Like other career paths, nursing is often thought of as a job for women. But as more men join the ranks of nurses worldwide, it’s becoming clearer that male nurses are as much of an asset as female nurses. Here’s why – and how to start your career in nursing.
Here’s Why Men Make Great Nurses
It may sound divisive to say that men can be great nurses. But because female nurses are prized for being empathetic and sensitive to patients’ needs, it’s necessary to point out how men can also be efficient and compassionate caregivers.
1. Upper Body Strength May Be a Benefit
Both male and female nurses need to be quick on their feet. Strength is also a benefit, particularly when helping immobile patients. Research suggests that the average male may be stronger than women, at least when it comes to upper body strength. Of course, sweeping generalities don’t always apply – but when they do, patients and team members appreciate an extra hand around the hospital or facility.
2. Men Are as Compassionate as Women
While women may be more expressive with their emotions than men, compassion is another story. Studies show that men experience compassion equally to women, though the way they act on their feelings is different. Clearly, women are not the only humans with feelings: Men can be caring and empathetic nurses, too.
3. Male Nurses Are Filling Gaps
Minority Nurse confirms that 9.1 percent of RNs and 7.6 percent of LPNs are male. While a surge in demand for healthcare professionals means the nursing niche is growing, men are helping to close the gap. Because most RNs work in hospitals – 63 percent of the – men in nursing roles are helping care for populations in need.
How to Pursue a Nursing Career
Nursing is a rewarding career, but getting started is often the most intimidating part. Pursuing a path in healthcare involves earning a degree, passing exams, and finding a job that’s the right fit for your talents.
1. Head to School (Online)
Returning to school is the first step when pursuing nursing as a career. The good news is that online courses are available for people who are working full-time while earning an education. You can enroll in a nursing degree online and still tend to professional and personal responsibilities.
2. Sit Your Nursing Exams
After earning the degree that’s right for your professional path, you’ll need to take an exam to earn licensure. All 50 states in the U.S. require Registered Nurses to pass an exam before becoming licensed, but specific requirements can vary.
3. Find the Right Job
With a degree and license in hand, it’s time to start looking for a nursing position. An excellent way to make connections and find the right job is by joining professional associations. Whether you pursue bariatric, surgical, ambulatory, or pediatric nursing – or any other specialty – there’s a professional organization to support your goals.
In fact, there’s also an American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN). Participating with such an organization can afford you opportunities unique to male nurses. You can even find a mentor to expand your horizons and learn from an experienced professional.
Becoming a nurse may not be the right career path for every man, but the demanding and highly rewarding work of caring for others is just as suitable for men as it is for women. Increasingly, male nurses are finding more opportunities and potential for growth in healthcare careers – which goes to show that nursing might be the ideal application of your talents.