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"sister" = registered nurse

walkiez walkiez (New) New

Im a male nursing student and have come across ALOT of people refering to the role of a registered nurse as "sister" and LPN as "nurse". This is in Australia so we might be abit behind the times. This happen anywhere else?

I work in a nursing home and if a resident needs something explained or given that a LPN cant do they often say "ill just go get one of the sisters". I suppose its useful in distinguishing between nursing roles.

Also when i tell people im studying nursing at uni they ask "wil that make you one of the sisters or a nurse". Maybe its an Aussie thing.

gwenith, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

It IS an Aussie thing and slowly dying out with the greater numbers of men in the profession and as the older generation who used the term slowly leave this earth.

Originally the title "Sister" was English and given to the charge nurse of a ward but in Australia there were so few registered nurses that the title "sister" came to mean ANY registered nurse.

I had a patient ask me about the use of Sister just yesterday! They were from India and I think it is common there to refer to nurses (female) as Sister also. He asked me if nurses were called Sister here in America and I said other than perhaps parish nurses who are already nuns, I wasn't aware of the custom here. I asked him what were male nurses called and he said probably just by their first names. He knew military nurses (all male as females not in Indian military) and they were called by their rank.

If I remember correctly, nurses in England used to be nuns, thus the title Sister, but then I also remember learning that early nurses were women 'of ill repute' who were put to use in hositals as well--perhaps run by nuns? I am afraid I am rusty on nursing history.

prmenrs, RN

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control. Has 42 years experience.

What DO you call a nurse who is in the role of a "Sister", but is a man?

RGN1

Specializes in med/surg.

We still have "sisters" at our hospital, they would be called charge nurses if they were male. It's a historical title & I expect it's used in many ex British colonial countries still, as well as here. I quite like it & I'm glad we're still just that little bit antequated.

We use the term "ward manager" for the nurse at the very head of the ward but if that ward manager is female most of us would still call her "sister", her actual title being "senior sister".

Cherish

Specializes in Junior Year of BSN.

I actually like that term 'sister', first time I've heard it used for female Nurses. Y wouldn't they just call male Nurses 'brother' then? Or do you guys call the doctors that (since back then doctors were predominately male)?

AfloydRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/ ICU. Has 11 years experience.

Sorry... never heard of that.

Antikigirl, ASN, RN

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc. Has 13 years experience.

We have a few actual "Sisters" that are RN's...but that is a title of Religion as a Nun and nurse. You refer to them as "sister _____" commonly or "nurse sister _____".

But yeah...we call LPN's LPN's and Nurses Nurses.

(since back then males were predominately male)?

I'm pretty sure they still are! :)

I always figured the Aussie "sister" thing was partly a throw-back to the days when a great many nurses were women of religious vows, and also a throw-back to the days when aligning nurses with religious women appeared to be a neccessary way to make them seem more respectable, because of course to respectable woman would choose to do work that would put her in such immodest circumstances unless she was responding to a sort of religious calling, and was completely asexual.

What DO you call a nurse who is in the role of a "Sister", but is a man?

Mister Sister? ;)

LOL

XB9S

Specializes in Advanced Practice, surgery. Has 22 years experience.

Just to echo what RGN1 has already said, in the UK our ward managers and deputy ward managers are called "sister" male ward managers called charge nurse or "charge". Our nurse practitioners and night practitioners are also called "sister"

santhony44, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in FNP, Peds, Epilepsy, Mgt., Occ. Ed.

I've always considered it a British usage.

A number of years ago, a new resident physician from India walked up to the nurses' station and asked to see the "Sister."

Everyone just gave him a blank look.

I said "I think he wants the head nurse." He did.

I'd read enough British fiction to have seen the term.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

What a neat thread. I work in the "hood" and if I am addressed as sistah, its just basically a term of familiarity.

I work in an inner city, large dialysis unit and almost all of my patients are very poor.

Mister Sister? ;)

LOL

Uh, no. :uhoh3: LOL

I figured the "Brother" title would be apropos.

Surely someone knows the answer to this. Or are you the first male RN down under? If so, well, I want a cyber handshake, Mate.

TriageRN_34 We have a few actual "Sisters" that are RN's...but that is a title of Religion as a Nun and nurse. You refer to them as "sister _____" commonly or "nurse sister _____".

But yeah...we call LPN's LPN's and Nurses Nurses.

:madface: I am not sure about where you are in Oregon but the last time I checked LPN's are nurses and RN's are nurses. So maybe it is only where you are that they are refered to that way but here in MN we are all nurses.

What a neat thread. I work in the "hood" and if I am addressed as sistah, its just basically a term of familiarity.

I work in an inner city, large dialysis unit and almost all of my patients are very poor.

Interesting how different cultures having different meanings for the same word. When I was a correctional facility nurse, there was a prisoner who took a shine to me. The best way he knew to convey his liking for me was to start calling me his home girl. Picture it - a young Hispanic man calling this old gal "my homey".

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Trudy - that is what I have too. We actually have four prisioners from the local federal prison that come to dialyze and they all refer to staff (at least those they like) as their home girls.

Blueskyfemme

Specializes in tele. Has 15 years experience.

What DO you call a nurse who is in the role of a "Sister", but is a man?

Gay ? lol j/k:uhoh3:

GeminiTwinRN, BSN

Specializes in ICU/PCU/Infusion. Has 13 years experience.

Just a guess, but it sounds like a male who is in the role of a "sister" would be referred to as "charge".

lol @ the mister sister though.. :saint:

oh...now I understand a reply to a previous thread I posted - I thought that person hadn't read my post accurately regarding a co-worker! Sister seems awkward to me, makes me think of the nunns or my biological sister. I guess it depends on where you are from :)

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