When women say, "I love a man in uniform", they are most likely not referring to male nurses in scrubs. Men in nursing sure you don't get the same glory as police officers and the praises of firefighters, you probably won't make as much money as your friends that became accountants, and you'll get to experience quite frequently the confused with a touch of disappointment look on a patient's face when you tell them, "no ma'am, I'm not your doctor, I am your nurse."
Yet we carry on, male nurses are pushing through the societal acceptance scale. We're a silent social norm, everyone knows we're there, but acts surprised when actually see one. Men in nursing is a growing trend, we are a proud 10% of the nurse population.
Yes sure, our uniform is not as hardcore as the firefighter bunker gears, or law enforcement uniforms, and our tools are stethoscopes, pens, and a badass, gangster looking pair of shear scissors and there will be no male nurse sext calendars, but we are the frontlines of healthcare, helping make up the largest workforce of healthcare, and saving lives is our mission. The nursing field has faced many shortages throughout its history, and encouraging more men to become nurses will help gap the shortages.
There has been a rise in the number of men entering the nursing workforce; many of these men enter at a later age as a second career option. That number is on the rise, and there are plenty of jobs, with about 20% more nursing jobs on the market over the next few years. There is a long history of men in nursing, still the stereotype about nurses having to be a woman stands.
I never thought of becoming a nurse as I was growing up, but I do not regret my decision, and I hope to serve as an advocate for other men thinking about entering the nursing field. Nursing is not an easy career path, from the long hours you must dedicate while in school, to the gruesome and draining work you must endure when practicing, it is challenging and tiresome. There are days that you will feel as if you made the wrong career choice, and you should rethink your life’s decisions, but when you help stabilize a patient, or you witness someone on the brink of death coming into the hospital and walk out smiling, it outweighs the cons.
If you are someone that may get bored easily with work, nursing is the right choice for you, there are so many areas and specialties you can bounce to, home health, case management, auditors, bedside, emergency room, operating room, and travel nursing, the list is endless.
Wear your scrubs proudly, hold the hand of a sick elderly proudly, and assist a patient to eat breakfast proudly, treat the illness and educate on health promotions proudly. You have the knowledge and compassion unique to nurses to treat and care for one’s life, use it. Man or woman, nurses play a special role in healthcare. I welcome other men to join my female colleagues and I in the nursing duties, accept the challenge, and break the stereotype.
Are you man enough to become a nurse?
The Dude Nurse
Klaus Campos, BSN-RN