Change title of "Nurse"? - page 4

Hello, I'm a junior year nursing student and this question seems to come up alot: why not change the title of "Nurse"? It doesn't bother me too much because I care more about taking care of... Read More

  1. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from HYPEractiveTTU
    I think there is a lot of "preaching to the choir" when many say that if you don't like the job title, then don't enter the field. There are gentlemen who have posted here who have been through years of the stereotyping, and have helped pave that road for all of us... THAT must have been tough, and I have utter respect for all of you. I see why after all these years of defending the profession, many of you would be very opposed to changing the name to just be PC.

    My opinion comes from a "business" side. I'm a former marketing guy who changed paths and am currently in nursing school. Everything that I learned and experienced while in marketing tells me that the name DOES have a huge impact on how the "product" is interpreted, and directs the demographic it is "sold" to. When I first decided on entering the nursing field, i was continuously asked why I don't just go to Med school, or Physical Therapy school, or PA school... the general public cannot shake the "hellloooooo nurse," stereotype. No matter what our experiences have been, when the general public hears of a "male nurse"... the image is immediatly demasculinized.

    My nursing class has the national average of 6% males, and at first it was very intimidating. I wish more guys could see past the name and old dress-hat-apron uniforms and see nursing as the intense, technological, and scientific career where the FOUNDATION of the job is to actually care about the welfare of the patient. To some, it may be "wrong" to change the name of nursing to encourage more guys to enter the field... but from a business side... it is probably the most effective way to increase the male population in nursing rather than entering other health careers simply because they have more androgynous names (physical therapist, physician's assistant, radiology technician).

    It seems that the medical model is starting their own tract which has moved into the nursing scope of practice which has the androgynous name that guys don't mind being called (ex. medical assistant). If this keeps up, and a medical-model equivalent to the RN is formed, what happens then? Will the difference in the medical/nursing tracts revert back to include gender? Also, if you look at the entrance rates of PA's to NP's (2nd bachelor, direct-entry programs), MANY more guys are either ENTERING or CONSIDERING entering the PA profession rather than the NP even when the NP has their own license, and given more autonomy than the PA in many states... why is this? I'm guessing it's because no matter how great the profession is... "joe blow" would rather be called an "PHYSICIAN assistant" than a "NURSE practitioner."

    (just so I don't criticize without offering a solution. In latin America, the title of Nurse has both feminine and masculine connotations: "Enfermero" for gentlemen, and "Enfermera" for ladies (derived from "Infirmary")... maybe somehow borrow that idea?)
    Enfermera = Female Nurse
    Enfermero = Male Nurse

  2. by   Beowoulf
    Quote from jb2u
    maybe it's just me, but i really don't care if more males enter the profession. i just want professional, caring people to enter the profession. i did not look at how many nurses were male before i entered nursing school and i don't really care if it ever changes.
    i'm not sure what the latest stats are, but i know that here in canada there is a terrible nurse shortage. i'm pretty sure it is still that way in the states, too. an over-worked, under-paid, under-appreciated nurse (or entire staff of nurses) is not in the best interest of the patients. yet, for all the sociological reasons mentioned (including the historically conditioned title), we are only drawing applicants from 50% of the population.

    we need more nurses and that other 50% is not going to even consider nursing unless the images (and many of the realities) change. we nurses, and those close to us, know what is involved with nursing, but as i often explain to friends, a nurse is like an iceberg: two-thirds of what is happening is going on under the surface.

    the public needs to be enlightened and images need to be changed. one of the points i made in my seminar presentation (to the delight of the female 99.9% of the audience) was that the changes needed to make nursing attractive to men are also going to make nursing more attractive to "modern-day" women, including those already in the profession. a professional, competent, and altruistic gift-of-self for the good of humanity is great ... but who is going to turn down added power, social prestige, and income?

    another way more men in the profession will help alleviate the shortage is that men are more likely to be working full time. (this was a discovery gleaned from a study looking into how men are more likely to be in the "higher" nursing hospital positions). women are more likely to work part-time because they often choose to have mat leave, choose to spend more time with the children during the school years, and other reasons.

    no, i disagree. we really need to "market" to that other 50%.
  3. by   caroladybelle
    The problem is THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF NURSES!!!!!!

    There are plenty of nurses in the USA - they just choose not to work in the pathetic conditions that abound in US hospitals.

    And recent stats show that male nurses leave the profession at twice the rate that female nurses leave the profession. There are even a few threads here about that stat.

    You can relabel nurses, you can market it as a profession that is in demand all you want, but until the conditions that nurses work with after they become nurses change, there will still be a shortage.

    And having more males, given that males have a greater attrition rate than females, has demonstrated that males are no better at changing those conditions nor better able to tolerate those conditions than females are.
  4. by   jb2u
    Quote from Beowoulf
    I'm not sure what the latest stats are, but I know that here in Canada there is a terrible nurse shortage. I'm pretty sure it is still that way in the States, too. An over-worked, under-paid, under-appreciated nurse (or entire STAFF of nurses) is not in the best interest of the patients. Yet, for all the sociological reasons mentioned (INCLUDING the historically conditioned title), we are only drawing applicants from 50% of the population.

    We need more nurses and that other 50% is NOT going to even consider nursing unless the images (and many of the realities) change. We nurses, and those close to us, know what is involved with nursing, but as I often explain to friends, a nurse is like an iceberg: two-thirds of what is happening is going on under the surface.
    The nursing shortage has more to do with there not being enough Professors to teach than it does available applicants. In my program, people with 3.5 GPAs are being turned away...300 applicants for 38 spots! All over the country great applicants are being turned away. Not everyone can put his/her life on hold for a year...so, they go into RT, PT, OT, or sometimes leave health care for another field.

    Quote from Beowoulf
    The public needs to be enlightened and images need to be changed. One of the points I made in my seminar presentation (to the delight of the female 99.9% of the audience) was that the changes needed to make nursing attractive to men are also going to make nursing more attractive to "modern-day" women, including those already in the profession. A professional, competent, and altruistic gift-of-self for the good of humanity is GREAT ... but who is going to turn down added power, social prestige, and income?

    Another way more men in the profession will help alleviate the shortage is that men are more likely to be working full time. (This was a discovery gleaned from a study looking into how men are more likely to be in the "higher" nursing hospital positions). Women are more likely to work part-time because they often choose to have mat leave, choose to spend more time with the children during the school years, and other reasons.

    No, I disagree. We really need to "market" to that other 50%.
    This was the exact point of my whole post. The answer is NOT to change the title, but rather to let the "public" know what it is exactly that Nurses do!!!! I'd rather get the respect from the public because they know what kind of education it takes to be a Nurse and that we are NOT there to "just follow Doctors' orders" than I would change the title to "just draw in more men" that need a different title to feel manly. I mean NURSING is what it is about. If you don't like NURSING then you won't like being a NURSE even if people call you a Enfermo. I mean...a name change only goes so far...when people say "pre-owned" car, I STILL hear "used." "Custodian" has been around awhile and people still say "janitor." "House Keeping" is now "environmental services," but pts still say "can you call house keeping. I imagine it will be the same with changing the title "Nurse" you can say to your pt, I am Jay, I will be your "Healing Facilitator" today" and they will still say..."oh, your my Nurse?"
  5. by   sensation
    i think if you are secure you would not worried about being called a nurse, i don't mind because that's what i choose to do. Being a nurse will not affect m manhood.
  6. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Here's the deal. "Marketing", for marketing's sake alone, will NOT increase the number of nurses out there. If you can't handle the title, you won't be able to handle the job.

    Now, you MIGHT get more men into school with a slick marketing campaign. But, at the end of the day, you'll only get those men most likely to drop the programs, and so, you just end up taking up slots.

    To me, this argument is akin to: If we can just change the name of lifeguard to 'beach supervisor', then we can get more people who are afraid to swim to be lifeguards. You know what? Maybe so. But, the people not ACTUALLY prepared to BE lifeguards maybe shouldn't be "marketed" into the job.

    There ARE some drawbacks to being a male nurse. Until that changes, then being able to get 'over' the title is a rational barometer of the success of male candidates.

    Nurse? Male Nurse? Why would these titles bother me? They describe me.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  7. by   HYPEractiveTTU
    I really understand many of your points how changing the title of Nursing is somewhat insulting, taking away the years that many of you gentlemen have put in...

    ...but it's already happening. There are men out there that refer to themselves as "RN" rather than "Nurse" to androgynize and buffer the name. These men are JUST as caring and love the profession as much as anyone, but see the alteration of the title as appropriate. I'm not looking to turn this into a Male VS Female discussion by posting statistics on which gender does ______ better, or does ________ worse, because that argument is moot. What it comes down to is:
    1) Nationally, there is a shortage of Nurses in hospitals
    2) 6% of men comprise the Nursing profession
    ...is there a correlation? If Nursing as a profession is truly in need for more people to enter the field, shouldn't we be concentrating the SAME efforts in exploring OTHER avenues of recruitment as we do internationally?

    There is an entire market out there that still believes that nursing is "a women's job." Recently, one of my classmates (male) volunteered with one of our professors to help start a nursing club at a local High School. Even WITH gentlemen present educating the kids on how incredible the job is, the young men still were not interested. Take that as you may, you may have a completely opposite story, but this is true on how many of our YOUTH thinks when they hear "Nurse." To me, that sets off an alarm.

    Will changing the name of the title be enough? No. Of course not... but I believe it is a first step.

    I'm not here to ruffle feathers, I'm just adding my point-of-view to things...
  8. by   HYPEractiveTTU
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Now, you MIGHT get more men into school with a slick marketing campaign. But, at the end of the day, you'll only get those men most likely to drop the programs, and so, you just end up taking up slots.
    There is a marketing campaign right now, that is mainly directed towards women ("I'm a nurse..."). At the end of the day, don't you ALSO get women dropping programs that ALSO just end up taking slots?

    Ad campaigns aren't bad, it's done to encourage more people who haven't always thought about Nursing as a profession to do so. Not everyone has had a personal experience or famiy (like myself) that introduced the profession to them.
  9. by   jb2u
    Quote from HYPEractiveTTU
    There is an entire market out there that still believes that nursing is "a women's job." Recently, one of my classmates (male) volunteered with one of our professors to help start a nursing club at a local High School. Even WITH gentlemen present educating the kids on how incredible the job is, the young men still were not interested. Take that as you may, you may have a completely opposite story, but this is true on how many of our YOUTH thinks when they hear "Nurse." To me, that sets off an alarm.

    Will changing the name of the title be enough? No. Of course not... but I believe it is a first step.
    ...
    My belief is...the reason that the males at this school were not interested in the nursing club is because they do not KNOW what it means to BE a Nurse. They still think it is about being a "handmaiden" or secretary for the Doctor. So again, call the club what you want, but they still will not join. Why? Not because they don't want to be CALLED a Nurse, but because they do NOT want to DO what a Nurse does! The problem is they do not know what it is really that Nurses do, if so, I think you would see more men enter the profession.

    Also, there are many people that believe that men get paid more than women. So, along this line of thinking, if men made up 50% of Nursing then that would mean that salaries would also go up! What do you think that would do to pt/nurse ratios? Let me tell you, hospitals care about the $$ and they would hire less Nurses and more techs. You can disagree if you choose as this is just my opinion, but I'd find it very hard to believe that the hospitals would be happy to pay Nurses MORE and still hire the same amount. I mean, the hospital that I work for and another one nearby does not even offer double time pay if they are short staffed and NEED an extra nurse to provide a safe pt/nurse ratio. So, what makes one think that this would be any different if the pay scale went up for Nurses?
  10. by   HYPEractiveTTU
    Quote from jb2u
    My belief is...the reason that the males at this school were not interested in the nursing club is because they do not KNOW what it means to BE a Nurse.
    I completely agree, but a name change would definitely allow these kids to take a second look rather than shutting it off completely. Instead of, "nah, i dont want to stop by that club... it's for nurses." The thought process may change to, "what's a _______? Oh, they do all that? They have that much responsibility? It sounds like something that I should look more into.."

    Let me tell you, hospitals care about the $$ and they would hire less Nurses and more techs. You can disagree if you choose as this is just my opinion, but I'd find it very hard to believe that the hospitals would be happy to pay Nurses MORE and still hire the same amount.
    I'm not sure how many of the hospitals that many of you work for are unionized, but if anything like what you are saying occurs, I think you should contact the union. From my understanding, that's what they are responsible for controlling. Also, I believe more Nurses need to be involved with the American Nursing Association. There is a low % of RNs that are involved with THE legislation in Nursing, maybe because some think it doesn't imact them much? But because of the ANA, a nurse that decides to supplement their education as a NP, CRNA, APN, or CNM can practice some medicine. As more Nurses get involved, the stronger a voice the ANA has.
    Last edit by HYPEractiveTTU on Sep 23, '06
  11. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from HYPEractiveTTU
    I completely agree, but a name change would definitely allow these kids to take a second look rather than shutting it off completely. Instead of, "nah, i dont want to stop by that club... it's for nurses." The thought process may change to, "what's a _______? Oh, they do all that? They have that much responsibility? It sounds like something that I should look more into.."



    I'm not sure how many of the hospitals that many of you work for are unionized, but if anything like what you are saying occurs, I think you should contact the union. From my understanding, that's what they are responsible for controlling. Also, I believe more Nurses need to be involved with the American Nursing Association. There is a low % of RNs that are involved with THE legislation in Nursing, maybe because some think it doesn't imact them much? But because of the ANA, a nurse that decides to supplement their education as a NP, CRNA, APN, or CNM can practice some medicine. As more Nurses get involved, the stronger a voice the ANA has.
    It's off topic, but since you brought it up, the ANA doesn't represent bedside nurses. It never has. THAT is why only 5% of nurses are in the ANA. I actively advocate AGAINST ANA membership for bedside nurse in order to PREVENT them from having any real power to undermine us even more.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  12. by   HYPEractiveTTU
    sorry for going a little off topic, i was just addressing what the previous post about how the hospitals would unfairly treat nurses if there were a mean pay increase (which the poster said would happen if more men were to be hired), and how if it was unfair, to contact the union or ana.

    Along the lines of the ANA, why do you believe the ANA doesn't support bedside nurses? I ask because my instructors and preceptors have all brought up the legislative power of the ANA. I went to the website, and everything seems fairly supportive, but what do you see from your position?

    you can PM me directly to keep this discussion on topic.
    Last edit by HYPEractiveTTU on Sep 23, '06
  13. by   jb2u
    Quote from HYPEractiveTTU
    I completely agree, but a name change would definitely allow these kids to take a second look rather than shutting it off completely. Instead of, "nah, i dont want to stop by that club... it's for nurses." The thought process may change to, "what's a _______? Oh, they do all that? They have that much responsibility? It sounds like something that I should look more into.."
    My belief is that the students will see... "health facilitator" and still say "oh, you mean a nursing club, NO thanks!" Some would probably be interested and then go home and tell mom and dad, "I want to be a health facilitator" To which, the parent asks "what's that." Their excited son begins to describe this wonderful new job when out of the blue the parents stop him and say, "Oh, you mean a Nurse?"

    Until the public understands what a Nurse actually does, the title just won't matter! Maybe, hopefully, after the public is well educated on the duties and responsibilities of a Nurse then the males that join this profession will be PROUD to be called a Nurse and not embarrassed.

    Quote from HYPEractiveTTU
    I'm not sure how many of the hospitals that many of you work for are unionized, but if anything like what you are saying occurs, I think you should contact the union. From my understanding, that's what they are responsible for controlling. Also, I believe more Nurses need to be involved with the American Nursing Association. There is a low % of RNs that are involved with THE legislation in Nursing, maybe because some think it doesn't imact them much? But because of the ANA, a nurse that decides to supplement their education as a NP, CRNA, APN, or CNM can practice some medicine. As more Nurses get involved, the stronger a voice the ANA has.
    No not union. I, personally, do not like unions. Yes, I believe that all nurses should be involved in the politics of Nursing and I plan on getting VERY involved after I graduate.

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