DiversityNursing Blog

A Nurse And A Gentleman

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Dec 28, 2016 @ 12:54 PM

Male_Nurse1.jpgEducational systems should be increasing the diversity of its students to create a workforce that is prepared to meet the demands of diverse populations. Since the 70's there has been an increase of male Nurses by 200%. Stereotypes of professional gender rolls are being broken down.
 
The student-led group MEN, follows in the footsteps of AAMN the American Assembly for Men in Nursing. The group is open to all genders and their goals are to empower male Nursing students, promote awareness and cultural competence, and advocate growth and development. In doing so, MEN will help lead the change.
 
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“It does not make a thing good, that it is remarkable that a woman should do it. Neither does it make a thing bad, which would have been good had a man done it ...”

— FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, 1859

The preceding quote is the second-to-last sentence of Nightingale’s famous book. Her allusion to the equality between sexes looks as if it has been added as an afterthought. In the discussion about men in nursing, her ideas may seem portentous, but it is doubtful if she ever imagined that men would be infiltrating the field.

The number of male nurses and men enrolling in nursing programs are at all-time high. According to the US Census Bureau in 2013, the latest figures show that approximately 9.6% of nurses in 2011 are male compared with 2.7% in the 1970s—representing a more than 200% increase. At our College, about 10% of advanced practice students and 14% undergraduate students were male during the school years 2014 to 2016. Eight of the full-time faculty are male—or 11%. Nationwide, enrollment of men in entry-level nursing programs remains stable at about 15% since 2012. It is likely that these numbers will increase in the next decade as more media attention is given to the reality of nursing as a viable and rewarding profession for men and women alike.

Enter — MEN.

The student-led interest group MEN came about in 2009 when a group of male students sent out a call for anyone who identified as male to gather and brainstorm about establishing a student activity group.

In its by-laws, MEN adopted the objectives of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) as its core purpose. These goals include:

To empower male nursing students to be responsible for their holistic health and well-being in order to serve as role models in the community.

To promote awareness of health related issues affecting the male population by addressing their unique health challenges.

  • To promote cultural competence among all its members to recognize the male perspective of nursing.

  • To advocate for the growth and development of its members as leaders in nursing and in society through education, outreach, advocacy, and service.
 
Throughout each school year, MEN organizes and collaborates with other student groups to provide high quality extracurricular programming to not just meet its educational mission, but to promote comradery and mutual support among male students in the program. Some of the more recent events hosted by MEN include bike rides and indoor rock climbing, résumé writing and interviewing skills, men’s health awareness campaigns and fundraising, alumni networking, picnics, and presentations on various clinical topics of interest.

While the group’s purpose relates to men in the nursing profession, MEN is open to students of all genders, with some of its executive board members in the past being female. One significant outcome of the group is that several key MEN alumni established New York City Men in Nursing, an official chapter of AAMN.

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

While many health professions are becoming more gender-balanced, the nursing workforce has remained predominantly female. The impact of the increasing number of men entering nursing is still emerging and not yet fully understood. Other countries have long established policies to deal with instructional and practice variations based on religious restrictions. For example, in a nursing school in Oman, male students are not allowed in maternity wards. High-fidelity simulation offers male students the “hands-on” experience in labor and delivery.

One important consideration in the slowly increasing gender diversity in nursing education is for faculty to be aware of the well known gendered characteristics in learning, while keeping in mind that every individual is unique. Gendered differences is a potential topic for nursing education researchers.

Career Trajectories of Male Nursing Students

Hospitals remain the largest employer of all registered nurses, with 63.2% providing inpatient and outpatient care in a hospital setting. Staff nurse—or its equivalent—is the most common job title of RNs in the US. However, there is no comprehensive data on current career choices of male nurses. Older data indicated more men work at hospitals in proportion to the number of female RNs.

What is certain today is that the highest representation by men in all fields of nursing practice is in nurse anesthesia. The US Census Bureau reported that 41% of all Certified Registered Nurses Anesthetist (CRNAs) are males. An online survey by Hodes Research in 2005 reported that the top three specialties reported by men were critical (27%), emergency (23%), and medical/surgical (20%). Awareness of the trend of career trajectories and aspirations of male nurses has important implications for nursing education and clinical stakeholders.

A Nurse and a Gentleman

Males are collectively called gentlemen, yet the virtue of gentleness, as a social construct, is mostly associated with women. Perhaps, it is one of the many reasons why it is especially pleasing to see men exemplify gentleness in a nursing role. What male nurses can offer to nursing is to breakdown the stereotypes of professional gender roles. Compassion, courage, good faith, and other virtues are all universal, and can be found among male and female nurses. At NYU Meyers, we believe in these values and are glad to see a growing number of men living them personally and professionally. 

by Fidelindo Lim, DNP, CCRN, and Larry Slater, PhD, RN, CNE Clinical Assistant Professors

 
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Topics: male nurse, men in healthcare, men in nursing, male nurses

Adrian Espinosa is part of a still extremely small but growing trend in nursing. He’s a man.

Posted by Wilson Nunnari

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 @ 10:46 AM

Adrian Espinosa is part of a still extremely small but growing trend in nursing. He’s a man.

Espinosa, now a student at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing, said he quickly became aware that he is a man in a field that continues to be dominated by women.

“From the first day I started nursing school last year, as one of seven males in a class of 77, I realized that I would have to find my fit in a predominately female profession,” Espinosa said. His goal is to become a nurse practitioner “to fulfill a huge gap in primary care for under-represented populations.”

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 In a 2012 essay written for the American Assembly for Men in Nursing Scholarship, Espinosa said his route to his chosen career was anything but direct.

“My journey into nursing wasn’t immediate, but my path was illuminated when I began working in community public health,” Espinosa wrote. “Watching nurses and nurse practitioners work with diverse populations inspired me to pursue the nursing culture in the hope of providing accessible care for marginalized communities.

 The nursing community knows it needs more people like Espinosa in its ranks and it is working hard to increasing nurse diversity.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, in 2008, there were 3,063,163 licensed registered nurses in the United States. Only 6.6% of those were men and 16.8% were non-Caucasian. Despite efforts from nursing schools across the nation to recruit and retain more men and minorities, the results have been fairly modest.  In 2010, approximately 11% of the students in BSN programs were men and 26.8% were a racial/ethnic minority.

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This is one reason why the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND prides itself on  providing "a nursing education for leadership and moral courage" and places an emphasis on diversity.

“U-Mary is a community of learners that recognizes and respects diversity and the richness it brings to the college experience,” according the catalog of the private, Catholic university that offers degree completion and advanced nursing degrees online and on campus.

University of Mary prides itself as “community that fosters diversity through hospitality and dialogue so as to learn to live in an interconnected world.”

Why are more men and people of color needed in today’s nursing ranks? To help meet the medical and personal needs of the United States’ increasingly diverse patient population that is adding varied ethnic, racial and cultural traditions to the country. Patient stories such as these from the University of California, San Francisco are good examples.

  • Selena Martinez was diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome, a genetic disease that can lead to a wide-range of cancers. It wasn't until 2008 that the Martinez family, which in just 16 years had 13 cancer diagnoses among nine people, received a conclusive diagnosis of Lynch Syndrome.
  • Simone Chou, was in her last year at the University of California, Berkeley when she learned she had lupus and that her immune system was attacking her kidneys. After nine years of treatment failed to slow the deterioration, Chou and her doctors launched a nationwide search to find a compatible kidney donor. They didn’t have far to look. Michael Wong, a college friend, stepped up. Wong, a practicing Buddhist, had read many stories about Buddhist saints who donated their body parts to other people. "When I first heard Simone talk about needing a kidney transplant, I remembered those stories."
  • Doris Ward is one of the pioneering African-American politicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. She started her career as a trustee of the San Francisco Community College District, became a County Supervisor in 1980, President of the Board of Supervisors in 1990 and finally moved on to spend the last 10 years as the San Francisco County Assessor. She is also a breast cancer survivor. Ward now helps other African-American women through their own journey with cancer by sending them information and helping them understand their options.

“Nursing’s leaders recognize a strong connection between a culturally diverse nursing workforce and the ability to provide quality, culturally competent patient care,” according to a policy statement by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

 “Though nursing has made great strides in recruiting and graduating nurses that mirror the patient population, more must be done before adequate representation becomes a reality,” the association statement added.

The University of Mary is ready to help ensure that the nursing ranks reflect the diversity of our nation. For a welcoming environment, online or on campus, to get your advanced practice nursing degree, contact the University of Mary.

Topics: men, diversity in nursing, men in healthcare, university of mary, diversity, online, degree

The Joys and Challenges of Men in Nursing

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Feb 06, 2013 @ 11:12 AM

BY DARIA WASZAK, RN, MSN, CEN, COHN-S

The Joys and Challenges of Men in Nursing

Gerardo Gorospe, RN, BSN, MSN, is frequently mistaken for a physician — not necessarily due to his skillset, expertise, white coat or bedside manner, but because of his gender.  “I am often asked why I am not a doctor. I politely say, ‘Because I wanted to be a nurse.’” 

Gorospe is the clinical nurse manager in the Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. He has been an RN for over 21 years and has his MSN in education and nursing administration. Although nursing is a predominantly female profession, he decided to become a RN because of his interest in health and science, helping patients achieve wellness and the “personal interaction aspect” of being a nurse.

He spends his workday managing a team of transplant coordinators and hematology clinical trial nurses, resolving problems, supervising staff and managing projects, among many other tasks. “I think because we are in a female-dominated environment, there is, in the community at large, not a great understanding of who we are and what we do,” he says. “There are some gender stereotypes when it comes to the territory of nursing.”

That couldn’t be more evident than when you take a look at older nursing textbooks, like a 1962 edition of Mosby’s Practical Nursing that Gorospe recalls picking up from a thrift store; the cover featured a picture of a woman in a white nursing dress, white cap and heels, holding a tray. “There is certainly gender bias in our early textbooks of nurses as women,” he says.

Heavy Lifting
So, does there continue to be a social stigma surrounding being male in a predominately female profession? What difficulties do men in nursing face today? Gorospe, 45, who went to nursing school in the early 1990s, says his patients never had a problem with his gender, but he did remark that since he is often the only male on duty, his female colleagues frequently turn to him for his physical strength. “I think when it comes to the physical work — lifting patients and heavy equipments — male nurses are often asked to assist,” Gorospe says, adding that his colleagues would often exclaim, “We are glad you are here today, so you can help lift.”

A Need for Role Models
Samuel Gomez, MSN, RN, PHN, CENP, was one of only two men in his nursing program in the early 1980s. Since men were even more uncommon in nursing at that time than they are now, he, like Gorospe, was frequently asked why he didn’t just become a doctor instead of a nurse.

Gomez, 48, explains that he was inspired to choose nursing as a career by a high school guidance counselor who was also a RN. “She told me that as a man, nursing was a great profession for me to explore and that it had many possibilities and opportunities,” he says. “She was absolutely right.” 

Now, Gomez is the one inspiring other men to join nursing. He is currently the executive director of cardiovascular services at Mission Hospital Regional Medical and Trauma Center in Mission Viejo, Calif., but he often speaks to medically underserved middle school youth. When he was a professor at the University of Southern California, he even started a special interest group for male nursing students. 

“What is most important to me as a nurse who is male is the importance of role-modeling for others, the importance men have in nursing and that as a profession, it is open and ready for more men to join,” he says. “I am always sure to point out to male students that nursing has been an outstanding career for me and it can be for them as well.”

A Tailored Fit
According to a 2005 “Men in Nursing” survey conducted by Hodes Research and published on the website of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN), approximately 6 percent of nurses are men. Nearly half of the almost 500 respondents to that survey reported experiencing gender-related problems in the workplace, including being stereotyped as “muscle,” being a minority in the nursing profession, being perceived as not caring or having trouble communicating with female colleagues.

Scott Topiol, co-founder of the online men’s scrub store Murse World, adds that male nurses often face an additional problem: Nursing scrub stores rarely have a good selection or variety of scrubs for men. Unisex scrubs, which feature solid colors, a baggy fit and a V-neck cut, are no solution; they only come in a few styles and stores seldom carry all of those.         “Scrubs that are made specifically for men not only fit their bodies better,” says Topiol, “they also offer more masculine styling options that help male nurses and healthcare professionals look and feel their best on the job.“

Topiol says that one of the goals he and co-founder Alex Mayzels had in starting Murse World was to provide scrubs that are more attractive to men. “One thing we've found is that many men are looking for a more athletic, sporty cut and also want color accent options such as contrast color stitching,” he explains.  

Communication Styles
Like the respondents of the 2005 Hodes survey, 38-year-old Troy Gideon, RN, BSN, critical care clinical coordinator at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, Calif., says that one of the biggest challenges male nurses face is continuing to improve their professional interactions with female colleagues. “A man in a female world must learn the intricacies of female communication and the dynamics of their interrelationships to be able to work collaboratively towards a goal,” he explains. 

Despite the communication hurdles, Gideon has seen improvement for men as nursing has evolved over time. “I think that the industry has changed greatly in its social context as the field has become more educated and professional,” he says. “With this change and the financial stability that comes with it, nursing has become a magnet for more males, thus dissolving preconceived stigmas.” 

Managing the Whole Patient
Gomez, Gideon, and Gorospe all spoke about how rewarding their nursing careers have been, whether they have involved teaching, leading and supervising other nurses or performing patient care.

“As nurses, we are for the whole individual, not just managing the medical condition or surgically managing a patient. We manage the patient holistically,” Gomez says. “That was all I needed to know about the profession of nursing — that it was aligned with who I was as a person and as a human being.”

Topics: men, men in healthcare, nursing, benefits, minority, challenges

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