Male Nursing Student Interested in NICU Nursing

  1. I am a junior nursing student with one more year to go! This past semester, I had the opportunity to visit the NICU a few times during my OB clinical rotation and I loved everything about it! After some thought over the past few months, I'm certain that this is what I want to do with my nursing career. However, I am a little worried because I am a male.

    I've heard that historically, there has been somewhat of a stigma attached to male nurses, especially in fields like maternity and labor & delivery (from both patients and other nurses). While this wasn't my experience in clinical, I'm wondering if this is/was generally true, and if so, is it still true today? I'm not going to let anything keep me from doing what I want, but it would be helpful to know what I'm up against (if anything).

    Also, do you have any general suggestions for someone like me going into this field? As I understand it, I would probably need to start out in a well baby nursery and work my way up to the NICU. I'm currently seeking unpaid internships or student nurse positions at local hospitals to get experience. After I graduate and once I begin working in this field, I plan to get my RNC-NIC and ultimately become an NNP.

    Thanks for your help!
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    About jchap12

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   superveronica
    first of all, you'll do just find being an NICU nurse. There is this male nurse who worked at the hospital I just worked at, he looked like he was in a biker gang. he was an NICU nurse and everyone loved him, he had a passion for the job. I also don't think you have to work anywhere else. you could just apply to the NICU, they will train and preceptor you if they hire you (at least they do where I work). Now you may have to find another job in the meantime if they don't hire you but I would apply right out of school if I were you. My hospital hires new grads into ICU settings.
    good luck, don't ever let anyone tell you what you can't do.
    "The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me."
    Ayn Rand
  4. by   LindaB73
    Go for it!! My son was in the NICU for three weeks. One of the nurses was a large burly man with a long gray ponytail he hid wrapped up in a bandana. He had the kindest, most gentle touch of any of the nurses there. He truly had a passion for those babies and it showed!
  5. by   Creamsoda
    Its NICU, not L&D. Even if it was L&D, my opinion is if you are great at your job, it doesn't matter. Im fairly certain in most cases that male nurses don't "get off" on delivering mothers, lol. Your there to take care of sick premies. Shouldn't even matter.
  6. by   NicuGal
    Go for it! We have several guys we work with and we love them...they even out the estrogen levels lol Parents, esp most dads, enjoy the guys. And our older more chronic kids love having the guys take care of them....a male voice must be music to their ears after all us girls lol We have only had a few times that a male couldn't take care of a baby due to religious reasons, never for comfort reasons!
  7. by   labordude
    As a guy and a NICU nurse for almost 6 years, I can say that NICUs love guys. I've worked in 6 different NICUs, a newborn nursery, been to hundreds of deliveries, and I've been a certified lactation counselor for several years now. I've never had a problem, never felt unwelcome from the families and in fact, it has been the complete opposite. The fathers love being able to see another man handle a small infant and teach them how to do it safely. There is a different dynamic when you can talk guy to guy like that. You'll get asked if you are the doctor, but that will happen no matter what specialty you're in. The NICU is an amazing place to work.

    I'd be happy to talk more with you if you have more questions.
  8. by   HazelLPN
    I am a strong advocate for more men in all areas of nursing, including NICU. If that is your passion, then do it and do not be concerned about silly things like stigmas about male nurse. Having men in the nursing workforce has resulted in higher pay, more respect, better working conditions, and brings in a different perspective to the field. My best friends at work were always the men. I've been retired from PICU/NICU for nearly three years now. Although we had quite a few men in the PICU, there was always a lack of good men in the NICU. Our families and patients are diverse, why shouldn't our nursing staff be as well? No need to start in well baby, we had kids fresh out of college that did fine in the NICU. Generally, our nurses didn't start out in well baby nurseries. Many were new grads, some came from other units in the hospital, many more came from adult ICUs. If your passion is NICU, do NICU.

    Best wishes to you in your career in nursing,
    Mrs H.
  9. by   GitanoRN
    first of all congrats! for finding your niche per say. having said that, some nurses even after graduation don't know where to begin. consequently, i have a dear friend of mine that works in nicu and he loved it from day one, and that was 5yrs. ago and he still in-love with his choice. therefore, i have to give you props! because i couldn't mustard nicu, every time i had to start a line on the newborns i felt i was killing them, for that reason i decided to work with adults only. wishing you the very best always... aloha~
  10. by   NICU_babyRN
    DO IT!!!!! We LOVE our 4 male RNs on our floor and the RTs too! Come join a team of extraordinary people!!!!
  11. by   Bortaz, RN
    I'm an old dude that went straight into a level 3 B NICU right out of school. In fact, I precepted there before graduation. I love my job, and have rarely felt any resentment for being a dude in the Nicu. Like someone above said, I've found it has made no difference to the moms, but has been of great comfort to many of the dads to have an old dude there to talk them down off the ledge when they're trying to adapt to life as a Nicu parent. I'm the only male nurse on my unit. That's right: that makes me King. Go for it, dude! It was the best decision I ever made.
  12. by   NNICU
    We have several male RNs in our NICU who came into our unit as new grads. I think one time a dad requested to have a female RN because he was uncomfortable with a male RN for breastfeeding lol. Majority of the parents have no issues though.
  13. by   EricJRN
    Another dude glad to have chosen the NICU. My experience has taught me that if you have good work ethic, if you communicate well, and if you're a little bit OCD, NICU nurses will respect you.

    If you come in and do the work without calling any special attention to your gender, I think you'll find that there's no awkwardness to being a guy in most units.

    Good luck to you!
  14. by   TiffyRN
    if you communicate well, and if you're a little bit OCD, NICU nurses will respect youQUOTE]

    Yes, I believe one of those areas of nursing where a teeny psych disorder will benefit you well.