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"We don't hire male RNs" and other things you should never say to me

Ob/Gyn   (1,383 Views 20 Comments)
by labordude labordude, BSN, RN (Member) Member Nurse

labordude has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in L&D, OBED, NICU, Lactation.

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You are reading page 2 of "We don't hire male RNs" and other things you should never say to me. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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They are SOOOO afraid of a lawsuit. Let us know what he has to say.

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ICUman specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

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Good for you labordude. 

Back in 2016 I applied for a labor and delivery position as a male nurse and a recruiter informed me I am not qualified as a male. And that it would make their patients “uncomfortable”. I was a new graduate and was annoyed at the time, but let it go. The position also stated they’d hire new grads. This was for a large hospital system based in conservative Utah. 

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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I applaud your efforts to promote gender equality in nursing but to clarify, it's not actually illegal to not consider men for certain jobs, including some nursing jobs.  

Illegal gender discrimination occurs when there is no job-related reason to prefer applicants of a particular gender, if there is a job-related reason then employers are free to limit applicants to a certain gender.  

The Civil Rights Act states that businesses can discriminate based on "religion, sex, or national origin in those instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business or enterprise."

I had a nursing school classmate (male) who's goal was to go into OB nursing and got an OB job out of school.  He was very good at it, popular with the patients and nurses he worked with.  

But despite this community being pretty open to 'non-traditional' gender roles, even the most open-minded women tend to be not quite as open to potentially uncomfortable situations while also in active labor.  There were 1, 2, maybe at the most 3 patients a week who didn't decline a male nurse, which left the other nurses to pick up the slack.  He helped as much as he could, but for the most part was doing UC-type work.  After almost a year of being the black-sheep of the unit he decided to look to work elsewhere, which having had about a year of essentially UC experience finding job wasn't easy, last I heard he was still looking.

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

3 Followers; 13,295 Posts; 114,890 Profile Views

There is no job-related reason to not consider a male in OB, and most especially, in a NICU. Ergo, yes, it was discrimination.

Seriously, what reason would a facility have, on any universe, to not hire a male RN into a NICU?

In most facilities, there are just as many, if not more, male OBs than female OBs. Are males prohibited from going into obstetrics? If a residency program refused to allow males to match to an OB residency simply because he is a man, do you not think that would be discrimination?

Edited by klone

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

6,235 Posts; 64,622 Profile Views

23 hours ago, klone said:

There is no job-related reason to not consider a male in OB, and most especially, in a NICU. Ergo, yes, it was discrimination.

Seriously, what reason would a facility have, on any universe, to not hire a male RN into a NICU?

In most facilities, there are just as many, if not more, male OBs than female OBs. Are males prohibited from going into obstetrics? If a residency program refused to allow males to match to an OB residency simply because he is a man, do you not think that would be discrimination?

There is certainly a job-related reason to not consider male RNs in OB, if a large portion of OB patients would decline a male nurse then that is a legitimate job-related reason.

It's certainly less of an issue in NICU but still an issue, our NICU nurses attend all high risk births, and a large portion of time that moms spend with babies in the NICU is skin-to-skin time.  I would also prefer to live in a world where these gender preferences in OB and mother-baby nursing don't exist, but they do, and that's all an employer needs to base a job-related justification on.

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

3 Followers; 13,295 Posts; 114,890 Profile Views

On 9/12/2019 at 6:08 PM, klone said:

In most facilities, there are just as many, if not more, male OBs than female OBs. Are males prohibited from going into obstetrics? If a residency program refused to allow males to match to an OB residency simply because he is a man, do you not think that would be discrimination?

I repeat. 

Why the double standard?

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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19 hours ago, klone said:

I repeat. 

Why the double standard?

Part of it is that while we've made progress in breaking down the Physician / Nurse gender roles, we still haven't really left the belief behind us that doctors are men and nurses are women.  There are still regional cultural views on paternal and maternal roles that reinforce these views.  So those who might see a male nurse as being the wrong gender for their role, male OB docs are more accepted because a doctor is 'supposed' to be male.

The differing roles of doctors and nurses also comes into play, the role of the doctor is sometimes seen as being more scientific and cold than that of the nurse, which is more personal and intimate.

For employers though, why the double standard exists isn't really the issue, the fact that it does exist can be used to justify a preference for female nurses in these areas.

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labordude has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in L&D, OBED, NICU, Lactation.

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23 hours ago, MunoRN said:

Part of it is that while we've made progress in breaking down the Physician / Nurse gender roles, we still haven't really left the belief behind us that doctors are men and nurses are women.  There are still regional cultural views on paternal and maternal roles that reinforce these views.  So those who might see a male nurse as being the wrong gender for their role, male OB docs are more accepted because a doctor is 'supposed' to be male.

The differing roles of doctors and nurses also comes into play, the role of the doctor is sometimes seen as being more scientific and cold than that of the nurse, which is more personal and intimate.

For employers though, why the double standard exists isn't really the issue, the fact that it does exist can be used to justify a preference for female nurses in these areas.

This specific issue hasn't been litigated since the early 2000s (Slivka v. Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital, 594 S.E.2d 616 (Sup. Ct., W.Va., 2004) in a much different political climate. The lower courts agreed with the hospital, however the SC said nope, you're wrong based in part on the fact that the male RN had already been working in OB in a neighboring hospital. It was not a unanimous decision, but a rebuke to the hospital nonetheless.

However, I think the outcome would be dramatically different today given the societal changes and the influx of men into nursing if another one of these cases got to court in the sense that it would never get as far as that case did. It would be hard for a hospital to argue that a male nurse (me in this case) wouldn't fit their population given that their competitor hospital hired me and I have worked in multiple other cities doing the same job in places with an even more diverse population with accolades and without incident. I would actually have used all methods for remedy at my disposal in this case had they not responded including social media, word of mouth, and the legal system if only to prove a point. I can guarantee a law firm would have taken on my case gleefully, though it would have likely never gone to trial.

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