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Parents aren't supportive of a Nursing career

Sam101 Sam101 (New) New

Hi everyone. I discovered this forum quite some time ago but this is my first post here. I'm 17 (turning 18 in this December).

I have envisioned becoming a nurse in the future from quite a time. I felt (still feel) that this was the ideal career choice for me, based upon the type of person I am. I've been doing a lot of research and planning on what I'll be doing, after what, how, when and so on in order to succeed and get onto this profession that I wholeheartedly love! I kept this desire (or "dream", or whatever you prefer calling it) to myself because I was tremendously terrified about what'd happen when I finally broke it out to my parents (especially my mother and my elder brother). Well, finally, it was today when I decided to finally let my mom know what I dreamt of becoming someday and....well, expectedly, she didn't approve of my decision. I saw that coming; I'd be lying if I say I didn't. I must say it was kinda too harsh then I expected it'd be. And I can already imagine how my Dad and brother are going to react when they hear this. They think it is something "meant for girls and women to do" and me, being a guy, I won't ever get any sort of respect or whatsoever from them, my relatives or anyone! Hence, I'm forbidden to even think about it.

I'm feeling absolutely crestfallen, dispirited and I can picture if nothing, a miserable future for me right now! I am genuinely passionate about becoming a nurse; but the aura around me is nowhere close to peaceful or positive right now. I just wanna do what I love doing and apparently, no one cares or understands. Any tips for coping up would be helpful and highly appreciated! Thank you for reading (in case you read the whole story).

Edited by Sam101

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in NICU.

They think it is something "meant for girls and women to do" and me, being a guy, I won't ever get any sort of respect or whatsoever from them, my relatives or anyone! Hence, I'm forbidden to even think about it.

I'm feeling absolutely crestfallen, dispirited and I can picture if nothing, a miserable future for me right now! I am genuinely passionate about becoming a nurse; but the aura around me is nowhere close to peaceful or positive right now. I just wanna do what I love doing and apparently, no one cares or understands. Any tips for coping up would be helpful and highly appreciated! Thank you for reading (in case you read the whole story).

My perspective is coming from a male nurse in the US. I don't know the culture that you are surrounded by. I have had no, none, zero disparaging words towards me from instructors, co workers, families, or public. Not only am I a male in what was a stereotypical female career, but I am a NICU nurse. Traditionally, women care for infants. So you would think that I would get criticism from Alpha male fathers, but instead I get nothing but respect from them. In my particular specialty, the parents that have male babies gravitate towards wanting me to care for them. Maybe they feel male-male bonding helps their baby get stronger quicker.

Here is a history lesson on males in nursing. https://allnurses.com/men-in-nursing/men-in-nursing-96326.html

Males have been in nursing for centuries. My advice is to ignore your critics and pursue a career that you want to pursue, not what they want you to choose. They are not going to live your life, you are. Nursing is a noble and respected profession for both males and females.

Devon Rex, ADN, BSN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in Rehab, Ortho-Spine, Med-Surg, & Psych.

Hi Sam!

I am also a male nurse. I work in the Orthopedic unit of a large hospital. A nursing degree will open up a lot of doors for you. I do not know the reason your mother disapproves of it, but it makes me sad she feels that way. Follow your dream.

Guy in Babyland is giving you the best advice at the moment: "Males have been in nursing for centuries. My advice is to ignore your critics and pursue a career that you want to pursue, not what they want you to choose. They are not going to live your life, you are. Nursing is a noble and respected profession for both males and females."

Be strong! Persevere!

Thank you for your comment!

I got momentarily depressed, but I now know more than ever that nursing is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in the future. The disapproval, if anything, is only going to make me stronger and strive even more in my journey to become a nurse. I guess what they say is true that "Rejection is the best motivation".

That's so awesome that you want to be a nurse!! Definitely pursue it!!!

I know this is especially hard still being in high school and dependent on your parents, but it's great you're rejecting that toxic masculinity macho crap in favor of doing something you love. (I've known several male social workers who also unfortunately dealt with this BS from their families).

There are plenty of male nurses out there! It's so crazy to me when people denigrate it as this lesser profession that is only for women. I've worked with some amazing male nurses over the years. Where I currently live and work in rural South Africa (where female nurses are called "sisters" and still wear skirts!) we have a ton of male nurses even though gender roles are even more rigidly observed here in general.

General advice I would give to anyone thinking about nursing:

Get entry level experience at a hospital.

Work as a nursing assistant while you're in college. It would 1) be GREAT experience and 2) let you make some money and get a little financial independence from your parents. You also might be able to meet some male nurses this way and learn more about their experience.

Edited by Niandra

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

No one can forbid you to think.

kkbb, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Oncology.

As a mom to a son I will tell you this, I can only hope that one day my son grows to be brave like you. It is hard to take a stand against family and to fight for what we believe in and want to be. To have that type of sense of self and conviction at a young age is wonderful. Believe in yourself.

It might be a hard road, but it is a harder one to end up in a career you hate, filled with regret that you did not do what you wanted to. Believe me. And it took me a lot longer to figure out what I wanted (and to stand up to my family to get there).

Thank you, Niandra! Really appreciate your advice!!

Aww...thank you, kkbb! You're absolutely correct! I'd rather try and fail rather than never trying and spending the rest of my life wondering "What if?" and saying to myself "I should've"" (I hate saying "should've" by the way)! Thanks for your comment again! :)

Rionoir, ADN, RN

Specializes in Neuro ICU.

So sorry that your family is so close-minded, but don't you dare let them discourage you from your dreams.

Go for it! Your heart is dictating that you will be a nurse. It's your calling! Don't let anyone steal or dim your LIGHT! Become a nurse and shine! At the end of the day, you will be proud that you overcame this challenge and will have the power and ability to take care of and preserve the lives of your mom, dad, family members and our community. That is honorable! And no one can take that invaluable education and knowledge away from you! Be strong, persevere and accomplish your dreams! And let your light shine!

Wow. I'm sorry your family is close minded to your aspirations.

In some ways I can relate. I'm 27 & initially went to school to pursue my moms idea of a career at the age of 19. Needless to say I completed the tech program & hated the field so much I never sought a job in that particular industry. I landed myself about 12k in student loan debt for an education/career that was never my idea. Again, I went back to school to purse Business Admin at 24yrs old because it was a "flexible" degree with a lot of opportunities. First, I'm not good at accounting & second-It's the furthest choice from my personality & self fulfillment.

Anyways, my only advice is to pursue what YOU desire. Hell, if you wanted to be a circus act I'd give the same advice-do what makes YOU happiest because you're the one who has to live with your career.

You are from a different generation. Male nurses are becoming more common, don't let close minded people make your career choice.

Not a male nurse, BUT I can sympathize with your situation. So let me offer you some advice that helped me along the way.

I think and I know that it is extremely difficult to try and pursue something when you have no support from your loved ones. When I first told my loved ones at the time, that I wanted to become a nurse, I was met with a series of the following responses: "why do you want to do that?...You know you're going to be working as a peon, scut work?...But you're so smart and talented, why don't you become a doctor, that's what we had envisioned for you?...". My boyfriend at the time had the audacity to try and convince me to switch my career choice because he had envisioned marrying a doctor, his sister was a nurse and he said "I'm sure she now regrets becoming a nurse instead of going to med school".

Everyone is quick to offer their opinions when it goes against their vision, their hopes, and their beliefs without a single thought of how it could impact the other person. So what I'm getting at is, if this is truly what you want to do, then go for it. The only person that has to deal with the choices and consequences is you. No one can live your life for you except for you. You have to not only be happy, but passionate about your career choice. Your passion will see you through school and the duration of your career. Follow your passion and success will follow.

Since your family isn't supportive of your decision, make sure your external support system is strong (friends, teachers, etc), you will lean on them more than ever before, during, and after nursing school. Maybe one day your family will come around like mine did. You have a dream, just maintain your tenacity and push through it!

Good luck and all the best dear!

You have a dream, just maintain your tenacity and push through it!

Good luck and all the best dear!

Thank you! I know I will!!

Reyn04, MSN, RN

Has 7 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care.

When I went to nursing school (as a second career) I can tell you I wish I'd done it earlier. It wasnt my "dream" at 18, though nobody would have prevented me, but later when I felt trapped by dead-end jobs I hated did I realize nursing was where I wanted to be. By that time I felt conflicted: I was too old, I'd be building debt, couldnt thinknof a way to work, pay rent, & go to school. It took almost 10 more years before I went to school.

My point: if you know nursing is for you, I hope you find a way to make it happen. It can be a rewarding career, there are a TON of professional options for career paths & living someone elses plans for your life will not make you happy in the long run.

About 1:6 of my first graduating class were men. Nobody thought any less of them. I have worked with many male nurses since. I've never seen one regret their choice nor have then been treated differently than any professional equal. In nursing school, we all worked together to support each other & my study group was both men & women working together to achieve our dreams. While outsiders my try to support you, nobody will know what you're going through like your classmates.

Since these are your parents, & financial support may be of issue I have to ask if you think they will try to block you or not financially support you through school. That may be a consideration for the path you take. I agree with another poster who suggested becoming a CNA - I did during school & it was great hands on experience. I was able to work 24hours/ week & get tuition assistance too. (If you need that). I became Certified through a Red Cross class offering.

Also consider your path & goals. I went to an Associates program thinking I'd get to work quicker. But after all the pre-reqs, I spent nearly 4.5 years (some part time) - i could have used the same time getting a BSN! Many people I work with now received training & education through the military - but not knowing you, I cant say if thats the right path for you.

In the profession, there is a move towards a BSN requirement so I would suggest that be your minimum goal Even if you go through the Associates to get there. I went & got mine a year after I completed my Associates.

Look to your future too. I am currently working on my MSN. While I enjoy critical care nursing I wonder about my physical limitations as I get older. I felt having the MSN would present me with more options long term.

Good luck!

I'm an ER nurse and while males nurses make up around 6% of all nurses, in the emergency room we're about 50%. It may not seem like a good idea to your parents now but they will change their tune when they realize you have chosen a field where you will have many options, limitless work, a good wage and realize you may be the only child they won't have to worry about moving back into your childhood bedroom.

I have a rock star job, man! People light up when I tell them what I do. No one wonders if I'm gay or a "sissy", they are too busy picturing me surrounded by blood and gore while saving lives (while I do save lives, the whole blood and gore thing is more TV ������ than reality). Where do you live?

Since these are your parents, & financial support may be of issue I have to ask if you think they will try to block you or not financially support you through school. That may be a consideration for the path you take. I agree with another poster who suggested becoming a CNA - I did during school & it was great hands on experience. I was able to work 24hours/ week & get tuition assistance too. (If you need that). I became Certified through a Red Cross class offering.

Its true that I do not have any source of income or whatsoever at present and am completely dependent on my parents. Its not that they won't pay for nursing school or anything like that, the thing is that they wouldn't like for me to become a nurse in the future. They'll pay, w/o a doubt, but they'll also remind me every now and then about how I'm wasting both my time and their money in something I'm never going to succeed in. I want my parents to be happy, and what matters more to me even more than their financial assistance is that they appreciate, support and be happy what I'm doing (which they probably won't). That's all. :(

I'm an ER nurse and while males nurses make up around 6% of all nurses, in the emergency room we're about 50%. It may not seem like a good idea to your parents now but they will change their tune when they realize you have chosen a field where you will have many options, limitless work, a good wage and realize you may be the only child they won't have to worry about moving back into your childhood bedroom.

I have a rock star job, man! People light up when I tell them what I do. No one wonders if I'm gay or a "sissy", they are too busy picturing me surrounded by blood and gore while saving lives (while I do save lives, the whole blood and gore thing is more TV ������ than reality). Where do you live?

I can only hope that someday they will! Haha, "blood and gore"??! So dramatic! lol

I'm from New York.

Riburn3

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in Internal Medicine.

OP, it sounds like your parents have some

seriously misguided perceptions of what nurses do and there's some obvious sexism going on here if they still believe nursing is a career for females only. Do they think teachers should also only be women and physicians should all be male?

I am a male nurse and my parents absolutely loved my decision to become a nurse. They loved that I was going into a career where I could use my skills in human interaction, communication, and teaching. They loved that I had chosen a science related discipline that is one of the most respected professions in the world. They loved that I had chosen a path where basically right out of college I would be able to get a job and be financially independent from them immediately.

Once you're out the sky is the limit in terms of advancement. Management, advanced practice, administration, education. There are dozens of career paths and trajectories you can take. Even working at the bedside, the jobs and tasks a nurse working in the NICU versus a nurse in wound care is completely different.

I used my BSN degree to get my masters degree as an NP and am soon to be a double certified NP (FNP & AGACNP). The money and quality of life I have been afforded by making the decision when I was your age almost 15 years ago to become a nurse is without a doubt the smartest decision I have ever made. I know it's hard to hear disapproval from your parents, but know that they seem pretty misguided in their understanding of nurses, and blatantly sexist.

First of all, I am sorry they didn't approve of or support your dream of becoming a nurse. I know it is hurtful to hear negativity from the ones you love and very frustrating because this is really what you want to do! I would use that as motivation to keep going and pursue your dream of nursing. There is so much you can do in this field and it's not just for women! Don't let their attitude away you from pursuing your dream. I wish I had started my nursing school journey right out of high school, but held back because I let my mom's negativity get to me. I'm 27 now and decided to finally make a career change and start my pre reqs in August; I couldn't be happier! The best advice I can give you is don't not go into nursing because they have negative view about it. Stay positive and focus that negative energy into motivation. This is YOUR future and you deserve to be happy. I really hope you decide to go to nursing school and prove them wrong!

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