Male Peds NP vs working for Federal Law Enforcement


I am a male student pursuing a degree in Nursing and I am currently finishing up my prerequisite courses for admission into the nursing program at my college. My ultimate goal is to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I will be applying for the third time soon for the next semester and since our applications are points-based, I am concerned I may not get in this time due to my two incomplete prerequisites, which leads me to believe I may be hitting dead ends with nursing because I intended to get in this upcoming semester.

Ever since I was a child, I've been a nurturer. Yes, I am indeed a guy, I believe I have all the masculine traits that society/psychology places on us, but when I was very young my family was broken up. I was raised by my mother, grandmother, and grandfather and had to learn very quickly to take care of myself & my siblings if there was no one else to do it. I have worked in numerous childcare settings over the years (volunteer & paid) and have always had a heart for caring for children. In my experience, they teach you so much and there is nothing quite like seeing a child happy because of the positive influence you made on their lives. For that reason, I have chosen to specialize in pediatrics, specifically in pediatric neurology due to personal experience with neurological disorders in children.

For a while, I've also had interest in working with law enforcement. I'm not as interested in local law enforcement as I am in federal. I'll watch a TV show or movie that involves investigations & such like Law & Order and it's like my mind tells me, "You could do that. You could get a job with the FBI or something and protect people, including children." But the more and more I research it, the more and more I'm drawn to nursing. But I also believe that I must have had this interest in law enforcement for a reason.

I am big on family, family means everything to me. I want a career that allows me to give back to children & the community in a huge way, but also allows me to be with my wife & children when they need me because I missed a lot of that as a child not having a father in the home. With nursing, there are so many options within the field in terms of flexibility and work/life balance. Whether or not you want to work in an acute care setting or primary, whether or not you want to work in PICU or the ER, etc. and that is one of the reasons I am drawn to it. Yes, I understand that there is such a thing as overtime and being on-call, but after comparing it to working for the federal government, it seems a lot less demanding.

So, in summation, I am a male student working towards a degree in nursing and ultimately becoming a Pediatric NP. I am torn between nursing and federal law enforcement careers. I want a job that allows me to be with family as much as possible, but also allows me to give back to my community. I am posting this in the "Men in Nursing" forum because I do also have a concern about obtaining a position in pediatrics while being a guy, and I'm hoping there may be an "expert" out there who can give me some pointers. I feel like I have bounced around, so if there is anything I need to elaborate on, please let me know and I appreciate any feedback.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

Welcome to allnurses! I am not a man, but I work in a children's hospital. We hire men all the time. We welcome them.

And you know ... there are a lot of troubled children out there. Some are in trouble with the law: some come from troubled families and have been victimized: some are emotionally troubled: some are battling a disease. There are all kinds of kids who could use someone like you to help through a difficult time and to help them find their way.

I'm sorry you might have to wait a little longer to gain admittance to the program of your choice. But I hope you keep trying and wish you the best of luck.

GrumpyRN, NP

1,242 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 41 years experience.

Can't comment on your law enforcement thoughts but from a male nurse point of view who works with children, albeit in the UK; it means nothing being male. You are a nurse who looks after children. The Y chromosome doesn't (or shouldn't) enter into it.

Good luck with your plans.

Specializes in Adult Nurse Practitioner. Has 40 years experience.

I am not a "guy", but I do know people who have worked in child services - the law enforcement side, and it is really hard! One person I know had a 4 county territory and would be called at all different times of the day/night/weekends/holidays...weekends and holidays being the worst, having to put on all the gear and go on a call. THEN having to arrange to meet a judge who would be willing to leave his/her family/engagements to meet and sign off papers for the child to be removed from a setting or to have a parent arrested. This person was spit on, beaten, thrown down stairs, etc. Has retired after the 2nd broken neck and needing surgery. I think your goal of pediatric neurology is wonderful just as long as you understand there will most likely be more pitfalls than successes. Good luck in whichever path you ultimately choose.

Specializes in PICU, Behavioral Health, Med-surge. Has 1 years experience.

Hey man. I have been working for a little over a year now as a CNA while I finish my prerequisite for nursing school. I also want to pursue a graduate degree in nursing eventually, however I want to go into nursing leadership and administration. I work on the "Flex Team" (float pool as some call it) at the children's hospital here in town. I have come in contact with some awesome guys who work in the field and do a phenomenal job. I would highly encourage you to obtain a CNA license and start working in a pediatric hospital near your house to see if it would be a good fit for you. I have been beaten up by patients that were bigger than me, cussed out by parents, and ended shifts as a patient in the ER. However, at the end of the day I love those kids so much. I want to give them comfort and make them happy even if it's just for a few hours. If you'd like to talk more please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Well I'm no nurse, but I can speak on being a Federal Agent with the Border Patrol and have worked with many fbi agents. What degree are you pursing currently? The fbi is very selective on who it hires, and what degrees they have or if they were prior military and hold a top secret clearance. Most new hire fbi agents are around 35 years old. Also they are on a pay system called LEAP, it's similar to.mine but still very different. Basically you will work Banker hours, however, being law enforcement you work when criminals work. With leap you are automatically paid 25% of your base salary on top of your regular pay regardless of hours worked. So one week you may do 9-5 every day the next you may get called out at 1 am every day and spend 6 hours doing interviews witness statements or lineups. Or you could get call outs every night every day, imagine working 45 hours of overtime in 2 weeks and only being paid for 20 of those. Law enforcement does have a high divorce rate. Very high. So it's not to family friendly. But it's up to you what you want to do.


224 Posts

I am posting this in the "Men in Nursing" forum because I do also have a concern about obtaining a position in pediatrics while being a guy, and I'm hoping there may be an "expert" out there who can give me some pointers.
I'm no expert and I have no pointers, but I'm fairly confident you can put the gender-based anxiety to rest. I've yet to see or experience any negativity surrounding male gender as it relates to pediatric care. (Anecdotal, of course.) If you can make a kid smile or provide any comfort at all -- and it sounds like you're a natural there -- parents are happy to have you. Of course there are exceptions, but we cannot plot our paths based on them.

I've heard plenty of arguments (primarily from females) for seeking to include male nurses on the care team... for a whole bunch of reasons. So there's that, too.

Of course there ARE times when gender factors in. But for every [male or female] patient who feels uncomfortable with a male, there's a [male or female] patient who's thrilled to have "a guy" to talk about stuff. In fact, this may help to elicit more pertinent information than might otherwise be disclosed. In that regard, it's a huge positive.

Best of luck in whatever you choose, brother! :up:


134 Posts

Wow. That's some letter. I'm retired from nursing now after 35 years but I'm here to tell you that for me being male was not a hindrance to working in peds. My first job out of nursing school was at Tulane University in the pediatrics department where I stayed for a solid year. It was an amazing learning experience for me. I got along well with the other staff and I think the kids and parents loved me. After gaining that year of experience I decided I wanted to try my hand at NICU which I did on and off for the better part of 3 years. After that I went into well babies where I remained until the Mother/Baby concept took over where the mother and newborn were cared for by a single nurse. Great concept but not for me. I wasn't interested in fundal checks and lochia, to be honest. There was a lot of instruction on breastfeeding the newborn and you know what? In all the time I did that work I can only remember being rejected by a mother one time. They were so receptive. My advice to you would be not to worry about being male in peds because it worked for me. Best of luck to you.


93 Posts

I too have though about law enforcement until I discovered a dissatisfying truth: most policework is boring and tedious. If television police shows interest you, that's because that is what they are designed to do! In reality, even major criminal investigations are nowhere near as exciting as they seem on TV and you wouldn't be involved in those as a detective until you had years of experience pulling people over for speeding and dealing with drunks. Its like the ER except all your patients hate you!

As a police officer you would deal with families, but not in a positive way. Most calls where you interact with families will be domestic violence or testifying against someone's family member in court.

My best advice would be to get some experience as an EMT. You will get some exposure to policework and a lot of exposure to how a 911 call goes down.

If your interest is really in helping patients and their families heal, then nursing/NP is probably your best bet. Police officers don't really have extended contact with the victims of the crimes they investigate, their role is more focused on gathering evidence and apprehending criminals. Even then, it would take years of experience pulling people over for speeding and dealing with drunks before you worked as a detective.

As for working in pediatrics as a guy, don't worry about it. If anything its an advantage being a male nurse. There aren't a lot of men in pediatrics because most male nurses aren't attracted to the specialty, not because they aren't preferred for the positions.