Advice for male nurses

More men are choosing to become nurses.While nursing has historically been seen as a field primarily embraced by women, more men than ever before are choosing to take this health care career path thanks to the relatively high pay and even higher demand for people who have completed a registered nursing program.1

In fact, the rate of employment for registered nurses is expected to grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020 – that’s 12 percent faster than average.2 Still, male nurses have to face certain challenges that female nurses do not.3 If you have decided to begin a nursing career but are wary of fitting in, follow these tips for success:

Make it clear that you’re a nurse

When patients accidentally buy into stereotypes and expect their nurses to be female, it can be uncomfortable when they mistake a male nurse for their doctor. To avoid an awkward or uncomfortable conversation down the line, it’s best if you announce that you’re their nurse right away. Some patients actually prefer male nurses. Be proud of your profession as a nurse and introduce yourself right away to avoid any future confusion.4

Avoid male stereotypes

Being a nurse doesn’t mean you have to go the complete opposite direction and play into male stereotypes in order to assert your masculinity. Nursing is a community-oriented profession – that means being a team player and a good communicator. Making an effort to understand the women you work with and the way they think will go a long way toward creating a positive work environment. Remember: No matter the differences in your approaches to the job, you’re all there because you love nursing and want to help people.5

1 Scherzer, Lisa, Yahoo! Finance, ‘Male Nurses Becoming More Commonplace – And Higher Paid,’ Feb. 26, 2013 – http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/male-nurses-becoming-more-commonplace-higher-paid-221330791.html
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Registered Nurses,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm
3 Fastenberg, Dan, Aol Jobs, ‘Confessions of a Male Nurse: Dealing With Nasty Jokes, Sexual Propositions,’ Aug. 22, 2012 – http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/08/22/confessions-of-a-male-nurse-dealing-with-nasty-jokes-sexual-pr/
4 Fastenberg, Dan, Aol Jobs, ‘Confessions of a Male Nurse: Dealing With Nasty Jokes, Sexual Propositions,’ Aug. 22, 2012 – http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/08/22/confessions-of-a-male-nurse-dealing-with-nasty-jokes-sexual-pr/
5 Dent, Sean, Scrubs Magazine, ‘6 things every male nurse needs to know to survive,’ Nov. 26, 2011 – http://scrubsmag.com/6-things-every-male-nurse-needs-to-know-to-survive/