sterotypes about male nurses in the UK are that they are either all gay (nothing wrong with that, but not always true) or all frustrated doctors (everything wrong with that and usually always not true!) Funnily enough I'm not aware of these sterotypes in France.

I would echo the voices of others and say hang on in there! If your training hospital is a little funny on the issue, remember you're not obliged to stay there once you qualify. The world's your oyster! Best of luck. ;)

nurseygrrl, LPN

445 Posts

Specializes in HIV/AIDS, Dementia, Psych.
Originally posted by RedRubCatheter

For Glopop & HerEyes73

The issue here isn't about this male student looking for sympathy, nor is it about women entering male-dominated fields.

krebs.cycle posted information about men in nursing. He did not say that women going into traditional male roles do not have similar issues--rather, he was posting about a very real issue facing MEN going into NURSING. This isn't an electrician's discussion forum.

Although you are entitled to your opinions, of course, I don't believe you should berate krebs for what he has experienced during his schooling, and what he has likely spent time researching.

Krebs, way to go. I think we need more men in nursing and I applaud you for wanting to be an RN. Good luck.

I wasn't trying to berate him. I was trying to point out that there is discrimination everywhere and he shouldn't let that type of thing bother him. I'm sorry if my post seemed otherwise. It's definitely difficult to judge how someone is saying something on a message board. Again, Krebs...good luck to you and don't sweat the small stuff!


12 Posts

Originally posted by DavidFR

When I trained in England twenty odd years ago there were three men to 21 women in my group. I'd say back then things were a bit odd - we weren't allowed to look after female patients (except on geriatrics - that was somehow acceptable) whereas nobody stopped female nurses looking after males or male doctors examining females.

Sorry old boy, still a bit of a problem today - I am in 2nd semester and had instructors state that no male student will EVER work with a female pt. - the dark ages still rule in the halls of acadamia . Oh, well. It's just school.


4 Posts


Bro, the most profound thing iv'e heard from any nurse was from a "male" nurse in the ed while i was a 3rd year student. He said (in frustration) ..."this is NOT a @#$#@ construction site!"). No explanation necessary for me. There are days when I go home and I just want to get my hands dirty from something other than the usual...but all things considered, I'm in the right profession. SO many options...Some advice:Obtain a good knowledge base, ASK questions, and DO NOT think outloud ! Another thing; docs WILL treat you differently than your female counterparts. Beleive it, and do nothing to change it - It is our unique advantage. It's hard to be a man...LOL


49 Posts

Specializes in ICU, PACU.

There were few male students in my nursing program. A few male students felt like they had to try and perform above and beyond expectations (especially clinicals) so the instructors could accept them. During lecture, our instructors seemed to talk to the class like there were no males in the class. To me, this was rather rude and disrespectful.

Personally, I think more male nursing instructors are needed. I just graduated and passed my boards recently. I had one Instructor who was man, and to make things interesting, he taught OB and had his PHD. He was extremely smart and I learned a lot from him (even though OB isn't my thing) To me, this will help male students have role models during their time in nursing school. I had a female instructor as a role model. She was the type of nurse that I wanted to grow up and be.

At the present, one of the educators at the hospital I was hired at is a male nurse. He brings with him an extensive history of experience and has a lot to offer us new grads starting in the critical care units. I find having a male nurse instructor is rather quite refreshing.

Men in nursing is much needed. Don't drop out of nursing school because your a man. I agree that society does not portray male nurses as a career choice. But the thing that I want you to know is sometimes I wish my husband was a nurse, that way I could tell him about my day and he would understand what I went through.


225 Posts

I would ignore the medias ideas about nursing. Reality is, lots of guys are going into nursing. My ADN program is about 25 % male, at that is increasing based on what I see in my pre req classes. Forget the idea abt guys in nursing being sissy or gay too.....Most of the guys I go to school with arent't exactly wimpy types. I ahve noticed that the re entry people I go to school with tend to be two types: the women are either going back to work after being home with the kids or are training up from working as a medical assisstant or CNA, the men tend to be from some field totally unrelated to nursing such as last semester we had a retired cop, a marine, a carpenter and a analyst in the hi tech industry (who was viet nam vet and had received the purple heart and Bronze star) I remember thinking if I ever work someplace with combative pts I hope these guys have my back!!!!! Dont let the turkeys get you down.



2 Posts

My previous statements about being a male nursing student where more directed towards the classroom dynamics than towards the clinical setting. The nursing program that I attend is designed and implemented by an entirely female faculty, and as a Collaborative program with several other colleges and universities, is also influenced by several other all female faculties. Therefore it only goes without saying that the program would be more favourable to a majority of females learning styles (and don't get up in arms over that comment because men and women are not the same nor usually learn the same ways). This has made it difficult to retain the few male students that start the program. In the first year we wrote several essays on our "feelings". If we did not do an adequate job, that met the female instructor's requirements, we got a poor mark. I know there are females who found these assignments difficult too. As a male, I was raised to never explain or share my feelings in great depths.

In the hospital setting I have not noticed any detrimental prejudices about my gender, but some on being a student. To date the majority of my clients have been over 50 and I do get the occassional comments of "Are you the doctor?" All seem pleased when I explain that I am a nurse that happens to be male. I do all I can to promote a positive image of the nursing profession and hope to do so throughout my career. I just want to carry on the tradition the title "nurse" stands for: Caring, Understanding, and Professionalism.

However................I am sure I can't be the only person that wonders why males make up such a small percentage of RNs in Canada. In 2002 there were 230,957 RNs total, with only 5.1% (11,796) being male. Before the term "nurse" came into being with Florence Nightengale, it was the male who did the majority of nursing, throughout history, for the sick and dying of the many wars and battles (ie. Holy Wars, front-line medics, pre-Crimean War).

Can someone explain to me though, why is it that 44.7% of the male RNs work in Quebec? Is there some benefit to working in this province or recruitment strategy that the other provinces don't know about?


586 Posts

Hmmm, interesting subject. I do agree that we need more men because I would like the image of nursing to change as being "women's work" or whatever. However, I think that alot of people feel isolated or perhaps discriminated for one reason or another, be it age, race, weight, or gender. I personally don't care what might be different about you. All I care about is that you are a good nurse willing to work as a team...I have discovered on the night shift that teamwork is sooo important.


I recently experienced being underneath a magnifying glass. I had a fifteen minute conversation with a doctor who just had to know what race I was, couldn't bother to get my name, but just had to know my race.

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